Recently there has been a surge in healthy dog treat options, and attentive pet parents have been faced with a wide variety of choices each toting their own list of potential benefits for our pets. While each dog is different and what may work for one may not be the best choice for the other, healthy dog treats do offer a range of benefits that lower quality options may not provide. Here, Freshpet examines some of these benefits as well as how to use this information to give your dog the best healthy snacks possible.

Aids with Digestion

Every pet parent has been in a situation where their dog has gotten an upset tummy and can attest to the fact that it is not fun. Digestion problems can stem from a wide variety of causes, but one common source is their food and snacks. For example, dog treats that are high in fat can cause digestion issues by hardening a dogs’ stool, making it much more difficult to pass. Healthy snacks for dogs are recommended for those that have sensitive stomachs because they contain ingredients that are meant to be easy to digest. Natural ingredients such as psyllium husk fiber, beet pulp, and other fibrous additions can help maintain a dogs’ gut health and keep them from feeling weighed down.

Reduced Risk of Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions in dogs can cause any number of health issues including skin problems, tummy troubles, itchiness, or swelling. Moreover, food allergies can be difficult to treat in part because a veterinarian will have to assist with figuring out how the issue occurred. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of food allergies is to choose healthy snacks for dogs, as they are free of ingredients such as wheat, corn, and other food sources known as triggers for allergies. Avoiding these additives is also beneficial to the health of your dog because, should your dog eventually show signs of a food allergy, your vet will have a better idea of what may be the cause with the most common triggers already ruled out.

Better for Dental Health

Treats that contain artificial sweeteners or other chemicals can be damaging to a dog’s oral health because bacteria in their mouths can feed on the sugar and weaken tooth enamel. This can cause issues with both their teeth and gums that could require veterinarian visits to get put on the right track. One of the benefits of healthy dog treats is that they can be excellent for dental health, either by helping remove residue on their teeth or by lacking ingredients that bacteria feed on to cause cavities. Remember that the type of treat that will be most beneficial for your dog will depend on their age and overall oral health.

Less Fattening

Obesity is a growing problem in the pet community and can happen even if a dog is active. The culprit is often food options that are much more fattening than they let on. Healthy snacks for dogs are beneficial for their overall weight because they often contain fewer calories than lower quality options. With fewer additives and filler content, healthy dog treats can also help your dog feel satisfied during snack time and prevent the type of overindulgence that can lead to weight problems and the issues they can cause for our dogs’ overall wellness. Treats should never exceed 10% of the daily calorie allotment that we provide our dogs, and less fattening options can be a great choice for those that do not want to worry that they are giving them too much.

A Step in the Right Direction for Overall Health

Dogs are like people in that, if they do not feel at their best physically, it may take a toll on their overall health moving forward. Food impacts the way that living beings think, feel, look, act, and behave, and it can be difficult to stay happy and healthy with treats and food options that do not prioritize a healthy, long life. We want our pets to stick around for as long as possible and trying to evaluate the food and snacks they are given is a surefire way to show dedication to our furry friends.