Dogs love treats. However, store-bought treats for dogs may be high in calories and may contain chemicals, preservatives and animal by-products. In addition, they may be expensive.
Here are some examples of some foods that can be healthy treats for dogs. They should, however, be used in moderation. Even though these foods are healthy, too many treats at one sitting may cause dogs to have indigestion, gas or diarrhea.
Fruits Are Healthy Treats for Dogs
Apples: Most dogs will enjoy apples cut into bite-sized wedges. Dogs should not be given the entire apple; the seeds can be toxic to them. This naturally sweet fruit is only about 80 calories. Apples are wonderful healthy treats for dogs since they contain vitamins A, vitamin C, potassium and pectin, a soluble fiber.
Bananas: Although bananas have about 200 calories each, which is higher than most other fruits, they have many healthy benefits. Peeled, sliced bananas contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, amino acids and fiber. It is not advisable for dogs to eat the peel since it is difficult to digest.
Cantaloupe and Watermelon: Both cantaloupe and watermelon contain beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C. Wash cantaloupe and watermelon completely before cutting into bite sized chunks. Dogs should not be given the rind of either fruit because, like the banana peel, it is hard to digest.
Vegetables Are Also Healthy Treats for Dogs
Broccoli: Dogs will benefit from broccoli whether it is given raw or cooked. Broccoli is high in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A and fiber.
Carrots: Carrots are a source of beta carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium and potassium. Baby carrots, peeled and ready to eat, make excellent healthy treats for dogs.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain fiber, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and iron. Dogs will enjoy this highly digestible vegetable when it is baked or boiled and cut into pieces.
Other Foods That Are Healthy Treats for Dogs
Eggs: Eggs, either hard boiled or scrambled, are wonderful healthy treats for dogs. Eggs contain protein as well as vitamin A, vitamin B2, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium and several other minerals. Because of the risk of salmonella, eggs should not be eaten raw.
Cottage Cheese: Cottage cheese is high in protein, vitamin B12, phosphorus and calcium. Most dogs will enjoy a spoonful of cottage cheese added to their kibble or as a healthy treat anytime.
All of the foods described above are great alternatives to store-bought treats when given in moderation. To find out what foods are not healthy treats for dogs, see 7 Foods Dogs Should Avoid