Ingredient-lists on our dog's food can often make us scratch our heads and want to crack open a chemistry book due to all of the preservatives that are listed. We can also come across the strangely ambiguous terms such as "by-product" or "meal" after the word "chicken" or "beef." What's wrong with just providing chicken?
We all want to feed our dogs the healthiest possible food out there, and treats are no exception. With the pet food revolution that has been changing the industry in the past few years, pet parents are demanding that treats be equally healthy. In order to simplify everyone's lives, we recommend choosing single ingredient treats.
Here is our list of the top five single-ingredient treats.
1) Starting with the best: Doggie Chicken Chips.These treats are made from chicken only. That's it. No by-product, no filler, no sneaky ingredients that could harm your pup. It is sourced, packaged, and made in the USA from USDA grade A chicken breasts. They are only two calories a piece and pure protein, and they are a perfect snack for hiking or training.
2) Hula Lula Beef Jerky Treats are close behind. The beef used to make these is USDA approved which means it is human grade. (Many people would be surprised to learn that meat used in pet foods does not have to be of the same standard or quality as it does for humans) There is also zero sugar, zero salt, zero fillers. Jerky treats are especially useful if you have dogs of different sizes since you can very easily tear off a piece however big or small you would like.
3) Hula Lula Turkey Jerky Treats are also excellent. Again the meat used here is human grade: 100% USDA turkey breast. Turkey can be an especially healthy choice for dogs that have developed intestinal issues, or who have shown signs of a food allergy, such as itchy skin or chronic ear infections.
When working to determine the cause of the dog's distress, turkey can prove useful as it is a meat not often used in dog food and therefore not likely to cause any inflammation or adverse reaction. It is perfect for a brief elimination diet to get your dog back to normal. And just like our other jerky treats, this has no salt, no sugar, no preservatives or fillers.
4) Fruit slices come in fourth. Cut up a banana for your pupper and watch him enjoy it. Mash one up and put it in a Kong. Freeze slices and offer them on a hot day. These are low in sodium and high in fiber and potassium, making this an outstanding treat.
Apples also make excellent low calorie treats for dogs: make sure that these are cut up since the core and seeds could be possible choking hazards. PetMD recommends apples as treats and notes their positive effects upon joint and gastrointestinal health for dogs.
Dried apricots are also excellent single-ingredient treats for dogs, although they should be given in moderation.
While not technically fruits, pumpkin slices and carrots also make outstanding treats for dogs. Carrots provide healthy fiber which, if your dog needs to shed a few pounds, can let her feel more full. They are also very handy at cleaning teeth and providing healthier breath. Pumpkin is universally recommended by vets for its high fiber and high water content: it can help with both constipation and diarrhea in dogs by bulking up stools and moving everything along.
While these fruits and vegetables are healthy for dogs, make sure you slowly integrate them into your dog's routine. The fiber could result in unwanted gas.
Also, it is important to note that not all fruits and vegetables consumed by people are safe for dogs. Be sure to avoid giving your dog onions, garlic, tomatoes, cherries, grapes, and raisins.
5) Brown Rice and Quinoa are fantastic treats or meals if your dog is experiencing stomach or intestinal distress. Brown rice can fill up a tummy and is bland enough to not cause issues. If you want to avoid grains, quinoa is technically neither cereal nor grain and is closer to spinach and beets. It still the same effect on the tummy as brown rice while also offering more protein. Many high-quality limited ingredient dehydrated foods are starting to incorporate it into their recipes for its strong health qualities.
It is often helpful to have a small bag of dried rice or quinoa on hand just in case you need a few days of bland, basic food for your pooch.
Used as dog snacks, fruits and vegetables along with brown rice and quinoa require a little bit of effort on the dog parent's part to prepare and do not offer the convenience of Doggy Chicken Chips or Hula Lula Jerky. However, the food-prep is not terribly difficult or time-consuming, and everything here is complete goodness for your dog.
Single ingredient dog snacks offer the owner peace of mind. You know that your dog is receiving exactly what they should be getting: quality food. There are no random filler bits or ingredients that, once discovered, would make your hair stand on end. While we believe that dog food and treats deserve every bit as much as oversight as human food, the reality is that right now that is not happening. Therefore, discerning pet parents have to do a little research in order to eliminate the unhealthy options that are unfortunately available nearly everywhere. Please be aware that we only offer healthy snacks for dogs at Really Good Pets Shop. Like you, we only want the best for your dog.