When a dog goes on a diet, it can be hard to reduce the amount of food in the bowl. But sometimes the hardest part is reducing the treats! Let’s look at some healthy treats for dogs while they’re losing weight. And some general tips for healthy snacking.
Every dog expects a treat after going outside to potty. Maybe one first thing in the morning and right before bed. A few at lunch time. A couple pieces of chicken tossed on the floor while you’re cooking, and a bite of pasta off your plate. A bite of every snack you have. That’s a lot of food, it adds up! No wonder our dogs are overweight. We’re loving them to death!
Tips for Healthy Snacking
- Make treats small. If you use store bought treats, make them low calorie and break them into tiny pieces. It helps if you break the whole bag up so they’re ready to go.
- Use a low-calorie food as treats. Most dogs don’t care what they get, they just want something. Buying a small bag of low-cal food to use as treats is less expensive for you and may be better for your dog.
- Don’t compensate. Some dog owners feel bad about putting their dog on a “diet” and inadvertently add more calories by giving more treats. Be careful to not add more treats just because you’re feeding less calories. If you need to, you can pre-portion out the daily amount of treats you are allowed to give your dog.
- Don’t let your dog clean your plate. What is left on your plate is likely very high in fat and calories. Cheese sauce, melted ice cream, a couple French fries, etc. Definitely not healthy. Try putting a bite of a healthy treat on your plate to feed your dog. He’ll still think he’s getting your leftovers.
All veggies should be raw or cooked with no seasonings, butter or oil. A lot of dogs like the crunch of raw veggies.
- Green beans
- Orange segments
- Cooked sweet potato (small amounts)
- Rice cakes (small amounts)
- Popcorn (no salt or butter and in small amounts)
- 100% fruit sorbet (If you look hard enough, you can find fruit sorbet in the ice cream section that is 100% fruit, or make your own. It’s a great substitute for dogs that are used to getting ice cream at night.)
Treats to avoid: grapes, anything high in fat like peanut butter, cheese etc.
It’s not hard at all to find healthy treats for our dogs, our fridges are full of them already!
As always, if your dog is on a prescription diet, check with your veterinarian before adding any treats.