Like humans, pets love to be spoiled with treats and snacks. However, pet owners must be cautious about the type of treats they give their dogs. Most of the treats on the market are high in artificial preservatives and fats that are harmful to your pet. No wonder the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention has raised red flags regarding increased obesity among dogs and cats.
In this list, we’ve prepared a number of healthy snacks that will leave your pets smiling without exposing them to medical issues like heart disease and osteoarthritis.
Apples are a great snack for both dogs and cats. It can be used during training or as a random treat. Not only are they healthy, but they also help with cleaning up your dog’s teeth to promote oral health. The fruit contains lots of nutrients, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and fibers. Vitamin C is useful in preventing degenerative issues like joint conditions. The vitamin also supplies antioxidants that fight free radicals to prevent chronic inflammation and cognitive decline. Meanwhile, fibers boost the GI health of your pet.
Caution: Cut the apple into small pieces and remove all the seeds before feeding your pet.
Another incredible treat that’s probably in your fruit basket right now. Bananas deliver a nutrient punch full of minerals like copper and potassium. They also contain fibers and vitamin C and B6. The fruit boosts your pet’s immune system and promotes heart, kidney, and bone health. It’s also great for muscle development. Bananas have high sugar content, your pets’ dental health, so watch the servings you’re giving your pet closely.
Carrots are great for cats, dogs, and bunnies. They contain fibers, potassium, and vitamins. Vets report that carrots improve your pets’ dental health by removing plaque and dirty films from the surface of the teeth. One trial reported that yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots could prevent and slow the development of a cancerous tumor known as Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC).
Cut the carrots into small pieces before feeding your pet.
4. Cooked Lean Meat
The mere aroma of cooked lean meat alone will have your pets running towards you excited. But before you serve them the meat, cut it into small pieces for easy chewing.
There are different types of meat that you could feed your canine companions. However, lean meats that are low in fats are highly recommended since they are generally healthier. You could rotate their diet between lean ground beef, chicken breasts, and whitefish. Whitefish and chicken breasts deliver lots of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits.
It’s advisable to serve the meat cooked and not raw. Raw meat may contain bacteria that could be harmful to your dog. You should also avoid processed meats.
5. Unsweetened Peanut Butter
Peanut butter that’s free from artificial sweeteners and other additives makes an excellent treat for dogs. It delivers healthy fats, proteins, and fibers. Many pet parents also use peanut butter to sneak medications. The taste and smell of the butter create the perfect stealth.
6. Millet Spray
An excellent treat for birds. It’s high in fibers, proteins, and minerals like iron, niacin, calcium, and phosphorus. Besides boosting their overall wellbeing, millet spray will also give your birds great stimulation and entertainment. It also grants you the satisfaction of watching your birds harvest the food.
Pets love blueberries and strawberries as much as we do. The berries contain potent antioxidants that will protect against oxidative stress. They are also high in fibers which boost digestion. What makes berries an even better treat is that they are low in calories, so you don’t have to worry too much about your pet’s weight.
Blueberries can be served frozen, dried, mashed, or fresh.
Cantaloupes are great for dogs and cats, but you should serve them after removing the seeds. The fruit is a nutritional powerhouse containing potassium, niacin, folate, fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B6, and C. Vitamin C and other antioxidants boost the immune system and reduce issues of inflammation.
The melon promotes healthy digestion and keeps your pet hydrated. It’s also reportedly good for healthy eyes and fur in dogs.
Cantaloupe can be served fresh or frozen.
A remarkable source of omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. Salmon is good for both cats and dogs. It delivers health benefits like improved joint function, healthy coat and skin, enhanced cardiovascular performance, and better immune response.
Cook the salmon before serving to ensure your pets are not ingesting harmful bacteria,
Spinach is widely known as a superfood, and that’s because of its insanely good nutrient profile. The vegetable packs Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, calcium, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, etc. These nutrients are as useful to pets as they are to the human body. Spinach improves digestion, heart health, eyesight, and bone health. The antioxidants are also good for preventing premature aging and cognitive decline.
The best way to prepare the veggie for your pets is through pureeing, steaming, or blanching. You should also try and stick to organic spinach alone to protect your pets against pesticides.
Vets warn against giving spinach to pets with a history of calcium oxalate bladder stones.
11. Cooked Sweet Potatoes
Cooked sweet potatoes are gentle to your dog’s digestive system, so you don’t have to worry about upsetting their stomach. The potatoes deliver good amounts of Vitamin A, B6, C, selenium, iron, calcium, and fibers. Sweet potatoes promote healthy eyes, nerves, coat, skin, and muscles. Moreover, they support healthy digestion and blood pressure.
Boil or steam the potatoes before serving.
Caution: Avoid feeding your dog dried sweet potatoes as they’ve been linked to kidney diseases.
The perfect treat for the summer. Watermelons will keep your canine friend hydrated whilst supplying lots of nutrients to boost their overall health. It contains Vitamins A, B6, and C, amino acids, and some potassium. Watermelons enhance the immune system and digestion, among many other health benefits.
Remove the seeds before feeding your pets.
As you can tell, you don’t have to take a long drive to the store to get your dog a treat. Spoil them with any of the above foods but be sure to serve them correctly.