11 Best Healthy Dog Treats, According to Pet Experts

11 Best Dog Foods Ft 3

rd.com, via retailers (3)

All dog owners agree that the ecstatic tail wags prompted by treats is a treat unto ourselves. Healthy dog ​​treats offer positive ways to love our pets, whether they’re for training, rewarding good behavior, or just because your pup looks so darn cute. That’s why we look for the best dog treats we can find, for our biggest dog breeds to the smallest.

But pet care professionals also recognize that the wrong treats result in unbalanced nutrition. Your dog may love bacon, but overweight dogs live up to two fewer years than lean canines and suffer more from health challenges, including arthritis, diabetes, and pancreatitis.

As a certified animal behavior consultant, I’ve spoken to thousands of dog lovers and other dog experts over the years. I reached out to 50 of my dog ​​expert colleagues to ask what treats they considered to be the best. While many make their own natural dog food and treats (more on that below), commercial treat options are great if you know what to look for and what to avoid.

While not terribly common, dogs can develop food sensitivities or allergies to ingredients like chicken, beef, or corn and suffer itchy skin or digestive upset. That’s why it’s important to give them only the best, highest-quality treats and pay attention to the effects of any new additions to their diet. With that in mind, I rounded up the top 12 healthiest dog treats below.

What to look for when buying healthy dog ​​treats

Dog Chewing Ocean Chews

through amazon.com

Dog experts recommend avoiding dog treats with high levels of fat (over 25 percent) or chemical preservatives. Labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of ingredients of a percentage by weight, with ingredients listed with the greatest amount at the top of the list. You might need a converter to understand the true percentage of fat. Experts prefer US-produced treats since they usually have more safety oversight than those made in China.

Look for single-source ingredients. Freeze-dried or dehydrated protein products, for example, have high dog approval with a lot of nutrition packed into tiny amounts. Dehydrated fruits and veggies also last a long time without a lot of preservatives, and satisfy the dog’s urge to chew. Many experts and pet parents prefer human-grade ingredients, or products produced under the same conditions as for human consumption.

Veterinarians also caution that what’s best for your new puppy won’t be ideal for a senior canine, and a doggy athlete also has special needs. Your dog’s ideal treat depends on his unique needs—and his individual preferences. Ask your vet for some recommendations, especially if your pup has health challenges that impact what she should eat. And remember that even the best healthy dog ​​treat is worthless if Fido won’t eat it.

Evaluation criteria

There are thousands of healthy dog ​​treats available to suit every dog. I chose my top healthy dog ​​treats based on a combination of several things:

  • Formulation and purpose
  • appeal for the dog
  • Rankings and ratings
  • Reviewers’ comments
  • Expert’s recommendations

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