The Benefits Of Natural Dog Treats
There is an age old saying - “You are what you eat”. This isn’t just true for humans, it is also true for dogs. Diet plays a key part in shaping your dog’s life and what they eat has a direct impact on not only their physical health but also their mental health. Treats normally make up about 10% of a dog’s daily calorie intake so it’s important that you make good choices with them.
As well as making up a chunk of your dog’s diet, treats also play a super important role in your relationship with your dog. Treats can be used for positive reinforcement and to show affection and are also invaluable when it comes to training. A tasty treat is extremely effective for obedience training and can really help your dog learn desired behaviours and pick up new tricks quickly, especially if your dog is driven by food!
However, there are so many brands, shapes, sizes and flavours of dog treats out there that choosing the right ones can be tricky and, if you’re not careful, you could end up feeding your dog treats that are brimming with poor quality ingredients, fillers and additives that can quickly impact your dog’s health and wellbeing - particularly when it comes to obesity.
Natural dog treats, on the other hand, are still super tasty but much healthier for your dog and way better for the planet. They are usually made from good quality, wholesome ingredients and free from any artificial additives, chemicals and preservatives.
Benefits Of Choosing Natural Dog Treats
If you have a dog that has suffered from a food allergy then you’ll know just how difficult they can be to treat. It is obviously best if you can avoid any allergy triggers and choosing natural dog treats is a much safer option. The common triggers of dog allergies are ingredients that you often find in poor quality food and treats, such as wheat and soy. Another perk of natural dog treats is that they are easier to digest and are gentle on the stomach, making them much better for dogs with allergies or intolerances.
As with choosing food for yourself, you should try to pick treats for your dog that are made with unprocessed, high quality ingredients as they provide the best nutrition. Natural dog treats use minimal ingredients and contain no unnecessary additives or fillers. Although it can take a bit more time, we’d always suggest reading the ingredients on the packet before buying so you know exactly what you are feeding your dog.
Natural dog treats and dental chews are free from artificial sweeteners and other harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to your dogs oral health. In the majority of cases, they can actually help maintain healthy teeth and gums by cleaning teeth, removing plaque and freshening breath. We’d always recommend picking treats that are most suitable for your dog, for example, softer treats and chews may be best for puppies or older dogs.
There is strong evidence to suggest that your dog's gut health influences the brain and can affect their mood and behaviour. Processed dog treats can cause irritation and create an imbalance in a dog's gut, which can have a negative impact on their mood and lead to poor behaviour.
A dog’s brain, like a human's, is sensitive to the foods they consume, so to ensure a positive mood and good mental health, natural dog treats are the way to go. Chewing is also known to be a mental stimulator for dogs so it should be encouraged but make sure they’re chewing on something that is good for them!
Treats can be super helpful in a number of ways when owning a dog, therefore, cutting them out as a way of controlling your dogs weight can be difficult. One way of still rewarding your dog whilst managing their weight is by using natural dog treats as they tend to contain fewer calories and less fattening ingredients than their conventional counterparts.
Bonus Eco Benefits of Natural Dog Treats
In a lot of instances, natural dog treats go hand in hand with other eco credentials, making them even more planet friendly. Some added benefits you could look for when selecting your natural treats are:
- Made using sustainably sourced ingredients
- Baked in carbon neutral ovens, further minimising the environmental impact
- Plant based or vegetarian treats to reduce meat consumption
- Made from different protein sources, such as insect protein, to reduce consumption of environmentally impactful proteins
- Packed in plastic-free or compostable packets, meaning no unnecessary plastic
There are loads of great recipes out there for simple-to-make, natural dog treats which you can make at home, such as this one from Battersea.
However, if you’re looking to buy some, we've compiled a list of some of our favourite natural dog treat providers below.
Named after one co-founder's super cute Spaniel, Denzel's provide a range of low-calorie, healthy dog treats made from natural ingredients. Their products are split across 2 ranges - chews and bites.
Made with 100% natural, sustainably sourced ingredients with no added sugar, salt or grains, their chews are packed with fresh fruit, healthy fats, antioxidants and fibre that aid healthy digestion and keep your dogs coat super shiny.
Their soft, squishy bites are also made from 100% natural ingredients, gently baked into tasty, bite-sized treats using carbon neutral ovens. They're low calorie so perfect for training or on-the-go!
All of Denzel's treats are grain free, naturally hypoallergenic and suitable for dogs of all shapes and sizes, over 16 weeks old.
Their packaging is 100% recyclable and in some cases, even compostable.
Our Top Choice - Superfood Bites with Banana, Berries & Salmon
Soopa was created after the Founder, Barbara, wanted the treats she gave to her dog, Lily, to be natural and healthy. When working in a previous role with a dog grooming business, Barbara was shocked to see so many dogs suffering from commercial pet food related illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, chronic itching and skin allergies.
Due to this experience, she went about creating a range of super healthy, guilt free treats that dog owners could give to their dogs knowing that they are low calorie, nutritious and also delicious.
All of Soopa’s products are made from 100% natural, plant-based superfood ingredients which are naturally hypoallergenic. They offer a range of natural dog treats such as Dental Sticks, Chews and Healthy Bites.
Our Top Choice - 100% Natural Raw Coconut Dog Chews
Tribal is the brainchild of Fatima Maktari. The Oxford University educated chemist studied how natural active ingredients are taken up by the body and developed a range of products that are in tune with dogs' natural feeding and digestion processes.
Tribal believe that it's not just the ingredients that matter in pet food, but how those ingredients have been processed, which is why they use the latest technology and freshest ingredients to produce clean, minimally processed dog food and treats.
They also use responsibly sourced meats and fish and recyclable packaging for their treats.
Our Top Choice - Apple, Mint & Ginger Dog Biscuits
Not long after adopting 6 year old Chihuahua Chica, owner Isabel ended up at the vets as Chica had developed a rather serious bout of gastroenteritis. Isabel was understandably worried about the health of her dog and, having researched the ingredients in many of the dog treats on the market, became inspired to make her own delicious & healthy treats that Chica could enjoy.
Baking for the benefit of dogs became a passion that was quickly approved by the team of dogs walked by the local dog walker. Isabel wanted to share these natural, nutritious and yummy treats more widely and so she founded Chica’s Chips.
The ingredients used by Chica’s Chips are chosen based on their potential health benefits and scrumptious taste. They don’t use high-calorie fillers, additives or preservatives just because they are cheap and easy. Their chips are made using pure, premium & plant-based superfoods, all wrapped up in compostable packaging.