15 single ingredient healthy dog treats
My dog, Oliver, has elbow dysplasia, a common genetically transferred malformation of his elbow bones. When we first got him, he was skinny. I am talking emaciated, you could see his ribs through his skin, and he was a ravenous eater. As he was getting close to his target weight I noticed he had started limping.
When he was first diagnosed my immediate thought was “How can I make it so he can walk normally again?” My veterinarian referred me to a local 24/7 pet hospital, where they quoted me the price for the surgery. It was expensive but it was worth it, and while he still has a limp (and probably always will) he is doing a lot better.
When I asked my vet if there was anything we could do to relieve some of the pain of his elbow dysplasia she told me to put him on a green bean diet. And though I am not always as consistent as I should be, I have found that when he is on a diet and gets plenty of exercise he has a wider range of movement in his legs.
This led me to wonder, what other healthy alternatives could I be feeding my dogs? With everybody sharing their favorite dog treat recipe I figured a list of foods you can give to your dog with little to no preparation would be more convenient to most. So without further droning, here is a list of 15 healthy snacks for your dog:
I know I already mentioned them but green beans make a great, all natural dog food supplement. I am not saying to throw out all your dog food and only feed your dog green beans, but there is a case to be made for replacing some of your dog’s food for a healthier alternative. The reason green beans are so effective is because of their high fiber content. Dogs (and humans) on a high fiber diet tend to eat less even when more food is available. This is because fibrous foods like green beans fill up the stomach and intestines, which lead dogs to feel fuller faster.
If you do decide to feed your dog green beans or put him on a green bean diet, be sure to use fresh or frozen green beans. If you do use canned, make sure you purchase the low-sodium variety.
A popular treat for pups, apples are one of the best natural dog treats. High in fiber, antioxidants Vitamin A, and vitamin C, Low in protein, and fat, apples are a great healthy dog treat. Don’t feed your dog too many apples, though, as apples contain a lot of sugar. Also make sure to remove the seeds and core before feeding your dog an apple. Apple seeds contain cyanide which is poisonous to dogs when ingested over time. Don’t let that fact stop you from feeding your dog a few slices as a reward, though. Remember, while apples may seem mundane to us, to our furry friends they are a gourmet dog treat
My dogs LOVE eating popcorn. So much so, that whenever I pop a bag, they come over and stare at the ground in case I accidentally drop a few pieces. Popcorn can be healthy for dogs, considering it contains a good amount of fiber with very little fat. Popcorn is bad for your dogs, however, when prepared incorrectly. Buttered and salted popcorn is bad for dogs, plain and simple. Does this mean you should call the vet if your dog gets ahold of some of your favorite movie night treat? No, but this is a list of healthy dog treats, and butter and salt are not healthy toppings for dogs or humans.
Bananas are such a convenient food, that I wish I enjoyed eating them. I mean they come in their own wrapper! Oh well, at least my dogs like them. Bananas make a great treat to give your dog every once in a while. You should not feed bananas to your dog too often, though, as dogs oftentimes find them difficult to digest. Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin C, and copper, but are also high in sugar, so be sure to regulate how often you feed your dog bananas.
Are you tired of complicated homemade dog treat recipes? Try this simple banana recipe to make dog treats your pups will love.
Freeze the banana, feed to your dog.
Carrots are one of the best natural dog treats out there. Give your dog or puppy a raw carrot to strengthen their teeth or prevent plaque buildup. Alternatively, you can steam or lightly cook the carrots so your dog will absorb all the good nutrients. Carrots are also high in fiber which is great, especially for any dog with digestive issues. Carrots also make a great treat for dogs with diabetes due to their high fiber content.
Not only is lettuce a great snack for humans, but dogs love it too! One of many vegetables that are good for dogs, lettuce is high in vitamins A, C, and K is low in calories and high in fiber. If you choose to feed your dog lettuce try chopping it up into the smallest pieces you can, as this helps them digest it better. Alternatively, steaming the lettuce not only allows your dog to absorb more of the vitamins but also makes it more easily digestible for your dog.
Everybody loves those super tasty red berries, including your dog! When summer comes around there is nothing better than a strawberry smoothie. Luckily dogs can eat frozen strawberries for a crunchy treat. Strawberries are an amazing source of antioxidants and vitamin C, as well as fiber. Strawberries are a great snack to give to your dog, but make sure you don’t give Fido too many. Most fruits are high in sugar which is not good for a dogs diet.
Feeding your pup watermelon as a healthy treat in the summer can provide your dog with many great nutrients as well as a good amount of water which most dogs don’t get enough of. Try feeding it to your dog after a run when he refuses to drink any water. A reasonable amount of the fruit will help hydrate your dog, (It’s called watermelon for a reason.) and he will be none the wiser. In fact, he will probably think he is a very good boy for going on a walk with you since you are giving him a gourmet dog treat.
One of the legendary superfoods, spinach is a great food to supplement your pup’s diet once in a while. Spinach is a dark green leafy vegetable that is high in fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, vitamins A, B, C, K, plus there is a chance that when your dog eats spinach, he will grow big muscles like Popeye. If you choose to feed this vegetable to your dog make sure you cut it up into small pieces. This makes it easier for your dog to digest, as most dogs aren’t great at chewing their food.
For a great antioxidant-rich snack consider adding some cabbage to your dog’s diet. To feed your dog cabbage, be sure to cook it either by steaming or boiling. The reason for this is because of the compound Thiocyanate, which can sometimes mess with your pup’s thyroid gland.
Though some dogs are allergic to it, brown rice, for those who are not allergic, is a great supplement to feed your dog if he has an upset stomach. Brown rice’s high fiber content promotes digestion and the natural qualities help absorb excess stomach acid. The high amount of protein also makes brown rice a great all natural dog food supplement.
Who needs all natural dog treat recipes when you can get all natural dog treats? Vitamin A, beta-carotene, phosphorous, and magnesium are just a few of the things that make bell peppers so nutritious for your pup. If your dog likes a little crunch give them a slice to chew on. However, if you want to reap the full nutritional benefits you will want to either cook or blend them so they become easier for your dog to break down.
Lots of fiber, potassium, and beta-carotene, plus a whole lot more! Pumpkin is a great way to treat diarrhea in dogs, by absorbing the water in the stomach and slowing digestion. You can even use the seeds and flesh of the pumpkin for healthier fur and improved urinary health. You can use canned or fresh pumpkin for your dog, by giving them a couple tablespoons with their dry food. Pumpkins make good dog treats but make sure you buy the ones that are made to be eaten. Your dog doesn’t want your old Jack-O-Lantern.
Cauliflower, a relative of broccoli makes for a great nutritious snack, especially when steamed. You can use this great vegetable to reduce your doggy’s caloric intake. Simply add some to your dog’s diet and take a bit of the normal food out. Be sure to cut up the cauliflower into bite-sized bits so your pup doesn’t choke. Cauliflower may not seem like a dog treat but they eat this stuff up!
Peaches are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. To feed peaches to your dog simply slice up a peach to make healthy homemade dog treats. Make sure you remove the peach pit, as it can prove to be a choking hazard. Avoid canned peaches as well, they are full of syrups and sugars that are no good for dogs.
That concludes the list of 15 healthy dog treats to feed your pooch. Remember that dogs are mostly carnivorous and should never be fed a vegetarian diet. All the foods on this list should be given in small amounts at first. Do not make fruits and vegetables the main ingredients, these are meant to be snacks, treats, and supplemental foods for dogs on a diet. For more doggy health info, check out my post How to Read Pet Food Labels!
Liked the list? Have a healthy snack I forgot? Let me know by commenting below or join ThePawsHub Email list and tell me there! Also, don’t forget to like and share this post on social media!