Anyone who’s set foot in the treat aisle of a pet store will realize there is an overwhelming number of options available for dogs. There are tons of different flavors, brands, shapes, and sizes. Some are big and hard, while other treats can be small and soft. This makes it difficult to choose healthy dog treats that are nutritionally balanced and free of low-quality ingredients. But don't worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we're going to go over how to select the best healthy dog treat that is tasty too.
A Comprehensive Guide to Choose the Best Healthy Dog Treats
Why give your pet treats?
Before we get into our dog treats guide, let's go over this question... It's pretty self-explanatory, but we wanted to share our thoughts on this! Just like humans, dogs enjoy snacking on delicious food throughout the day! You should always consider giving your furry friends some small goodies from time to time because they deserve to be rewarded for their unconditional love. Dogs are constantly showing their appreciation for their owners, so showing them that you appreciate them back can be done so through giving them treats! Another great reason to give your pets treats is because they can be used as an incentive during training sessions. The treats will help them to focus and follow instructions!
What are the types of dog treats?
Like we mentioned, there are tons of different types of dog treats. However, the 3 most popular are natural chews, soft treats, and freeze-dried treats... Let's take a look at the difference between them.
- Natural Chews: These types of treats are specially formulated for dogs to give them a healthy alternative to traditional jerky and rawhide, which can be very hard on their teeth. One of the most popular types of natural chews is bully sticks. Bully sticks are a single-ingredient, easily digestible chew treat made from beef muscle. With their natural flavor and chewy texture, they will keep your dog happy for hours!
- Soft Treats: This is where our Lord Jameson treats come into play! As we mentioned earlier in this blog, our organic dog treats are soft in form. Soft dog treats are great because they're easy on your dog's teeth!
- Freeze-Dried Treats: As you can tell by the name, these are treats that have been freeze-dried! As stated on Only Natural Pet, "Freeze-drying is a process in which water is removed from raw or cooked ingredients such as meat, fruits, and vegetables. The moisture contained in the foods is removed via a 3-step process. This sets freeze-dried pet food apart from dehydrated pet food, which is produced by using hot air to remove moisture."
What to keep in mind when choosing dog treats?
When choosing dog treats, there are several things you should be keeping in mind. Every dog is different and may have preferences or allergies that can be catered to with careful consideration of ingredients! So, when choosing a dog treat, here are 4 things you should be keeping in mind.
- Health history
- Texture of treat
All of these different aspects are important because they each play a role in your dog's health. As an example, there are some treats that are better suited for senior dogs, puppies, and super active dogs. Doing your research is necessary, as some snacks will be better than others. The ingredients play a huge role! You are what you eat and the same goes for your dog... So, make sure you're feeding them something healthy!
Our treats at Lord Jameson are 100% all-natural and USDA Organic Certified. We only use healthy ingredients which you can pronounce and find at your local farmer's market! We know the importance of clean eating, so we want to share that with your dog. Check out our flavors here (and see some of our delicious ingredients in the pic below!)
Things to check in your dog treat package label
When choosing new treats, checking the label on the bag is essential! Unfortunately, there are so many brands that fill their dog treats with unhealthy, super processed ingredients, and tons of artificial flavors and colors. When reading the packaging label, take a close look at the source of ingredients, the quantity of ingredients, and the ingredient quality.
How to Read the Label
Sometimes, labels are hard to follow... The first ingredient listed is the greatest ingredient in the treats by weight. Look for their guaranteed analysis which will show you how much protein, fiber, and water the treats have.
Dog treat ingredients that you should avoid
We suggest staying away from treats that contain artificial colors, flavors, and / or preservatives. The main concern with these substances is that some are linked with cancer while others may cause allergic reactions or other health problems. A study published in the American Journal of Veterinary Medicine found that foods containing these ingredients caused an increase in hyperactivity and restlessness among canines as well as vomiting or diarrhea.
Not only that but also try to avoid treats that have chemical humectants and synthetic chemical sweeteners. Not only is it important to be aware of how much sugar you are consuming, but also the type. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been linked with increased cancer risk and artificial chemical humectants can cause inflammation in your dog's gut lining.
What to Look for in Dog Treats
Now that you know what not to look for, it's time to go over what you should be looking for! We always say that you should look for treats with ingredients that you can pronounce!
When looking for healthy dog treats, here are some things to take into account:
- Low Calorie Content: You should feed your dog low calorie treats to maintain their weight. As you know, it's important for dogs' health and well-being to regulate the amount of food they eat each day. Feeding them healthy snacks rather than high caloric ones will not only help you maintain your dog's weight, but it can also help you to extend their lifespan!
- Quality of Ingredients: All-natural ingredients are always the way to go when looking for treats! The quality of the ingredients you give your dog is incredibly important. You don't want to feed them poor-quality junk food that's just full of artificial fillers, preservatives, and other additives.
- Purpose-Specific Treats: There are certain treats that can help with your dog's wellbeing. For example, our Wellness Collection! Our Golden Health treats contain turmeric which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve pain. Turmeric can also help to improve your dog's heart and liver health and even help to prevent cancer. Learn more about the benefits of turmeric here. So, when looking for dog treats, check the ingredients to see if they have some with health benefits, too!
Healthy Treats Choices for Dogs
We truly believe organic dog treats are best - so we'd recommend shopping for healthy dog treats, like ours! Lord Jameson is also vegan-friendly, too, so if your dog is on a vegan diet, ours are perfectly suitable for them!
There are several types of healthy dog treat choices for dogs, such as:
- Grain Free Dog Treats: Grain free dog treats are becoming more and more popular with pet parents because as the name states, they're made without any grains. Sometimes, grains can lead to digestive issues for your dog. Grain free treats provide a healthy option for dogs who have allergies or sensitivities too.
- Treats for Dogs with Health Conditions: This is pretty self-explanatory! Thankfully, there are several brands of dog treats that are specially designed for dogs with health conditions. Consult with your dog's vet beforehand for more advice on which treats would be best for your dog's age, breed, and diet!
- Organic Dog Treats: *Insert Lord Jameson here haha*!! Organic dog treats are what we specialize in. Organic dog treats are made with all-natural ingredients and taste super delicious, too. Organic means that the food or product has been grown without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, etc. They also have no synthetic fertilizers which make it easier to digest and absorb nutrients in their bodies from these products when eaten as opposed to sprayed on crops by pesticide residue like non-organic foods do. (Check out our delicious healthy dog treat flavors here.)
Conclusion of Our Guide to Choosing the Best Healthy Dog Treat for Your Dog
We hope that you now have a clear idea of how high-quality treats can be a great addition to your pet's diet and contribute positively to their health. Now, it should also be easier for you to identify which are better quality and what kind is a proper choice for your pet's unique needs and tastes! Please note to always give your dogs treats in moderation! Just like when you're snacking on some goodies yourself, you don't want to overdo it... If you do, your dog may get sick, and too many treats can lead to your dog becoming overweight.
Don't forget to check out our Lord Jameson vegan dog treats! We have tons of wonderful flavors and even have a flavor called Celebration Bash that's won an award for being the Best Dog Treat Product of the Year! Since the start, it's always been our mission to provide your dog with delicious treats that are both healthy and made from all-natural ingredients.
We hope your dog loves their new treats - whichever they may be! Dogs are so special and they truly do deserve the world. Treats are one way of showing your affection back to them. If we can enjoy yummy snacks ourselves, then there's no reason our furry friends can't, too!
From here, make sure to keep up to date with all things Lord Jameson by following us on Instagram @LordJameson! We have tons of giveaways, new updates, and exciting things coming all year round! Thank you so much for reading our blog and we really hope you learned more about the importance of organic dog treats!