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  • Writer's pictureLeaD

Top 7 Safest and Healthiest Species-Appropriate Treats for Your Dog

Today, let's dive into a topic that not only benefits your furry friend but also your wallet – the cost-effectiveness of feeding your dog single-ingredient treats. You might be surprised to learn just how economical and practical this approach can be.

First and foremost, when you opt for single-ingredient treats, you're cutting out the middleman – those unnecessary fillers and additives found in many commercial treats. Single-ingredient treats are exactly what they sound like – treats made from one primary ingredient, be it beef, chicken, or something else. This means you're not paying for unnecessary extras that might not contribute to your dog's health."

Another cost-saving benefit is related to potential health issues. Dogs, like humans, can have food sensitivities or allergies. With single-ingredient treats, you have better control over what your dog is consuming. This can lead to fewer trips to the vet for allergy-related issues and less money spent on specialized diets or medications.

Single-ingredient treats also open up a world of DIY possibilities. Instead of shelling out cash for pre-packaged treats, you can buy affordable, whole ingredients and create your own treats at home. Single ingredient treats are also a mindful way of contributing to regenerative farming and hunting, as it often using every part of the animal. This not only allows you to tailor treats to your dog's preferences but also saves you money in the long run."

#1: Freeze-Dried  or Dehydrated Meat & Organs

Dried meat treats. Whether it's beef, chicken, or even organ meats, these treats mimic what our dogs would eat in the wild. Packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, they're a healthier alternative to many commercial treats that may contain fillers and additives. Liver, kidney, and other organ meats are packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A, B, and iron. These treats offer a rich flavor that dogs absolutely love, making them a nutritious and tasty addition to their diet. Remember to offer a variety to ensure a well-rounded nutrient intake."

#2: Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables. These treats are not only delicious but also provide essential vitamins and fiber. Aim to avoid treats with added sugars or artificial flavorings, and opt for natural, nutrient-rich options like apples, pears, squash, pumpkin, or blueberries. Fruits can be added to plain yogurt for an added boost of protein and probiotics. 

#3: Collagen Chews

Collagen chews offer numerous health benefits for dogs. Rich in collagen, a protein essential for joint, skin, and coat health, these chews support mobility and flexibility, particularly in aging or active dogs. Additionally, collagen promotes healthy digestion, contributing to overall gut health and nutrient absorption. Collagen chews also contain natural ingredients that aid dental health, helping to reduce plaque and tartar buildup and freshen breath. With their delicious taste and chewy texture, collagen chews provide not only a nutritious treat but also a enjoyable way for dogs to maintain their health and well-being.

#4: Horns

Horns & antlers. These long-lasting chews are a fantastic way to keep your dog entertained while also promoting dental health. Packed with minerals like calcium and phosphorus, goat horns are a natural and durable treat option. They are very tough and do not tend to splitter even for the most aggressive chewers, making them a safer option.These natural chews provide a great source of protein and are low in fat, making them an ideal option for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Horns are known to be rich in nutrients like zinc and iron, promoting a healthy immune system and aiding in the production of red blood cells. Plus, they're an excellent choice for dogs with allergies, offering a hypoallergenic alternative to common proteins like beef or chicken.

Antlers provide exceptional dental benefits for your canine companion. The gnawing action required to enjoy an antler helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup, promoting good oral hygiene. Chewing on antlers can also help alleviate discomfort associated with teething in puppies and maintain dental health in adult dogs.Another great aspect of antlers is their durability. They are long-lasting, providing hours of entertainment for your furry friend. Unlike some other treats that may be consumed quickly, antlers offer extended chewing satisfaction. Just remember to monitor your dog during chewing to ensure safety.

Some Horn options : Lamb, Goat, Bison

Antler options: Deer, Elk, and Moose

#5: Chicken Feet

Chicken feet. While it might sound a bit unconventional, chicken feet are an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin. These compounds are crucial for joint health, helping to maintain the integrity of cartilage and supporting mobility. For dogs, especially those prone to joint issues or arthritis, adding chicken feet to their diet can be a tasty way to promote long-term joint health.” They're also a natural way to clean your dog's teeth. Chewing on chicken feet can act as a natural toothbrush for your dog. The gnawing action helps remove plaque and tartar from their teeth, promoting better dental hygiene. This can be particularly beneficial for dogs that may be resistant to traditional tooth brushing methods or for those with dental sensitivities.Chicken feet are also rich in protein, an essential nutrient for dogs. Protein is vital for muscle development, repair, and overall body function. Including chicken feet in your dog's diet provides an additional protein boost, contributing to their overall well-being and vitality.” You can purchase a bag of chicken feet for convenience or purchase them raw and easily dehydrate them in the oven or in a dehydrator to store. 

#6: Dehydrated Fish

Dried fish are an excellent source of high-quality protein. Protein is a crucial component in your dog's diet, supporting muscle development, maintenance, and overall body function. Dried fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA. These essential fatty acids are known for their benefits in promoting a healthy coat and skin. The omega-3 fatty acids found in dried fish aren't just good for the coat – they're also great for joint health. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce joint pain and stiffness, making dried fish an excellent option for dogs prone to arthritis or joint issues. Chewing on dried fish can also contribute to your dog's dental health. The act of gnawing on the fish can help remove plaque and tartar from their teeth, promoting better oral hygiene. It's a natural way to support dental health while giving your dog a tasty and enjoyable treat."

#7: Homemade Treats

Homemade treats. Making your own treats allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring a wholesome and species-appropriate snack for your pup. Plus, it's a fun way to bond with your furry friend in the kitchen! Homemade treats can involve ingredients such as fruits, plain yogurt, pumpkin, beef gelatin, bone broth, and so much more! Experimenting with foods that your pup enjoys and is beneficial to their well being is a rewarding experience and a way to save money on pricey luxury treats.

Bonus Special Mention! - Cow Ears and Noses

Cow ears and noses can be healthy treats for dogs due to their natural composition and nutritional benefits. Both are rich in protein, which is essential for muscle development, tissue repair, and overall health in dogs. Additionally, they provide a satisfying chewing experience that can help promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Cow ears and noses are also low in fat and contain essential nutrients like collagen, which supports joint health and skin elasticity. However, it's important to monitor your dog while they enjoy these treats and ensure they are sourced from reputable sources to avoid contamination or additives.

Providing species-appropriate treats is a paw-some way to prioritize your dog's health. These treats not only cater to their natural instincts but also offer a range of nutritional benefits. Remember, a happy and healthy dog starts with a well-balanced diet, and these treats are a great step in the right direction.

*Some links on this website or blog may contain affiliate products or links. This means that If purchases are made through links on this website, I may receive a commission .

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Our Great Pyrennes loves buffalo horns but every single one seems to splinter because he is such an intense chewer. Is it safe for him to consume pieces of the horn or do I take it away? We've tried antlers too but he gets bored with them. Yak cheese, bully sticks and collagen sticks dissappear with a few minutes. This dog is just impossible to find a good long lasting chew/treat.

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