Most of us dog parents feel satisfied when we can bring joy to our pup in the form of a nibble of treat. But what are healthy options and how do we discern which is good for our pet. As obesity rises in the American population, so does weight gain in our canine partners. The leading cause of overweight dogs is attributed to over feeding, not enough exercise, too many snacks and treats, and underlying health problems. Once we understand what we are feeding our pets, we can control the weight and contribute to the health of man’s best friend.
When Should I Give a High Fat Treat?
High fat dog treats should be given to active and performance dogs. These pups are usually involved in long hikes and jogs and need to maintain their energy and stamina with high fat and protein treats. Salmon oil, coconut oil, chicken fat, fish oil, and peanut butter are common ingredients in treats high in healthy fats. Performance dogs, such as hunting dogs and service dogs, benefit from the calories in their treats to maintain endurance.
Performance dogs, such as hunting dogs and service dogs, benefit from the calories in their treats to maintain endurance.
When Should I Not Give High Fat Treats?
Dogs that are lap dogs or who leisurely takes a few laps around the neighborhood should refrain from indulging in high fat treats. Parents should look for a lean protein and fiber source for these pups. Although some calories are derived from healthy fats, the lack of exercise allows the pounds to accumulate.
In less active dogs, healthy low fat dog treats and food carries more weight (pun not intended). Obesity in dogs can lead to respiratory, cardiovascular, and many more system issues.
Most veterinarians contextualize the activity level of the pup, the weight, and overall health of the dog to provide the best recommendations. Given the size difference between humans and dogs, a small treat provides enough calories or some time. There are lots of healthy dog treat options available that are high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. Consult your veterinarian to devise a healthy diet for your dog.