Straight Out of the Kitchen: Healthy Dog Treats from Your Pantry & Fridge
Straight Out of the Kitchen: Looking for some healthy, wholesome, single ingredient healthy dog food treats and toppers that you may already have on hand? Well head over to your pantry because you likely have some of these nutritious and dog-delicious options already in your cupboard or fridge! We’ve listed 8 of them and highlighted some of the benefits they bring to our beloved, four-legged fur-babies.
Cinnamon: A small dose of this spice can help regulate blood sugar (in dogs and people alike!) and also plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight–great for pups that might have a tendency to be overly fluffy. Cinnamon has both anti-fungal as well as antibacterial properties that can aid in yeast overgrowth as well as soothe those aching joints. Max one teaspoon or less. Tip: Consider mixing the cinnamon into a bit of plain, unsweetened yogurt and serve on top of your regular feed or freeze the yogurt and cinnamon mixture in ice cube trays for a crunchy treat!
Eggs: Eggs are a wonderful source of protein for dogs as well as a natural source of essential fatty acids. They contain a host of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and B12 (cell health & metabolism). OH, and don’t throw out that shell. It's healthy for your dog, too, helping with their immune system and their metabolism. Tip: Experts recommend feeding cooked eggs to avoid contamination and reduce salmonella risk to humans (while it is rare for a dog to get salmonella, they can be a carrier and pass it in their stool, putting their humans at risk). So break up the shell and mix it in the cooking eggs. Your dog will love it.
Water Packed Sardines: Hello sweet protein & healthy Omegas! While these oily fish treats are a great source of nutrition for most dogs, note that they are high in calories…so hold off on these for pups that are overweight/over fluffy or for those that have pancreas issues. Otherwise, these wonders are packed full of Omega 3s & Omega 6s (promoting healthy skin and coat) and a great source of protein for your dog.
Cooked Sweet Potato: This tuber, much like its cousin the pumpkin, offers a good source of natural fiber. It is also packed with vitamins B6 (assists in glucose production, red blood cell health and regulation of hormones), Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Consider offering cooked sweet potato in a 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon serving size, depending on your pups size.
Chia Seeds: These wonders are not just for making your chia pudding or boosting your overnight oats, they can benefit your dog, too! Chia seeds include Omega 3s, calcium (healthy bones, teeth and heart) and fiber. Feed 1⁄4 teaspoon for every 10lbs of weight on top of food. Tip: You can also mix these in with some plain, unsweetened yogurt or sprinkle on top of regular food for a boost!
Carrots: The yummy, satisfying crunch of a carrot isn’t just for humans! Share these carotene treats that feature vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, biotin (supports hair and nails), and vitamin B6 with your dog. These natural treats help support your pet’s skin, coat and immune system. They are also a good source of natural fiber! TIP: Carrots do have some natural sugars so limit these to one or two small carrots a day, depending on your dog's size and diet!
EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be another great food topper. In proper doses, it has been associated with helping to shed unwanted pup pounds. EVOO has monounsaturated fats that encourage pound-melting by breaking down the fat inside fat cells, helping to reduce belly fat build up and even reducing insulin sensitivity. EVOO also offers immune boosting polyphenols, vitamin E, chlorophyll and carotenoids — which can help dogs fight off disease. Experts recommend roughly 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of weight. Consider pouring over your dog’s current food as a topper.
Coconut Oil: This naturally vacation scented oil boasts both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It can also help with brain function, balancing your dog’s insulin levels, and is also thought to assist with canine thyroid function. Be Careful not to overfeed coconut oil to your pup or they may suffer from diarrhea. Go easy on serving size but experts recommend 1/2 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on your dog’s size.
Other Tips: Whatever treats and toppers you select, be sure you always watch out for non-dog friendly ingredients (sweetener, chocolate, cooked chicken bones (properly sourced raw are fine) sugar and artificial sweeteners like xylitol). These should always be avoided.
Also whenever you add something to your dog’s diet, remember to watch for any allergic reactions (pets, like people can have unique allergies). And please keep in mind that while these treats and toppers may offer nutritional boosts to your sweet pup, variety and moderation are key. As always, consult your vet for any specifics and for any health concerns of your particular dog.
From the pups @ dogbullysticks.com, feed happy!