Walk into any pet store and there are aisles of treats beckoning you - some healthy and many not-so-healthy.
The crazy thing is you don't need to look further than your own pantry for healthy, natural treats that will make your pup know he or she has been a good dog!
1. Peanut Butter
It's not just us humans who love this classic - dogs do too! Peanut butter is packed with protein and heart-healthy fats, along with Viatmins B, E and Niacin.
Try it: licked straight of the spoon (cue cute licking faces), or inside a toy for extra stimulation and fun
Tip: opt for the raw, unsalted variety as some artifical sweetners (xylitol) are a no-no for dogs
2. Canned Fish
With a dog's sense of smell estimated to be over 1,000 times more sensitive than ours, it's no wonder they go crazy for this one! While we usually recommend whole, fresh fish, the canned variety is a convenient and delicious treat on occasion.
Tuna, salmon and sardines are great sources of lean protein and high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna contains high levels of Vitamins B3, B6 and 12, with salmon registering highly for Vitamins A & D. Sardines are packed full of Co-Enzyme Q10, which supports a healthy heart and immune system, and helps prevent dental disease.
Try it: by itself or mixed through their regular meal for an extra lip-smacking treat
Tip: stick to fish packed in springwater rather than oils or sauces to avoid any hidden nasties
3. Red Capsicum
These are low-calorie, nutrient dense staples we almost always have in our fridge! Red capsicum contains beta-carotene, which is great for their skin, eye health and immune system. Capsicums also help improve metabolism by reducing triglycerides, so can be helpful with shifting some of that puppy fat!
Try it: served sliced or frozen for a refreshing, cooling treat!
Tip: opt for the fully-ripened, deep red variety, as these are higher in vitamins and nutrients
"An apple a day keeps the vet away" ...hmm, may not have the same ring to it.
...and we don't recommend apples every day, but they do have some great health benefits for your dog!
They're a good source of fibre and loaded with Vitamins A & C. Dogs on a low-fat diet will love you for giving them this sweet, crunchy treat. As an added bonus, apples help clean residue off teeth, contributing to fresh breath and good dental health.
Try it: sliced or in chunks big enough for your dog to sink their teeth into
Tip: make sure to remove the core and seeds, as these can be harmful to dogs
This is a funny one...however air-popped popcorn (without butter and salt) is a treat we've yet to see a dog resist! Not the most nutritious, it's still low in calories, contains antioxidants and is a good source of fibre - the perfect occasional snack. If you're making it in a pot, use coconut oil, as it's known to promote digestive health.
Try it: as a training aid as it's quick to chew and already bite-sized!
Tip: only feed fully-popped kernels to prevent any tooth damage