Best Treats for Dogs – How to Find Healthy Treats for Your Dog
Do you ever find yourself trying to decide between all the different dog treats out there? Not sure which one is the best treat for your dog?
Well, I thought I’d do some research and find out which ones would be the best dog treats not only for your pocketbook, but also good for your dog’s health. *(Updated 11-18-2016)
I’ll get to that later…first, I’d love to tell you some upsetting things I found out while digging and scouring through tons of info…
Yes, I said Upsetting!
There are a few things you might want to look into before buying some of the treats out there…
your dog’s health might depend on it…especially if you buy the wrong treats for a long period of time.
And, if you’re like myself, you don’t want to buy the wrong treats and end up with a sick dog! We’ve had that experience in the past, and it wasn’t very fun for any of us!
4 Things to Consider When Choosing Dog Treats
- Where they’re made or processed
Why is it Important to Look at the Ingredients?
The reason I always check the label for ingredients is that I do not want to be feeding my dog things that are bad for it. Some treats are made of by-products that come from unknown sources.
If it only says meat, poultry, meat meal, digest, or meat by-products on the label, be careful!
You don’t know where the meat is actually from. It could be from any animal…
Any animal…meaning not just beef, chicken, or pork! It could come from roadkill, or even dogs, cats, and horses.
This is terrible enough, in my opinion!
But, wait! There’s more…
Even worse it could include animals that died from disease or were euthanized for one reason or another…
Meaning the chemicals used to euthanize these animals are also in the treats themselves!
You can read more about this here at Natural News.
When reading the label, look at the first ingredient.
This is what makes up the majority of the dog treat. If it says for example beef, chicken, lamb, pork, etc. you should be safe! If it lists any kind of meal, it also should be okay as long as it states a named and specific source such as beef, lamb, chicken, etc.
Another good thing to look for on the label is free-range, or pasture-raised to avoid meat from animals that have been raised in poor conditions such as no exercise, living in unsanitary conditions, and fed hormones or chemicals to grow bigger.
You can also look for the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guarantee or certification on the label. This is an indicator of the treats or dog food being a good source of nutrition for dogs.
Grain and corn are also used in dog foods and treats, which have no real value to a dog’s diet. They can also cause allergies in dogs.
Many dogs need hypoallergenic food and treats. Maybe even your dog is showing allergy symptoms such as excessive scratching, red or dry itchy skin, watery eyes, hair loss, licking paws…all rather common allergy symptoms found in dogs.
Grains or corn listed in the labels of your dog treats or food? These are not a good idea to buy for a dog with allergies!
Where Are The Treats Made?
This is something I always make sure to check since many countries do not test what is being put into the dog treats and whether there is anything harmful or not in it. I’d rather see that it’s coming from the USA since that’s where I live, and they have to go by certain guidelines to have USDA and FDA requirements.
If it’s another country, I’d check to see if there are guidelines that need to be met or not and if so, what exactly they may allow or not.
Pay Attention to Size
If you own a small dog, naturally you don’t want to end up with a treat that it can’t enjoy because it’s too big. Two of my dogs are small, a teddy bear and a shitzu, so we usually try to get treats they can all eat or buy two different sizes.
By treats they can all eat, I mean ones that are small enough that the little ones will be able to chew on easily. Or, if not, ones that I can break in pieces such as dog biscuits for medium dogs, I’ll often break in half for them.
What About Texture?
Well, what I mean about texture is whether it’s hard, crunchy, or chewy.
Sometimes, we’ll buy our dogs bones, which of course are hard, such as regular bones from beef or pork. These we buy just for them to chew on and keep them busy.
Beef and pork bones last a long time usually, even for our bigger dogs.
We also buy a lot of dog biscuits, which are somewhat crunchy or “softer” chewy treats to use as rewards for when they do something we like. This way they can eat it somewhat quickly and go on with their training or walk.
Otherwise, with a regular bone or harder treat, they’ll be too busy chewing on it to bother with what you want them to do anymore…
At least for awhile…and, that could be hours, lol!
There are treats that are also made with the specific purpose of cleaning your dog’s teeth and keeping your dog’s breath smelling better. Many of these are somewhat chewy and made according to the size of the dog and it’s chewing strength.
You can find out more about these and other treats when you read my review on them…I’ll put the link to it below!
>>Best Dog Treats<<
I hope this helps you out with choosing the best treat for your dog and if you have any questions or comments, please do ask in the comment box below, and I WILL get back to you. Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading, and if you find it helpful, please share it with your friends too! 🙂 -Sherry
*(Updated: November 18, 2016)
2 thoughts on “What Are The Best Treats For Dogs?”
I can’t emphasize enough on size of treats. Humans have a weird way of thinking sometimes. They would buy petite Greenies (in bags) and throw them like Frisbee to large breed dogs and buy a gigantic Greenies for a small breed fella so that he can slowly and have that for dinner as well.
Treats should not replace proper nutritious kibbles and certainly not used excessively in playtime. It’s harmful to their health and it’s sending out wrong signals to them.
Yes, I often wonder what some people are thinking when they buy treats that are obviously the wrong size for their dogs. I certainly agree with you Cathy, treats aren’t meant to be eaten all the time in place of a normal nutritious kibble. It’s like us eating cake and ice cream all the time instead of eating a healthy meal!
Giving your dog treats all the time is not going to teach it to earn them. Treats are for rewarding it for behavior you want it to do. Plus, treats such as the Greenies are meant for use as a teeth cleaner for dogs and should only be given once a day for a reward. Different treats should be given after that if needed as you’re training your dog.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Best wishes 🙂