There are a lot of good snacks for dogs that are low calorie, such as an assortment of fruits and veggies, including banana, broccoli, cranberries, watermelon, and baked potato or sweet potato (never raw). You can also give your dog plain cooked pasta or cooked lean meats.
The rest of the article will go into detail about how to choose specific snacks for your specific furry friend, how to make sure you’re supporting their diet, and how to get them to eat those snacks.
Table of Contents
- How do I pick out the right snack for my dog?
- What should I look for nutritionally?
- What do I do if my dog doesn’t like the snack?
- How can I be sure my snack is a good choice?
- What should I avoid giving my dog?
- What do I do if my dog seems sick?
- What do I do if I accidentally gave my dog something I shouldn’t have?
- How much of a snack should I give my dog?
- What if my dog has prescribed food?
- What if I’m still not sure about the snacks I’m giving my dog?
How do I pick out the right snack for my dog?
Obviously, there’s not a one size fits all treat for your furry buddy. Your snack picking will probably require a lot of trial and error, and figuring out what your dog likes and will eat. Don’t get discouraged if your dog doesn’t like what you’re feeding them, you might just need to try something new.
What should I look for nutritionally?
There are, of course, the basic nutritional needs that every animal has, such as enough carbs and protein to support their bodies. But every dog is different, and so their nutritional needs are also all different. You can research the specific nutritional needs and no-nos for your dog’s specific breed (if you know it, of course, your sweet furry friend might have some ancestry you aren’t sure on), but it may be simpler and safer to just consult your veterinarian, and you should do so if you have any concern about your snack choices.
Generally though, your dog will need a higher protein/lower fat diet than a cat would as they have difficulty metabolizing high fat foods. That means lean meats or kibbles with lean protein ingredients like chicken are your best bet.
What do I do if my dog doesn’t like the snack?
Simple! Just try something new. I’m sure you have foods you don’t like eating, and if your dog doesn’t like whatever you’re trying to feed them, there are plenty of other options to give your pooch to make them happy.
How can I be sure my snack is a good choice?
You should always make sure your snack doesn’t have anything harmful to dogs in it, which for plain fruits and veggies that you prepare yourself shouldn’t be difficult. But if you decide to make or purchase some sort of mixed snack (totally okay! Not everyone has time to prepare and choose certain fruits and veggies), make sure it doesn’t have any contents that could be harmful to your furry friend. If you’re still unsure, the best option is to always ask your vet just to be safe.
What should I avoid giving my dog?
The Animal Hospital of North Asheville, an AAHA and AAFP certified veterinary institute, has a list of recommendations that you never give your dog. This list includes:
- Grapes and Raisins
- Xylitol (a sugar substitute)
- Onions, Garlic, and Chives
- Food containing significant quantities of salt
All of these are extremely dangerous to dogs, and you should always check and make sure the ingredients of snacks you prepare for your dogs don’t include anything that could hurt them. As always, if you’re still uncertain, ask your vet.
You want to be mindful of these items, because your dogs will want to have a taste of them when they smell them – especially chocolate. A good alternative choice for chocolate is peanut butter, which is safe for your dog.
You’ll also want to avoid giving your dog cat food – although they may look and smell similar to you, cat food contains a higher amount of fat that is not healthy for your dog.
What do I do if my dog seems sick?
Your first step is, of course, to stop feeding your furry friend that snack. Depending on how severely sick your dog seems, you might want to wait and see if it clears up after you’ve stopped feeding your dog whatever seems to be making them sick. But if they’re really sick, or you’re just worried, of course you should always consult your vet and maybe take your dog to an animal hospital just to be safe.
What do I do if I accidentally gave my dog something I shouldn’t have?
If you can get them to vomit, do so immediately. Once that’s done, seek medical help for your furry sweetheart. In times of emergency like accidentally feeding your dog something unsafe, speed is key in saving their life. Accidents happen, and this is exactly what animal hospitals are for.
How much of a snack should I give my dog?
You don’t need a lot of a snack to satisfy your dog. They usually have much smaller stomachs, and need much less food than a human does. According to the AHNA, 1 oz. of cheddar cheese for a 20 lb. dog can equal 1.5 hamburgers for a human. Now, fruits and veggies have a much lower caloric density than cheese of any kind, so you can probably be a bit more generous with them, but take care to not have your snacks make up more than 10% of your dog’s food intake.
What if my dog has prescribed food?
Don’t worry! You can still give your buddy treats with prescription food, and the answer is easy. Just make the treats from the food! You can do this by cutting canned food into bite-sized pieces and baking them to make some crunchy treats for your pet to enjoy. You can also blend up some dry food into powder, add water, and bake that as well for another option, depending on your pet’s prescription. Have fun with it, as long as it’s safe for your dog and vet approved.
What if I’m still not sure about the snacks I’m giving my dog?
As always, the best first step you can take is consulting a vet. The best vet you can consult is your own, since they’re familiar with your dog and their specific needs, but any vet has the training and basic knowledge to give you the advice you need.