Your dog looks up at you and turns her head sideways, silently begging you for a piece of your dinner. Her tongue is hanging out and you can see her mouth watering. How can you possibly say no to that adorable face?
Unfortunately, that one piece often leads to another piece and another piece. Before you know it, your dog starts to develop weight issues and treats may no longer be allowed.
To avoid problems before they start, offer your dog treats in small quantities and choose safe, healthy, and delicious treats both you and your dog will love. As a general rule, your dog’s diet should only consist of 10 percent treats. If you aren’t sure how many treats that is a day, consult with your veterinarian.
Fruits and Vegetables Make the Healthiest, Safest Treats
Unlike children, dogs often easily accept fruits and vegetables and many are, in fact, safe for dogs. Some of the best fruits and vegetables you can give your dog while enjoying your own snack or dinner, include:
- Carrots (baby carrots are especially good)
- Green beans
Not all fruits and vegetables are safe for dogs. Some can even be toxic, so consider keeping a list of those toxic foods handy so you always avoid giving those fruits and veggies to your dog. Some of those fruits and vegetables that should be on your not safe list:
Do not give your dog any fruit – cherries and plums, for example – that have pits as the pits are toxic for dogs. Apples are acceptable but never give the seeds or the core, both of which are also toxic to dogs.
Your dog isn’t relegated just to fruits and vegetables for treats. You can give her other foods – as long as you limit the quantity – including:
- Cheese. Feed cheese in low amounts at a time. Many people wrap medication in cheese as an easy way to get their dogs to take their meds without a struggle.
- Chicken. Cooked chicken (ensuring the inside is not pink) makes the perfect addition to your dog’s meal or can even be used as a treat at dinnertime.
- Peanut butter is a popular treat with many dogs. Simply stuff your dog’s Kong with peanut butter and let her have fun trying to get it out. (Make sure she also has access to plenty of fresh water.)
- Yogurt serves as a healthy treat and a probiotic as long as you opt for all natural yogurt (no added sugar or artificial sweeteners).
Tantalize your dog’s taste buds by adding healthy, safe, and delicious treats (remember, no more than 10 percent of his overall diet) to his diet. And, most of those treats may already be in your refrigerator or on your plate.