It is no secret that most dogs LOVE treats. Whether their treats are enjoyed as rewards during training, as a way to help them relax and unwind at the end of the day, or simply for just being the cutest dog around, they form a large part of our dog's day-to-day lives.
However, the treats you choose to feed your dog have a direct impact on their health, so you must choose wisely. If you dig a little deeper into the ingredients that make up some of the most popular dog treats, you are likely to be horrified at your discoveries. Many are highly processed and packed full of artificial flavourings, colours, and preservatives, not to mention some other extremely unsavory additions, even as awful as bleach! But fear not, this is where natural treats come in to save the day. Not only does your dog still get to enjoy a delicious snack, but they are also good for them. Some even have specific health benefits, which we shall look at further here:
Improves Dental Health There is a huge range of natural treats which can help keep your dog's teeth in tip-top condition. One of the most popular for this purpose is lamb horn marrow, as it is really crunchy, making it ideal for reducing plaque and tartar. Other popular options here are beef pizzles, horns, trotters. All of these choices are longer lasting chews, as they are much harder than standard treats. Encouraging your dog to chew on these will again help to reduce the build-up of plaque which results in tartar being less likely to form.
Hypoallergenic Many processed dog treats often contain a mix of proteins as well as fillers made up of grains which many dogs have intolerances or allergies to. With natural treats, what you see is what you get! If it is cow ears you can guarantee that is it 100% beef and will contain no hidden extras. If you are already aware that your dog is intolerant or allergic to a particular protein, then you can easily choose to avoid it, by opting for natural treats. Novel protein sources such as camel and venison are particularly beneficial to try here as they are less likely to illicit a negative reaction. Aids Digestion All natural dog treats tend to be much kinder to your dog's digestive system than their processed counterparts. Not only that, if you opt for a treat that still has hair on, it is thought to aid digestion even further. The hair essentially brushes the inside of the intestines, making sure that everything is pushed through efficiently. Some even suggest that this helps to keep parasites such as worms at bay too, as their eggs are brushed along with the other digestive matter and removed from the body. As the saying goes 'you are what you eat' so it makes total sense that feeding high quality, nutritious, natural treats to your dog will be much more beneficial to their overall health and wellbeing. Naturally Nutritious Natural dog treats are packed full of goodness. As many of them are air or freeze-dried, all of their natural nutrients are locked in, which is great news for your dog! Not only do they get to enjoy a delicious tasting treat, but they all are also getting a big hit of goodness at the same time! What is not to love about that? Depending on the type of natural treat you choose, there are lots of different benefits to be had. For example, chicken and duck feet are naturally rich in Glucosamine, which is great for dogs who have Arthritis or other joint conditions. Rabbit ears are naturally very low in fat, making them an ideal choice for dogs who need to watch their waistline. Encourages Relaxation Chewing is one of the most natural behaviours your dog needs to express. Most commonly, they chew to relax or if they are feeling stressed or anxious. This is why you may have come home to a chewed dining table when your dog has been left home alone! By providing your dog with a long-lasting natural treat to chew on, you give them an outlet for this essential behaviour. Pizzles and trotters are great for this purpose, as they truly do last a long time. They are a much healthier alternative to sugary, processed dental sticks too. Yet another reason to give them a try Maintains A Healthy Weight Many natural treats are low in fat, which is great for weight management. There is too much of a good thing when it comes to giving your dog treats. They rely on us to monitor their daily calorie intake to help keep them in optimum condition. If your dog is overweight, they have much more strain put on their organs and limbs which is likely to lead to much more serious complications. However, by choosing natural treats, that are lower in fat, your dog can still enjoy a delicious snack, without the extra calories. Result! Mood Boosting Not only are natural treats great for your dog's physical health, but they are also fantastic for their mental wellbeing! As previously mentioned, satisfying your dog's need to chew, releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. This really does make your dog feel happy and relaxed, which is exactly what we want for them, isn't it? Plus, your dog will feel much better in themselves if they are fed with natural, high-quality treats regularly, as opposed to highly processed options. As you can see, there are loads of great reasons to choose natural dog treats for your beloved canine companion! So why not give them a try?