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Treats play a versatile role in dog growth and development. Whether you use it as a training reward or you use them to keep your dog occupied, your dog would definitely be happy to have something to munch on. As fun as they can be, dog owners must exercise caution while giving treats to their dogs. If you give treats for no apparent reason, it can be detrimental to the health of your pet. That said, here are some healthy treat ideas for your dog:
- Peanut butter popsicles – This is a great treat to help your pet cool down in the warm summer months. Just mix one cup of fresh peanut butter (unsweetened and unsalted, ideally) with some water and a mashed banana. Freeze this mixture on a wax paper and give it your dog when it is fully frozen.
- Apples – Apples are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and calcium. Just make sure that you limit the intake. Cut the apple into small pieces, and remove the core and seeds. The plus side of giving your dog fruits is that they are low in calories. Since a lot of pet owners have a tendency to go overboard with treats, fruits are a safer alternative.
- Blueberries – These are the perfect treat size for dogs. They are chock full of health promoting antioxidants and are also a great source of vitamin C.
- Carrots – Dogs like fruits, thanks to their natural sweetness. What about veggies? When it comes to vegetables, carrots are an excellent choice as they are rich in vitamin A and fiber. Most dogs will eat carrots cooked or raw, but make sure that you cut up the raw carrots so that they don't pose a choking hazard.
- Sweet potato jerky – This treat is more in line with what you would find at the pet food aisle in your local supermarket. Just scrub the potatoes thoroughly and cut them into half-inch strips. Bake it in an oven at 225 Fahrenheit for four hours.
- Commercial treats – If you do not want to feed people food to your pup, then there is nothing wrong with the commercial treats you would find in the market. Since treats are not a balanced diet, there is technically nothing that constitutes as a wholesome treat.
No matter what treat you choose, make sure that they do not make up ore than 10 percent of your dog's daily diet. Though the aforementioned foods don't cause any harm to dogs, it is still important that you discuss your pet's dietary concerns with the veterinarian. Although it is tempting to share your food with your dog, it is not in their best interests. People food is too rich and can wreak havoc on the canine digestive tract.