What are the healthiest treats that you can give your dog? Should you go with homemade treats or buy them instead? Click here to find out!
These are some healthy homemade dog treats:
- Boiled Squash
- American Journey Lamb Dog Biscuits
- DreamBone Churro-Style Mini Sticks
- Grandma Lucy’s Oven Baked Dog Treats
- Jiminy’s Cricket Peas & Sweet Potato Dog Treats
- Merrick Power Bites Soft & Chewy Dog Treats
- Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks
- Ziwi Air-Dried Beef Dog Treats
Reading on you will see and learn about what each of the treats is like, their health benefits, and how you should feed them to your dog. You will learn how you can either become a new home cook for your dog or a pet owner that always comes bearing gifts.
Apples make for great treats for your pup! They’re just as healthy for dogs as they are for people. An apple has plenty of fiber and nutrients that can aid in your dog’s digestive system.
When feeding your dog apples, be sure to feed them in chunks or slices that they can easily swallow to prevent choking. You should also avoid giving your puppy the seeds or core because these parts of the red fruit can upset its stomach.
You can also opt to roast the apples or dip them in peanut butter or puppy-friendly gravy to make them more appetizing to your pup. If your dog doesn’t seem interested in apples, you can also start with mixing it in their food to get them familiar with the taste. Treat apples as a treat and use them as a reward for when your dog exhibits good behavior. In no time, your dog will love apples as much as you do!
Another healthy treat for dogs is bananas. Bananas are full of healthy nutrients, especially potassium which is great for dogs! They have nutrients that can help your dog’s digestion and even make their fur and skin healthier.
To encourage your dog to eat bananas, you can start by dipping them in a bit of peanut butter before feeding them to your dog. Dogs love peanut butter and will eventually learn to love the fruit that’s attached to it.
Bananas are a bit high on sugar so you shouldn’t be feeding your dog bananas every day. You should still treat them like a treat and only feed your dog a banana for special occasions. Like with most natural treats, you must remember to remove the peels and to cut the bananas into smaller bite-sized chunks for your pup.
3. Boiled Squash
Cooked squash is also a healthy natural treat for dogs! Squash can be a bit tough to eat if served raw so your best bet is to either boil or roast them. Luckily there are squash variants available all year round such as butternut squash, zucchini, and yellow squash.
Remember to cut up the squash into smaller bites after boiling to keep your dog from choking on them. You also need to remove the skin, seeds, butternut, and rind when feeding boiled squash to your dog. You can also try out mixing boiled squash into their meals to make their food a bit healthier!
Feeding your dog boiled squash once in a while will help alleviate and prevent bouts of diarrhea. It’s also high in vitamin A which is great for dogs that are prone to eye-related health issues and illnesses. It makes for a smart staple for a dog’s diet because of all its nutritional benefits. Boiled squash is best kept refrigerated after it’s cooked and can have a shelf-life of about 1 week before they go bad.
Any vegetable from the cruciferous family makes for a healthy and tasty treat for your puppy but broccoli is your best bet. You can give your dog broccoli that’s raw, steamed, or roasted as long as you don’t season it.
Dogs have an easier time digesting high-fiber vegetables if they’re cooked. It’s fine to give your dog raw broccoli but it’s safer to cook it first.
Feeding your puppy broccoli can help prevent kidney disease, improve their digestion, and even keep them from catching a cold. Keep in mind that broccoli is high in vitamin K which thickens blood so this treat can be hazardous for dogs with heart-related diseases. These veggies are not only super healthy, but they’re also super fun for dogs to eat because of their crunchy texture!
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, beta carotene, and other nutritious qualities. This is a staple in most households so you can easily get your dog into eating them as a treat!
This vegetable is also choking prone, so be sure to cut them up into the appropriate size for your dog. You can feed your dog raw carrots without any problems as long as you wash, peel, and cut them before feeding.
Carrots make for a great alternative for commercial dog biscuits because they’re just as crunchy. They’re also rich in fiber that can aid in your dog’s digestion. Carrots are also known to improve heart health which is something most dogs need as they age.
Giving your dog a strawberry as a treat is sure to boost vitamin C! Strawberries are delicious and sweet so they’re easy for your dog to get into.
When giving your dog strawberries as a treat, be sure to wash them thoroughly and cut them into smaller bites if needed. Your dog will enjoy a strawberry without any add ons because when ripe, the strawberry is perfectly yummy on its own.
Strawberries are high in antioxidants and can help flush out any nasty toxins that might be in your dog’s body. A strawberry now and then will also improve your dog’s blood circulation and urinary system. Keep in mind that strawberries can be exceptionally sweet so if your dog is diabetic or prone to diabetes, you may want to steer clear of strawberries or only give them to your dog in small amounts.
Your dog is sure to enjoy a fresh slice of watermelon as a healthy treat! Just like humans, dogs get a huge boost in hydration when eating watermelons. If you notice that your dog isn’t drinking enough water, a good way to make sure they’re hydrated is by giving them some watermelon once in a while.
When feeding your dog watermelons, you must make sure that you remove all seeds and rinds from the fruit. Your dog can only digest the meat of this huge fruit and giving them seeds or rinds may upset their stomach.
This fruit is a health-food powerhouse that’s rich in vitamin A, B6, C, and potassium! It has a huge number of health benefits for your dog’s digestive system, urinary system, and immune system. Just remember that watermelons are still a treat and shouldn’t be treated as a staple in your dog’s diet. Always cut the fruit up in easy to swallow cubes and only feed an amount that’s equivalent to 10% of your dog’s meals.
8. American Journey Lamb Dog Biscuits
For the commercially available dog treat on the list, American Journey’s Lam Dog Biscuits are the best all-arounder. These healthy treats are grain-free and made of lamb, which is the meat that is least likely to cause any allergies for your dog.
The main ingredient for this treat is real lamb meat so it features a taste that your dog is sure to love. They’re oven-baked, making them crunchy and crispy which is a texture that most dogs enjoy. These biscuits are free from any artificial fillers like soy or wheat and by-products, artificial colors, and preservatives so they’re definitely puppy-safe.
The recipe also includes fruits and veggies that make it a more balanced treat. These biscuits are rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins, which are all great components for a healthy treat for puppies.
9. DreamBone Churro-Style Mini Sticks
DreamBone’s Triple Flavor Dumbbells are some of the most flavorful and delicious dog treats on the market! These treats are made with real chicken, beef, and pork which is what makes them so tasty for your furry friend.
These treats are free from rawhide making them easy to digest and prevents them from choking your dog or upsetting its stomach. These dumbbells also have a chewy texture and chicken leg shape that makes them fun to eat!
They’re formulated to take care of your dog’s teeth and to improve your pup’s oral health. These meaty dumbbells are perfect for puppies that are teething because they’re basically edible chew toys. These treats are also an excellent alternative to rawhide treats because not only are they delicious and good for your dog, but they’re also easy on the budget!
10. Grandma Lucy’s Oven Baked Dog Treats
Another great and healthy dog treat is Grandma Lucy’s Oven Baked Dog Treats. These treats have become famous because of their organic and human quality formula. These oven-baked dog treats are also baked in a real bakery rather than they are produced in a factory. Each treat is made with love from humans that love dogs!
Unlike most treats, Grandma Lucy’s Oven Baked Dog Treats have a vegetarian recipe. Despite the lack of meat, dogs love these treats because they’re so delicious. They’re also GMO-free, kosher, and all-natural.
The recipe is made with real fruits, veggies, and spices, such as oven-baked pumpkins and cinnamon! If your dog has ever been against eating their veggies before, a great way to change their mind is with these yummy healthy treats.
11. Jiminy’s Cricket Peas & Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Thanks to its chewy dog texture, Jiminy’s Cricket Peas & Sweet Potato Dog Treats are great for puppies, adult, and senior dogs alike. They’re formulated to be a great treat for training your dog because they’re chewy, tasty, and rich in protein.
What makes this treat so unique is that it’s made from cricket meat instead of common meats like pork, chicken, beef, or lamb. It’s made with cricket meat because crickets have a high level of protein and there are no dogs that are allergic to crickets!
This tasty treat has a unique formula that is focused on your dog’s digestive health because of its cricket components. Studies show that cricket meat supports a healthy balance in the bacteria found in your puppy’s stomach. The treats act as a probiotic that will keep your dog from experiencing diarrhea or hyperacidity.
12. Merrick Power Bites Soft & Chewy Dog Treats
Merrick Power Bites Soft & Chewy Dog Treats are a great high-protein snack for your dog. This treat’s primary ingredient is meat, making it both a healthy and delicious snack for any puppy. It comes in 3 different flavors: chicken, beef, and turducken, so you are sure to find a variation that your dog will love!
This treat is also grain-free, meaning that it doesn’t contain any corn, soy, wheat, or any nasty fillers that can upset your dog’s stomach or fatten them too much. It does contain added wholesome fruits and veggies for more nutrition.
Unlike most dog treats, these power bites are gluten-free so you don’t have to worry about your dog’s sugar levels whenever you feed them! They’re great treats for dogs that are prone to diabetes or are struggling with diabetes. All the ingredients used are locally sourced and high quality to ensure that your puppy gets as much nutrition as enjoyment whenever they get to have this lovely snack.
13. Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks
Among all the dog treats on the market, Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks are the best for training your puppy. These treats come in different variations of beef and pork that every puppy is sure to love. You can easily portion this treat because it features a long and twisted shape that you can snap into smaller bite-sized pieces.
These treats are slow-cooked, making them aromatic and full of flavor that will make your puppy’s senses tingle. They’re delicious and guilt-free and formulated to help you maintain your dog’s weight with lots of protein.
You can use these treats to train your dog by using them as a reward for whenever your dog exhibits good behavior or successfully performs a trick. Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks are easy to break and crumble free which is what makes them such a great reward treat. Simply break the sticks into the appropriate size and give them to your puppy as a way to tell them that they did a great job!
14. Ziwi Air-Dried Beef Dog Treats
Last but not least are the Ziwi Air-Dried Beef Dog Treats. These treats are made by a small but passionate team that has a pure love for dogs. These treats are farm-to-bowl and made of only the very best and freshest ingredients from New Zealand.
This treat is made with 96% meat from free-range animals as well as powerhouse superfoods like green mussels, organic kelp, and green tripe. This treat easily covers the protein needs in your puppy’s diet but you should still treat them as an addition to an already healthy meal!
Ziwi makes their treats with sustainability in mind by making sure that all the animals that are used to make their treats are grass-fed and grass-finished. This treat also features a unique formula and texture that makes it crumble-free, keeping your dog from making any messes as they snack!
How to Feed Your Dog Healthy Treats
The trick to getting your dog to eat healthy treats is simply using them as a reward and making your dog associate their treats with good experiences. Whenever your dog acts like a good dog or does a trick right, it’s encouraged that you reward them with a special treat.
It’s generally easier to get your dog hooked on commercially available or store-bought treats because those treats are formulated to be delicious to dogs. However, it’s not impossible to make your dog love homemade and natural treats that you can prepare yourself.
You can make your dog love homemade treats more easily by dipping them in peanut butter or puppy-friendly gravy. Adding a bit of sauce to your pet’s treat is sure to make it enjoy any fruit or veggie that you want to feed it. On the other hand, you will have to help your dog understand that store-bought treats are treats by associating them with rewards and pleasant experiences.
The important thing to remember is that treats cannot replace your dog’s diet. They should only be used as an added snack for special occasions or training. These treats may be especially healthy but they cannot provide all your dog’s nutritional needs.
Always make sure that treats only make up at most 10% of your dog’s everyday meals. You need to prepare your puppy’s treats in a way that keeps it safe from choking hazards, allergies, or stomach problems.
Giving your dog treats is a great experience for both you and your dog. There’s nothing quite like seeing the excited and happy look on a dog’s face when it knows that it’s about to receive a snack. However, aside from making them happy, you have to make sure that their treats also keep them healthy as a responsible pet haver. You can always give your dog more treats if the treats that you give them are good for their physical health.
You can always put a little extra love into your dog’s healthy treats by preparing them yourself. Even if your dog might not like it at first, they will definitely appreciate the extra mile you go just to please them. Natural treats will always give you less to worry about than store-bought treats because you’re in charge of preparing and storing your dog’s treats yourself.
Whether it’s natural or store-bought, healthy dog treats can do so much for a dog’s life. They can lessen the chances of your dog getting bored with their everyday food by spicing up their meals. They can serve as additional nutrition that they might not be getting from their regular kibble. They can even become a symbol of your love and care whenever you give your dog a treat. As a pet haver and pet lover, you can never go wrong with giving your dog a healthy treat.
Hey there! I’m Matt and I’m a content writer from the Philippines. I’ve raised over 10 dogs and 5 cats. I love taking care of my rescue dog Kewpie and my two rescue cats, Misty and Rosy.