Healthy Dog Treats.


This Holidays4Dogs article will provide recipes for healthy dog treats you can offer your dog, rather than commercially prepared ones. These are often full of additives which some dogs find difficult to digest. Commercial dog treats also often have the effect of producing excess wind! Read on for some ideas on super healthy dog treats.

Treats are a great way to interact with your dog and facilitate training, by motivating your dog to learn good behaviour. Some of these recipes are great for making training treats. Others can be stuffed into a Kong, or given to your dog when he has to be left alone for a while.

However, not all commercial dog treats are healthy for your dog. Many contain nasty chemicals and other ingredients which are not always good for a dog’s overall health.

The dangers of rawhide dog chews.

Avoid buying rawhide chews – they contain nasty chemicals and pose a choking hazard.

Top of the list for treats to avoid are rawhide chews of any description. This remains a popular dog chew and is still sold in major high street pet stores.

It’s made from the inner layer of cattle carcasses. However, before it is made into attractive shapes for dogs, it is treated with chemicals to clean and preserve it.

These chemicals can be particularly bad for dogs. Rawhide also presents a major choking danger, so all in all, best avoided as a treat for your dog at all costs.

Additives, fillers and other ingredients.

Dog treats often come in packaging that make the contents appear healthy and natural – even in high street pet stores. Read the label closely, however, and you will find they are anything but. Many dog treats contain salt, sugar and preservatives – none of which are good for a dog’s health.

You might read the ingredients label and find the treat contains something like – hydrolysed protein. This is chemically treated food. While it is allegedly used, with success, to treat dogs with food intolerance, it can cause tummy upsets and other digestive disorders.

Lots of dog treats, like other dog food products, often have ‘fillers’ which generally means grains. These make up a higher percentage of the food in order to ‘bulk out’ more expensive ingredients. Fillers are usually, but not exclusively, made of fibre from grains and they serve no nutritional value.

Sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s good and bad. If you see a listed ingredient that seems vague – such as, ‘meat product’ – or long lists of additives, they are probably best avoided. There is evidence to suggest that certain types of foods can impact on a dog’s behaviour, as well as their health, it pays to think carefully about a dog’s diet. Its worth scrutinising labels and consider choosing an alternative, if you don’t recognise any ingredients.

Healthy alternatives with natural ingredients.

If you fancy a healthy canine cook up one afternoon, we’ve included some ideas below to get you started. However, if you can’t be bothered to make your own, we thoroughly recommend – Sunday & Dolly’s Natural Dog Treats.

These dog treats are made with 100% all natural, premium, ingredients. They aid better digestion and contribute to overall health and well-being, while at the same time keeping dogs mentally happy.

Sunday & Dolly’s sell combination and bundle offers, as well as individual products.

If you purchase through this link you will be eligible for a 15% discount on your first order – ( minimum purchase order £6 ). Use code HOLIDAYS4DOGS15 at the checkout.

Sweet potato chips – a healthier dog treat option.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fibre and contain Vit B6, Vit C and beta carotene.  Most dogs relish the sweetness of these chewy treats and you couldn’t get a healthier dog treat totally free from harmful additives.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F

Scrub potatoes. No need to peel.

Cut into thin slices. (The thinner the slices the shorter the cooking time). Place on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake in the oven for about 2 – 3  hours, or longer for a crunchier treat. Timing will vary depending on the thickness – keep an eye on them.

Green vegetables make excellent healthy dog treats.

If your dog will eat leafy greens you could try different sorts of lettuce, cabbage, kale, cucumber etc.  It is a good idea not to give your dog too many of these foods, as they cause runny tummies.

Carrots are a great alternative to usual dog chews and treats. As with sweet potatoes, you can slice them roast in the oven to make a crunchier treat. 

Cooked liver treats.

Dogs will do anything for liver treats!  They are a great choice for people teaching their dog new things – (if using as training rewards you’ll need to cut up into tiny pieces).

For a 1lb of beef liver;

Preheat oven to 200 degree F.

Line a sheet pan with grease proof paper.

Cut liver into strips about 1.4 inch thick.

Space the pieces of liver on a baking tray, so they are not touching.

Bake in the oven for 2 hours, turning after 1 hour.

Let them cool on a wire rack.

Liver treats can be kept for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

Turkey meatloaf. 

You can use any turkey (or chicken) for this dish, but as an added healthy bonus you could use organic turkey or chicken. A good recipe for a canine Christmas feast.

You will need;

1lb of minced turkey.

1 cup brown rice.

1/4 cup of grated carrot.

tsp of oregano and basil.

sprig of fresh parsley.

1/4 cup of tomato sauce – NO ADDED SALT. You can also add mashed tinned tomatoes, or an egg, to bind the mixture together.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl combining thoroughly. You may find it easier to knead it together with your hands. Place the mixture into a baking loaf tin and cook for 50 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into treat size pieces. and 4Dogs are participants in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission fees by advertising and linking to the select websites. Read our full disclosure agreement here.