How to Choose the Healthiest Dog Treats and Chews

Most dogs will eat just about anything — and they definitely shouldn’t. Dogs can get very sick from eating people’s food. Even certain treats and chews made for dogs can be a bad choice: they’re full of fat and sugar, they may hurt your pup’s teeth or gums, or they just plain don’t last long enough. If you’re tired of your canine friend stealing your lunch or blowing through another bag of snacks, it’s time to rethink your choice of puppy treats. As with people, the health costs of junk food aren’t worth the yumminess… but there might be a way to reward your doggo AND keep them nice and healthy.

What’s Up with Dog Treats?

The keyword here is “treat.” Dogs love ’em because they’re packed with fat and sugar. And because they need to be shelf-stable, they’re often full of preservatives as well. Most of us give our pups a chew treat 2-4 times a week — more if we’re training them. That’s a lot of calories!

And worse, they’re not even filling. They’re often puffed-up blends of corn byproducts with some meat flavor and high fat compared to protein..]

That’s hardly the stuff your very good boy or girl deserves. As you may have noticed, your dog loves something they can chew on for a while. 

Avoiding the Doggy Dentist…

Our pups need healthy teeth just as we do. And just like us, dogs can develop plaque and gum disease. While you should definitely be brave and brush your dog’s chompers, the right treat can help ward off dental issues. 

Sugary treats and dental health rarely go hand-in-hand. But a recipe that minimizes sugar and maximizes chewability is ideal for doggos. They love to chew, and it’s actually very good for them as it cleans off their teeth and gums. 

The problem is that many long-lasting chews and rawhides can be harmful if they’re not made well. It’s vital to give your dog something to chew on, and edible chews are a wonderful treat. Just be sure to research the products and avoid anything that could easily splinter or break apart too soon. That not only cuts the fun time short but also presents a choking hazard.

Why Your Dog Needs Healthy Joints

Many dog chews incorporate vital nutrients. Your pup’s wild ancestors got everything they needed by hunting prey. Ultimately, processed dog kibble and treats are a refined version of what they’d get in the wild. 

That means your doggo may not be getting all the nutrition they need. One key ingredient they’d obtain from wild prey is collagen. This is the stuff that lubricates their joints and helps their skin stay healthy. Just as in humans, collagen declines with age, so you should definitely make sure your senior dog gets some collagen-rich treats and chews. (Bonus: collagen makes them even chewier!)

Wrapping Up

It’s all too easy to grab the equivalent of junk food from the dog treats aisle at the pet store. But your canine friend deserves only the best: a long-lasting, high-protein, low-fat treat that also helps them stay active and enjoy their chewing habit. 

For an excellent option, your pup is sure to love, check out Barkworthies’ delicious Backyard Barkers, featuring a collagen-rich, low-calorie dental chew that will (mostly) keep them from stealing your burgers! (We’re not making any promises.) 

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