Did you know a Pedigree Jumbone is 300 calories! The average intake for a medium-size dog (45-65lb) is 670-970 calories. That means one bone could be over ⅓ of your pets daily calories.
One alternative for those special treat moments are snacks from the kitchen. Of course, not all snacks are made equal, peanut butter, while delicious, isn’t nearly the same nutritional value as a carrot piece or watermelon chunk. Yes, dogs are carnivores and obviously prefer meat – however! – there are benefits to veggies and can be an excellent and affordable treat. The dogs both know if I’m chopping veggies to get in line because chances are there’s something on the menu for them as well.
When looking in your fridge for something healthy, first make sure it’s safe for your pet, second consider the vitamins in the fruit or vegetable and offer a variety. For example, vitamin A supports eye health while vitamin E helps keep a healthy skin and coat.
Everyday treats for your dog from the kitchen
- Apples are sources of vitamins A, C and dietary fibre. They also provide a way to keep your dog’s teeth clean and can help to freshen their breath, just be sure to remove the core and seeds beforehand.
- Bananas provide sources of vitamins C, B6, magnesium and potassium. But moderation is key, they’re also high in sugar and not ideal for daily treats.
- Bell Peppers are primarily water but also rich in vitamin A, C, E, B6 and great for a healthy immune system. Remember to remove the seeds before feeds and moderation is key.
- Blueberries are full of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and tissue. They’re also sources of fibre and vitamin C which makes them a great snack for the overall health of your dog.
- Carrots are high in vitamin A, which supports eye health, but they also assist in supporting a thriving immune system and healthy skin and coat. It’s also great for your dog’s teeth.
- Celery is both low in fat and cholesterol, it also contains vitamins A, C, K, potassium and manganese. This crunchy veggie also might freshen up your dog’s breath, although my dogs aren’t huge fans of large chunks so I dice finely and mix into their food.
- Cucumbers are the perfect treat for those dogs that are looking to lose weight. With a high water content, they’re a great low-calorie reward with a little crunch.
- Green Beans are full of vitamins and can help your dog (or you) feel full if trying to lose weight. They contain vitamin K, C, manganese, fibre and iron to name a few.
- Peas contain vitamins A & K, potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus, all beneficial for bone and muscle health in your dog. Fresh and frozen peas are great, but avoid canned as they typically have added sodium.
- Pumpkin is a great source of fibre and often recommended if your dog is experiencing constipation but it’s also crucial for brain and eye development in your dog.
- Squash can be both cooked or raw and is great for a dog’s long-term health. Key benefits include vitamins A, C, E, B6, magnesium and potassium. (Fun fact: squash is actually a fruit, not a vegetable.)
- Strawberries are full of antioxidants, high fibre and vitamin C, they also contain enzymes that can help whiten your dog’s teeth. But they contain natural sugars, so again give in moderation.
- Sweet Potatoes are an excellent part of your dogs’ diet and often found in dog foods and store-bought treats. They’re great for digestive health due to their high dietary fibre. They’re also low in fat and the vitamins in sweet potatoes are great for healthy skin and coats.
- Watermelon is primarily water but packed with Vitamins A, B6, C and potassium, making it a great low calorie often and high in fibre, which makes it good for digestion.
- Zucchini delivers lots of fibre, vitamins, and minerals including vitamin A, B, C, potassium and manganese. They can be anti-inflammatory but in large doses can soften your dog’s stool, so again moderation is key.
What’s your dog’s favourite snack from the kitchen? Let me know in the comments.