Tail-Wagging Treats: Healthy Dog Snacks Your Pup Will Love

Key Points

  • Many common healthy human foods do double duty as natural dog treats.

  • Healthy dog treats include dehydrated sweet potato chews, carrot sticks, apple slices, freeze-dried liver, green beans, pumpkin puree, blueberries, cooked salmon skin, plain rice cakes, and watermelon chunks.

  • Giving too many natural treats to your dog may result in the over-consumption of vitamins, leading to health problems.

As a proud dog owner, you know that your furry friend deserves only the best. When it comes to their food, natural is always a healthier choice. Although your budget or your lifestyle may limit you to giving your dog kibbles as meals, you still have the option to offer them natural, healthy snacks as dog treats.

Don't worry; you don't have to burn a hole in your pocket or go out of your way to procure ingredients. Check out the following 10 everyday, natural foods your dog will love as treats.

Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chews

You may find that rawhide chews last only a short time if you have an aggressive chewer. At the same time, they are hard to digest and may cause choking problems. Dehydrated sweet potato chews are a wonderful alternative option. They are low in fat, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins A, B6, and C.

Carrot Sticks

Crunchy and flavorful, carrots are a healthy snack. They are low in calories and packed with vitamin A, essential for maintaining healthy eyesight, skin, and coat. Plus, the crunchiness of carrot sticks helps promote dental health by scraping away plaque and tartar buildup.

Carrot stick snack for dogs

Apple Slices

Apples are delicious, nutritious, and pack a nice crunch. They provide a wealth of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, which help boost your pup's immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Remember to remove the seeds and core before giving the apple slices to your dog, as they contain trace amounts of cyanide harmful to your pet.

Freeze-Dried Liver

Organ meats are incredibly nutritious for dogs. Snacks made from freeze-dried liver offer an excellent source of protein, vitamins A and B12, iron, and other essential nutrients. For high-energy dogs, these nutrients help support muscle growth and repair. Depending on your pup's preference, your options are between various protein sources, such as chicken, duck, and beef.

Liver treats for dogs

Green Beans

You may have heard that green beans are harmful to dogs. Contrary to this common belief, both raw and cooked are safe for dog consumption. These slightly sweet and crunchy vegetables contain high fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants to support the digestive system and boost the dogs' immune system.

On the other hand, canned may not be a healthy option. The American Kennel Club states, "Sometimes, green beans are prepared with other ingredients. This can make them not only less healthy and even dangerous. Here are some green bean hazards to avoid:

  • Canned beans with added salt

  • Green beans cooked with oils and spices

  • Green beans cooked with harmful vegetables, such as garlic and onions"

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Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree is high in fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. It is an amazing doggy treat and home remedy for tummy problems like diarrhea and constipation. Try adding a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin puree — not pumpkin pie filling — to your pup's regular meal. You may also try freezing the puree as a cold treat for the summertime.

Dog munching on pumpkin


Blueberries for dogs are like candies for kids but much healthier. These superfoods are full of antioxidants and fiber that improve the pooches' overall health, prevent inflammation, and lower cancer risk. Although fresh blueberries for dogs are the best option, frozen and freeze-dried options are terrific additions to your dog's diet.

Cooked Salmon Treats

Most owners know that dogs need omega-3 fatty acids to support joint health, promote skin and coat health, and boost their immune system. However, many do not know that cooked salmon skin contains more omega-3 fatty acids than fish meat. Instead of letting the skin go to waste, throw it in the oven or the air fryer to make cooked salmon treats crispy like chips. Then cut them into little squares or strips, and offer them to your dog as treats. Just the smell makes them do any trick for you.

Fish treats

Plain Rice Cakes

Although plain rice cakes lack nutritional value, they are safe treats for your dog. Because they are high in carbohydrates, you only want to offer them as occasional treats for dogs with severe food allergies. If you want to add some nutrients to the treat, you may want to smear a small amount of peanut butter on top of the plain rice cakes.

Watermelon Chunks

If your dog hates water or prefers flavored water, try adding some watermelon juice to their water. Watermelon chunks are a delicious and hydrating snack your pup loves during hot days. Don't worry about the white rind. Your pooch loves gnawing on it just as much as the red, juicy fruit. Be careful with giving your dog too much watermelon, which may sometimes result in diarrhea.

Dog eating watermelon

Watch Out for Treat Over-Consumption

Every dog owner wants to spoil their dog with love. You may think that giving your pooch extra doses of healthy natural treats only benefits their health. Although your heart is in the right place, you may do more harm than good. While this may sound counterintuitive, it's important to remember that having too much vitamin intake is detrimental to your dog's health.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A does wonders for your dog's skin and coat. However, excessive consumption of the vitamin encourages abnormal bone growth around the joints. Consequently, you may gradually see your furry pal becoming stiff in their movements. In extreme cases, they may even have difficulty moving their neck.

Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and especially beef liver all have high amounts of vitamin A. Instead of incorporating all these foods into their diet, try alternating them as treats on different days.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Vitamin B is a water-soluble vitamin essential to dogs' energy metabolism, cognitive functioning, and skin and coat health. While consuming too much of most vitamin Bs only results in your dog urinating the excess out of its body, niacin is the exception to the rule. In high dosages, niacin causes skin sores, gum bleeding, and liver damage.

Foods with high levels of niacin include liver, chicken, tuna, and salmon. Be sure to limit these foods to small treat portions so that your dog receives the health benefits without suffering from the side effects of over-consumption.

Feeding treats to pups

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant that boosts your dog's immune system and promotes healing. However, dogs produce their vitamin C and don't usually need dietary supplements unless they suffer from various medical conditions. Over-consumption may cause diarrhea and upset stomach problems. Prolonged excessive consumption may result in liver damage.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a critical role in regulating phosphorus and calcium levels, bone health, and muscle function in dogs. However, excessive intake may lead to hypercalcemia, a condition that damages the kidneys, heart, and other vital organs. Common symptoms of vitamin D over-consumption are drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, and a constant need to drink water and urinate.

Moderation Is Key to Treats

When it comes to food, remember that everything should be in moderation. As much as you love to shower your furry pal with affection, it's best to limit the yummy treats according to safety standards. If in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian first. This way, you know that your pup gets the right nutritional balance without worrying about potential health risks.

With the right combination of natural treats and a healthy diet, your dog has a much better chance of living a long and happy life beside you.

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