Natural Dog Treats To Improve Your Pet's Health

Feed This, Not That: The Best Natural Dog Treats for Your Pet’s Health

A happy dog is a healthy dog. 

Make sure your pet is happy and healthy by feeding them high-quality treats made from natural ingredients. Although treats are just a snack, be sure you’re making smart choices that benefit your dog's health. After all, your dog’s diet is completely reliant on you! 

Just as we need a variety in our diet, so do our pets. In fact, feeding your dog treats is an easy way to add extra vitamins and nutrients to their overall diet. However, not just any treat will do! If you’re struggling to find natural dog treats that your pet will love, we’re here to help. Read below to find natural treat alternatives to improve your pet’s dental health, attention, mental stimulation, and overall health. 

Avoiding bad ingredients in treats

Dog treats can be full of preservatives and filler ingredients. Common preservatives include BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, propylene glycol, ethoxyquin, TBHQ, and food dyes. These preservatives are dangerous and linked to serious health concerns, including cancer. 

Alternatively, because food requires some type of preservative for sustainable shelf life, look for safe preservatives like ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, and Vitamin E which is sometimes called tocopherols; plus natural extracts or oils, such as clove, sage, and rosemary.

As for fillers, avoid unnecessary ingredients like corn, potatoes, meat by-products, feathers, and white flour. These fillers are high in fat and calories and can lead to excessive weight gain in your pets. 

Here’s a complete list of the treats you should avoid, and what to feed your dog instead. 

Treats to improve your pet’s dental health

Look for treats that are harder in texture that will scrape tartar and plaque from your dog’s teeth and gums. These types of treats will help deter conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. 

Treats to avoid

Avoid feeding soft dental “bones” like Greenies. These are made up of unnecessary ingredients like gelatin and food coloring. Plus, these types of treats are too soft and malleable to do much in terms of cleaning your pet’s teeth and gums. 

Treats to look for

Instead, feed natural bones and chews that come from animal parts. Try giving pig ears, cow hooves, beef trachea, beef tendons, and poultry necks; these can be raw or dried. These treats are great for keeping your dog’s teeth clean and free from plaque build-up. 

Treats to keep your pet’s attention during training sessions

Bite-sized treats are perfect for training sessions to keep your pet’s attention. These treats need to have clean ingredients and a low number of calories since they can easily add up. 

Treats to avoid

One of the biggest treats to avoid are store-bought jerky strips. Sadly, these are infamous for having undisclosed and unsafe ingredients from other countries. There have been over 5,000 known cases of dogs falling ill after ingesting chicken jerky strips sold by several companies. 

Treats to look for

If you’re looking for treats that can be eaten in a quick bite, try these dried codfish skins. Another healthy option is dehydrated liver treats that can be broken into smaller pieces. Dried sweet potatoes are a third healthy option, and you can even make your own with a dehydrator. 

Treats to give your pet with mental stimulation

Treats in the form of bones and chews are excellent for keeping dogs busy. Pets need mental stimulation daily and the easiest way to relieve boredom is to give them something to chew on. 

Treats to avoid

Although rawhides are cheap and can be found anywhere, you, unfortunately, get what you pay for. Rawhides are dangerous because they can swell up to four times the original size once inside your dog’s stomach. If this happens, the bone can’t pass through their digestive system and a trip to the vet is inevitable. 

Another bone that can potentially cause issues are chews made of plastic, like the popular Nylabones. These plastic bones are only meant to be chewed, not ingested. Since most dogs don’t know this, it’s better to skip these altogether. 

Important Note: Never feed your dog cooked bones! These can splinter and tear the esophagus, stomach lining, and intestines. 

Treats to look for

Better options for mental stimulation include bully sticks, elk antlers, and the less common cow tails and cheek rolls. Feeding long-lasting bones will satisfy your dog’s urge to chew and provide them with some entertainment.

Treats to keep your pet’s health balanced

In today’s market, you’ll find an abundance of pet treats that target health concerns like anxiety and inflammation. However, these products aren’t meant to replace medication, but rather provide extra relief for pets with these issues. 

Treats to avoid

For anxiety concerns, you may initially consider treats containing ingredients like melatonin and valerian root. Traditionally, these two ingredients are used in sleeping supplements for humans, which is why we don’t recommend these for your dog. 

Additionally, aging or athletic pets may need relief from muscle pain and joint stiffness. Curcumin, also known as turmeric, is a popular ingredient in pet joint supplements that are believed to target inflammation. At the same time, turmeric isn’t absorbed well by dogs and most of the product ends up wasted.

Treats to look for

If your pet is needing suffers from chronic anxiety or situational stress, like going to the vet, CBD treats can help. Find treats made with natural ingredients and high-quality CBD like our millie Dog Chews. If you’re interested in giving your pet CBD, treats are a great way to introduce them to hemp oil — especially if they’re picky!

CBD treats are also a great option for helping with lameness in pets. Unlike turmeric, CBD absorbs quickly into the endocannabinoid system and works almost immediately. Your dog will love our bacon-flavored CBD chews, and you’ll notice them finally feeling relief from their aches and pains.

Learn more: Read our blog post about the benefits of CBD and what it can do for your dog’s behavior.

Be sure the treats you give your pets are not only tasty but good for them, too. As mentioned before, don’t compromise on quality — your pets deserve the best! Our award-winning CBD is specifically formulated to provide your pets with the relief they deserve. Shop our Dog Chews through the button below.  


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