A few treat ideas for your pup you may not have thought about.

6 Tasty Dog-Treat Types Your Dog Will Love

Feeling like spoiling Fido a bit? In our house spoiling comes in many different forms including treats.  Whether or not your pup is like Diesel, the way to many a pup’s hearts is definitely through the stomach. Check out the tips below to find tasty treats you may not have considered – and learn which familiar items you may want to avoid for your pup.

(Remember, treats are always best in moderation. That keeps your pup loving them as a special treat, and keeps his or her health in tip-top shape. If they end up having a few too many, cut back on the amount of food for a meal or two to make up the calorie difference.)

If you are training with your pup (like I know all of us are) remember to use treats mixed in, play around with what treats you and your pup enjoy working with. I have my favorite training treats and others they get just because or for that special occasion.

Crunchy. These beloved traditional “biscuits” are hard and crunchable, and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Because they have a low moisture content, they don’t require seal-tight packaging and are a favorite of businesses who like to give their customer’s canine sidekicks a little something special at checkout. My pup’s enjoy these from their friends at the coffee shops.

Soft and chewy. These treats come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and flavors and are sniffably good! Because they are so attractive to canine noses and taste buds and can be easily broken into smaller bits, they are great as training rewards. We use ours from BarkBox, a nice mix of flavors and shapes.

Lickable treats come in squeezable tubes or pouches. Spread them on a plate or contoured lick mat, and they’ll keep your dog engaged for quite some time! This can be a big help during bathing, brushing or nail trimming or when you need your pup to just hang out. These are loved and used in our house.

Dental chews are tasty stick-shaped treats made of firm, digestible material. Because they require a lot of tooth action to break down, some experts believe they promote dental health. No matter your philosophy, keep an eye out if you have a vigorous chewer who could gulp these down in large pieces. Even digestible chews can cause an intestinal blockage. These are a “night night treat” in our house.

Wholesome home baked treats. Nothing says “I love you” like home-baked cookies! Choose simple recipes with a few wholesome ingredients like oats, banana, and peanut butter (xylitol-free). They usually take less than an hour to whip up, and some stay fresh up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container. Just make sure to check the ingredient list against common dog toxins or ask your vet for their favorites. If you don’t want to spend the time making them yourself, 2 Paws Up Barkery does amazing work and my pup LOVES and goes crazy for all the stuff she makes.

Stuffed! While technically not treats themselves, hard rubber stuffable toys like Kongs will keep a dog occupied for quite some time when filled with other snacks, or even wet dog food. These treat holders help satisfy the urge to lick and chew without the usual risks of rawhide or other chews. BUT — a true power chewer can destroy anything – even rubber – so always keep an eye on your dog when they are enjoying a long-lasting chew and to make them last even longer, we freeze ours.

Treats to think twice about:

Rawhide. Lots of dogs love their rawhide chews, but this popular treat really has some drawbacks. It’s poorly digested and can be contaminated with processing chemicals, salmonella or E. coli that can cause digestive irritation or illness. If your dog gulps it down, rawhide can also cause choking or intestinal obstruction.

Flavored pig’s ears, bones, beef hooves, etc. also aren’t a particularly healthful treat choice for your dog. Your dog can chip their teeth on bones and hooves, and slivers can cause intestinal perforations. Pig’s ears are very high in fat, and some brands of ears and hooves have been linked to salmonella outbreaks in both pets and people. Always be sure to wash your hands after handling these treats and store them away from human food.

Remember, treats are yummy but high in calories, too. You don’t want a pudgy pup! Choose treats that are appropriate to the size of your dog, and keep them to less than 10% of your dog’s diet. Use treats as a reward for good behavior, and both you and your dog will keep moving toward the best life ever. If you don’t want to cut back on your pup’s treats, teach them different behaviors and allow them to work for those treats. If you’re looking for something new, we offer canine fitness training as well. Reach out and see what’s coming for classes and in home.