Healthy Non-Doggy Biscuit Snacks for your Family Dog
Posted Dec 02 2009 7:52pm
Speaking of your dog’s health, they really do not need any extra snacks or mini-meals to get them through the day. They can live just fine on their daily allotment of food. When you give in and feed dogs commercially bought snacks, this can contribute to weight gain and possibly obesity.
Fat dogs have more health problems, just like humans. Extra weight puts a strain on the heart as well as the muscles and bones. In addition, diseases like diabetes can crop up. So while dogs do not need snacks to get them through the day, they can be used as incentives for good behavior or even as a valuable training tool. The key is to reward your dog sparingly with snacks and choose healthy options.
Snacks should account for less than 10% of your dog’s daily allotment of calories. You can stick with this plan by avoiding the dog biscuits and treats laden with meat fat as they are full of calories and can also cause upset stomach. Here are a few healthy options to try instead:
1. Apples and Pears – The light, sweet crunchy taste of an apple or pear is a favorite for many dogs. Be sure to cut the fruit up in slices and take out all the seeds. Seeds of apples and pears contain naturally occurring traces of cyanide which can be toxic to your dog.
2. Carrots – A few baby carrots a day can keep your dog happy and healthy. Purchase a bag of carrots and keep them in the freezer for a cool dog treat on hot days. Watch your dog the first few times he eats carrots and inspect their droppings to ensure they are actually chewing the carrots and digesting them.
3. Blueberries and strawberries – Some dogs love berries but you have to give this fruit to them sparingly. Otherwise, they will gorge on fruit and then vomit. Just like humans, some dogs are sensitive to berries so keep a close watch on them the first few times to ensure they do not have a negative reaction.
4. Bananas – A rather unusual snack, you can mix a bit of banana with your dog’s morning kibble or feed it as a snack in small chunks. Some dogs even enjoy frozen chunks of banana!
5. Sweet Potato and Pumpkin – Cooked or raw, these two vegetables are full of healthy beta carotene which is a boost for your dog’s health. Again, feed these vegetables to your dog a little at a time to ensure they can tolerate them.
6. Broccoli – An acquired taste but some dogs enjoy it as a snack. Because it can cause gas, only provide a small amount to your dog. Not only does excess gas build up causing stomach discomfort for your dog, but you may not enjoy the side effects either!
7. Peanut Butter – Purchase a kong from a pet store and fill it with peanut butter. It takes a while for your dog to work the peanut butter out of this toy so it is also a form of entertainment too.
Whenever you use “people” food as snacks for dogs, it is important to do so sparingly. Also, start small, testing a new snack on your dog to see whether it causes stomach discomfort, burping or even constipation or diarrhea. A gradual snack approach helps your dog’s digestive system become accustomed to new healthy food.