Dog Treats: Benefits & Uses, The Best Treats, & Great Alternatives
Dogs love tasty food and dog treats – that’s no secret! Whether you’re training your dog, rewarding them for good behavior, or bonding with them, dog treats are a great way to enhance daily activities. Treats can motivate dogs, provide nutritional support, and give them something to look forward to.
But how do you know what dog treats are right for your dog? Well, you’re in the right place. We have a list of the best dog treats, along with all the healthy ingredients to look for. You can easily find the perfect treats for your dog’s specific needs, ailments, and taste preferences!
What Are Dog Treats?
Dog treats are fun, tasty snacks that you can give your dog to reward them (or spoil them)! Many dog treats also come in a variety of benefits, from nutrition boosting to dental health to diet control. Treats are snacks, much like chips or cookies for humans, and should never be the main food for dogs. Nevertheless, treats are fun little rewards that you can give them from time to time!
There are so many dog treats out there, ranging in flavors, textures, and purposes. So depending on what your pup needs, you’re bound to find a treat that they love!
What is the Best Kind of Treat for Dogs?
There is no best kind of treat because all dogs have different needs and tastes! But you can’t go wrong with an organic, all-natural dog treat that’s full of healthy ingredients. It’s guilt-free deliciousness that can make any playtime, walk, late-night snack, or training session exciting.
What Types of Dog Treats Are There?
You’ve probably noticed while scrolling through the internet that there are many dog treats out there. While there are plenty of flavors, textures, and ingredients, most dog owners are looking for specific benefits that can help boost their dog’s health and wellness. Here are some of the main types of treats!
Crunchy (Hard) & Chewy (Soft)
Crunchy dog treats are the most common type of treat and they all have one thing in common: low moisture levels. Think biscuits, cookies, and kibble. Hard treats have a nice, satisfying crunch when your dog takes a bite, which is great for helping your dog maintain jaw strength and removing plaque on their gums.
Soft treats are higher in moisture than crunchy treats, making them easier to chew, which could be better for older or injured canines. Chewy treats are very popular during training sessions since they are easy to eat and don’t make a mess. Soft treats are also easier to digest than hard treats and can also boost dental health.
Dental chews are beneficial for your dog’s dental health. Most are quite tough, helping keep teeth clean by scraping plaque when your dog chews them. Dental chews take a while to eat, keeping your dog satisfied and stimulated for longer periods.
CBD treats are amazing treats that can relieve your dog of physical discomfort, nervous behaviors and even provide relaxing sensations. From crunchy treats to easy-to-digest soft chews, there are many different types of CBD dog treats that promote overall wellness.
CBD is a naturally occurring compound that can support your dog’s mind and body, or more specifically, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is in charge of many functions, like:
- Immune response
CBD supports the ECS to bring overall wellness and balance!
Freeze-dried and dehydrated treats can be meats, like jerky, or even fruits and vegetables, like pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These are popular for pooches because they are high in protein. Just make sure to look for dehydrated treats that don’t contain any preservatives or additives for a clean, healthy treat.
Rawhides are very popular treats for dogs. Pig ears, hooves, bones, and ribs are popular for improving dental health, but you should approach them with caution. Pig ears and rawhides are sometimes high in fat and calories, while some are processed and full of harmful bacteria that can lead to aches and diarrhea.
It’s also important to avoid tough rawhides that don’t have any nutritional value, are huge choking hazards, and could lead to damaged gums and teeth. Bones are usually cautioned against because they can splinter, causing gastrointestinal issues or chipping your dog’s tooth. Just make sure to buy safe dog bones for your dog to chew on!
What Are the Best Types of Treats for My Dog?
The best types of treats for dogs depend on various factors, including your dog’s health, age, and preferences. If you’re training your dog, you might want to use tiny, softer treats. If you’re looking to calm your pup down, you may want to try CBD treats.
And remember, dogs are just like us – they love the variety! So feel free to grab a couple of different healthy treats for your dog to snack on for various occasions.
What Are the Best Types of Dog Treats for Puppies?
Puppies can benefit from dental chews because these long-lasting treats can occupy a teething puppy for quite some time. This can reduce destruction to your furniture, shoes, and stuffed animals. Meanwhile, your puppy is keeping their teeth and gums clean!
You may also want to consider soft chews when you’re training your puppy. You want to be able to break the treats into smaller pieces to avoid overstuffing your pup. You’ll be giving them lots of rewards throughout the process, so you want to ensure that you can give them treats that aren’t fattening and unhealthy.
What Are the Best Types of Dog Treats for Senior Dogs?
Senior dogs often find pleasure in CBD treats, especially mobility chews. Many senior dogs prefer softer treats because a lot of older canines have dental problems and digestive issues. It’s a lot easier to snack on something chewy. Mobility treats can also relieve them from aches, soothe joint stiffness and other physical ailments.
You’ll notice that your senior dog appears a lot younger, both physically and energy-wise, when they are given CBD treats regularly. Try providing them with CBD chews once or twice a day and watch their life change!
What Are the Benefits of Using Dog Treats?
Dog treats are not just fun snacks for your pup. There are also many benefits to giving your pet dog treats. Here are some of the benefits that come with giving your pup a tasty treat.
When you pick treats with healthy ingredients, they can add supplement nutrients to your dog’s diet. It’s a lot like taking a vitamin for humans, boosting areas of nutrition that might be lacking with their normal diets. Natural, healthy ingredients are also important because it means there are no added chemicals, preservatives, or artificial flavoring that can be harmful to your dog’s health.
Some dog treats can help improve your dog’s dental health by keeping plaque at bay. The act of chewing can scrape it off their teeth. It’s not a substitute for brushing your dog’s teeth, but it’s an excellent addition to their dental care routine.
Calm Your Pup
If your dog can get anxious or aggressive, CBD dog treats can soothe your dog and help them calm down. When your dog is calm, they won’t be as stressed, and there won’t be as many destructive behaviors. However, you can always consult a vet to see if CBD calming treats will work for your dog or how they will react to it!
Makes Training Easier
Since most dogs are food motivated and respond well to positive reinforcement, you can easily use treats to make training easier. Find out what your dog considers a low, medium, and high-value treat. When your dog is on their best behavior, you can give them a high-value treat (often soft ones with a strong smell) to reward them. Giving your pup a treat after good behavior will allow them to catch on quickly.
Giving them treats also helps you bond with them. It builds a level of trust and love that they will continue to come to you for reassurance and attention. It’s a great way to connect with a brand new adopted dog or if you’re trying to get your friend’s dog to like you more!
Can Dog Treats Replace a Regular Meal?
While many treats have beneficial ingredients, you shouldn’t use them to replace a regular meal. Treats can be fattening if overconsumed and should be kept on a feeding limit per day. Always read the back of a bag of treats to see the recommended serving size per day.
You’ll often find that a diet consisting of just treats is nowhere near enough to fill your dog up. Treats should only supplement a traditional diet. Make sure to give your dog high-quality dog food to help maintain their health!
What Are Natural Dog Treat Alternatives?
Natural dog treat alternatives refer to “human food.” While we often refer to dogs as our “garbage disposals,” there are certain human foods that they shouldn’t eat. Here are some healthy human foods that dogs can eat as a great alternative!
- Eggs (cooked)
- Fish (salmon and sardines)
NOTE: All meats should be cooked and limit the amount of raw meats you feed them. Remember that you should remove all the bones to prevent choking!
Safe Dairy Products:
- Cheese (cottage cheese in moderation)
- Yogurt (plain yogurt in moderation)
NOTE: Watch how your dog reacts to a small amount of dairy. Some dogs are sensitive to dairy and may become sick.
Safe Fruits & Vegetables:
- Watermelon (seedless)
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
NOTE: Fruits are high in sugar, so don’t give your dog too much of it at once. Make sure to wash the fruits and veggies before giving them to your dog.
- Bread (plain bread in small amounts)
NOTE: Fibers are great for your dog’s diet. But foods that are high in fiber aren’t good for young, growing dogs or high-energy dogs.
Other Safe Foods:
- Peanut butter (with no added sugar)
NOTE: Always in moderation!
Ingredients to Look for & Avoid When Buying Dog Treats
Here’s a quick list of ingredients to look for when purchasing dog treats!
- Local, US-based ingredients
- Organic ingredients
- Natural preservatives (Vitamin C and Vitamin E)
- Natural humectants (molasses and vegetable glycerin)
And here are some ingredients to avoid due to how unhealthy they are for your pup:
- Sweeteners, especially synthetic ones
- Chemical and artificial additives and colors
- Chemical preservatives (butylated-hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, ethoxyquin)
- Ingredients you can’t pronounce
- A long list of ingredients (the less the better)
Can I Make My Own Dog Treats?
Yes, you can make homemade treats for your dog at home! You can find many great recipes for dog treats online. Some don’t even require baking!
Making homemade dog treats will allow you to have total control over the ingredients. You can customize the treat to contain the exact nutrients and supplements your pup needs!
Where Can I Find the Best Natural Dog Treats?
HolistaPet has some of the best natural dog treats in the market. They are completely organic, natural, and vegan. You won’t find any artificial flavors or coloring. We pick all of our ingredients for their amazing benefits. Here are some of the ingredients our treats have:
- Turmeric Root – Turmeric root can help with swelling, reduces discomfort, soreness, aches, and tenderness.
- Boswellia – Boswellia helps repair damaged tissue and can also help treat swelling.
- Hemp Seed Powder – Hemp seed powder is a superfood that is high in vitamins, minerals, proteins, omega fatty acids, and fibers.
- L-Theanine – L-theanine is a great amino acid that aids in providing calming and soothing effects.
- Chamomile – You can often find chamomile in tea form, which is great for helping your dog relax and mellow out.
At HolistaPet, we are all dog owners, and we understand how important your dog is to you! We want to share with you the wonders of CBD and all the amazing benefits it can provide your dog. Using only natural, healthy ingredients, we want to revolutionize what it means to be holistic and offer an alternative to medicines and drugs!
Final Thoughts – Dog Treats
Delicious? Check. Healthy? Check. Beneficial? Check. Dog treats are an excellent addition to your dog’s daily balanced diet when you feed them. The trick is finding the perfect treats for your dog! There are so many types out there that you can choose from to give your dog the boost they need.
Do the proper research and find out what your dog needs! If you aren’t sure, you can always consult a vet for more detailed information!