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Do you have one or more pups at home? If yes, you may be interested to know what types of snacks or treats you can offer them. Most of the time, new pup owners are pretty aware of the main foods that they should give their canines, but they are not equally aware of the snacks that need to be given to them. They also don't know how frequently to feed snacks to their pets, what types of snacks you shouldn't provide them and more. This article will explain the basic concepts you should know about feeding snacks to your puppies. We will also give you our top 5 recommendations for the best puppy snacks in the market to make your decision-making process easier.
Does My Dog Need a Snack?
Most of you may wonder if your pup really needs a snack. You are justified in asking this question because many people wonder the same. The answer is that if your dog is already enjoying a wholesome and balanced meal at regular intervals, it doesn't need a snack. This is because the puppy gets all its nutrients from its regular meal. The wholesome meal helps the pup to put on healthy quantities of weight and height properly.
Usually, snacks or treats are given to pups to keep them entertained or motivated, especially during training. You can give your puppy some healthy snacks in the form of treats when it listens to your instructions properly or gets quickly trained. Since they get these treats rarely, dogs get very excited and happy to eat them. They show great interest during training sessions, as they know the exciting gift that awaits them when they do well.
Are Snacks Harmful to Dogs?
Are you apprehensive about giving dogs snacks, even in small quantities, during training sessions? You may be alarmed by the news that most of the dog treats available on the market contain loads of sugar, calories, and other unhealthy ingredients. When given in large quantities, dog snacks can create obesity in your pets. A scary piece of statistics recently revealed that over 50% of the dogs in the USA are obese because of overeating snacks or treats.
So, you have to use these snacks only during training sessions to motivate your pets. When they ask for more, you should divert their attention and train them in such a way that they only get used to eating these during training. Some snack packets may claim to include healthy fruits and vegetables in their products. However, please note your pup's body is not designed to ingest these in large quantities. Even snacks with these healthy ingredients can cause obesity in your pets. Digestible rawhides, jerkies, chew sticks, nutritious biscuits, and other meat-based treats are good options to consider when buying dog snacks.
The Top Snacks for Pups Available Today
Now that you know a few basics of feeding snacks to your pets, it is time to choose the best product available on the market to keep your pups healthy and energetic. You might find multiple brands of dog snacks online with many "healthy" ingredients, but this makes picking one from this sea of options confusing. Therefore, we have chosen our top 5 recommendations to make this job easier for you after taking everything into consideration.
- Real chicken as #1 ingredient
- Has added minerals & vitamins
- Specially made for puppies
- Grain-free recipe
- Contains species specific probiotics
- High in protein
- Precisely balanced
- Recommended for puppies up to 1 year
- Contains no by-products.
- Puppy sized kibble to help combat tartar.
- Reduced calories
- Supports normal fat metabolism
Please continue reading for more in-depth reviews
1. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats
These are grain-free, healthy dog treats manufactured by one of the most reputed brands in the pet food industry, Wellness. It is a natural source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids, and are perfectly formulated for dogs less than a year old. The bite sizes are of suitable size, and you won't have to be concerned about any potential choking.
All ingredients used in this treat are 100% natural and of premium quality. It contains no toxic elements like corn, dairy, wheat, or meat by-products. This means you can give these to your pets daily without any second thoughts. The absence of artificial colors and preservatives makes this one of the best dog treats available today. Your dog will love the delicious taste of these lamb & salmon treats and will keep asking you for more!
Are you looking for the perfect treats to feed your dogs during training sessions? Look no further than this one, as it contains one of the best ingredients for your pup's growth & development – salmon. It is a natural source of DHA, which plays a vital role in your skin's glowing coat & skin.
These treats don't just taste like salmon but are also infused with a smoked hickory flavor, making them quite appetising for your dogs. Every piece has only three calories, which can be broken down into small pieces easily for your pet's comfort. They are free from artificial colors, preservatives, and toxins, which makes them a healthy treat for your canines during training or disciplinary routines.
These treats are perfect for your pups during their teething phase. Your puppy should be at least 12 weeks old and must weigh at least 5 lbs to be given these. As with other treats, please read the package carefully for the quantity you can feed your dog. When they are in the teething phase, your dogs may experience quite a lot of pain and discomfort due to sore gums.
These ring-like chicken-flavored treats provide the perfect relief for your pups during this stage. They help to massage their painful gums, besides satisfying their urge to chew in this stage. These treats are rich in natural DHA and other essential fatty acids that make your pups immune, healthy, and glowing. They also contain calcium to strengthen your pup's bones. These chicken flavored treats are absolutely safe for pets, as they are free from toxic substances like corn, dairy, wheat, meat by-products, soy, nylon, rubber, and plastic.
These are natural biscuits baked in the USA, keeping the health and safety of your pups in mind. They are perfect for all sizes and breeds of dogs. The natural pumpkin flavor of these biscuits is very appealing to your canines.
They are shaped in attractive sizes like moon, sun, stars, and clouds, and they taste similar to natural homemade treats because they are not put through a lot of processing and treatments. They are free from corn, dairy, wheat, soy, artificial colors, and preservatives. After having these biscuits, your pup is definitely going to wag its tail more and bark less!
These beef liver-flavored freeze-dried dog treats are ideal for training sessions. They are high in protein content and don't contain any sugar or junk ingredients that may cause harm to your pets. Only three ingredients (beef liver, beef heart, and natural antioxidants called mixed tocopherols) are used for making these treats, making them completely safe for your pups.
Manufactured and packed in the USA, these treats are also known for their low-calorie content. You can use these treats if you want to get your pup's attention during a training session or appreciate him for his excellent performance. Dogs love the taste and flavor of dried beef liver, and these treats surely motivate your canines to do well in their job.
Other Snacks/Treats That Are Allowed for Dogs in Moderation?
The keyword here is "in moderation ."Listed below are some of the good choices of treats that you can consider giving your pets in small quantities during training sessions. Please note that though these treats are highly nutritious, you should keep their portion the same while feeding your pets. Also, you can skip these snacks totally and give your pets wholesome, healthy, and balanced meals at regular intervals instead.
Since apples are rich in Vitamins A & C and antioxidants, it prevents oxidative stress due to radical damage in your dogs, and the fiber content in apples helps in healthy digestion. However, please remove the seeds and core parts of the apples before feeding your pups. This is because of the presence of a toxic compound, amygdalin.
Bananas are suitable for the overall cardiac and digestive health of your pups. They help to remove fatigue and keep your dogs healthy and active. However, they are pretty high in sugar content, so, please practice portion control when giving bananas to your canines.
Since they are rich in Vitamins C & K and fiber, pears help improve dogs' digestion and immune system. However, please remember to cut the core part before feeding this to your pets.
Berries like strawberries and blueberries are good treats for pups if served in moderation. The antioxidant-rich blueberries are rich in vitamins C & K and fiber, whereas strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and malic acid. This malic acid helps in keeping your dog's teeth sparkling white.
Since they have almost 90% water content, they help to keep your dogs hydrated on a hot summer day. They are rich in Vitamins A, C, and B6 and potassium. However, please remove the seeds before giving this in small quantities to your dog.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins B6 and C, potassium, and beta-carotene. They help in the overall immunity and kidney health of your dogs. They are also rich in fiber, which helps in easy digestion for your pets. However, you must cook them extremely well before feeding them to your dogs to avoid any discomfort for the animal.
Beans are a powerhouse of nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamins, folic acid, potassium, and more. So, they are perfect for pups, provided you choose unsalted, fresh, or unsalted beans.
The vitamins and antioxidants in bell peppers, especially the sweet, red ones, help improve your pup's overall immunity and reduce inflammation. However, you have to remove the stems and seeds of the bell peppers before feeding them to dogs, to avoid choking and digestion issues.
Like most orange vegetables, pumpkin is also rich in the beta carotene antioxidant and other nutrients like potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, and more. It can control diarrhea and constipation issues in dogs if given in the right quantities. Please use fresh or canned pumpkin puree instead of processed pumpkin pie fillings, as they contain a lot of sugar and artificial preservatives.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and many other nutrients like vitamins and fiber. When fed occasionally as treats, carrots play a role in the good dental health of pups and dogs.
As they are rich in vitamins K and C, potassium, fiber, magnesium, copper, and more, the water-rich cucumbers help to keep your pups hydrated for a long time during the summers, besides helping them to fight against bad breath.
How Much of These Snacks Can I Feed My Pup?
You might have heard your vets say that these snacks or treats should comprise more than 10% of your pup's meal. Its regular, wholesome, and nutritious meals should make up for the other 90%. So, can you ensure that you feed the treats in the correct quantity and at the right frequency? There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to answering this question.
The answer depends on various factors like your dog's age, size, weight, and breed. Some dogs can handle almost all the snacks mentioned in this list, while some can be allergic to even the most basic treats. So, it is always recommended to visit a vet and get a personalized diet chart for your pet, with respect to the snacks that you can give and the frequency as well. This will help you follow proper discipline in the diet schedule of your pups, thereby ensuring that it gets their nutrients properly.
Regardless of the snacks or treats you choose for your dogs, please remember to check with your vet first. Discuss the ingredients of the treats with your vet to find out if you can feed them to your pups and in what quantities. This will keep your dogs healthy and safe from ailments like allergies, choking, digestive issues, and more.
About the Author
Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.