When you sit down to enjoy a sweet treat, chances are there is a wagging tail and adorable eyes looking at you, hoping you will share. While she would be happy to share anything with you, not all human foods are safe for her, especially when it comes to sweet treats.
Sweet Treats to Avoid
Forget sharing those candy bars, or any candy in general. Chocolate contains theobromine, a methylxanthine compound toxic to dogs. That tasty candy bar can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures and death. Many other candies contain the sweetener Xylitol, which causes increased insulin production and can lead to liver failure. If you want to let your pooch indulge that chocolate taste, carob chips, often used as a chocolate substitute, are safe. However, large amounts can cause stomach upset.
While you may not think of veggies as a sweet treat, the natural sugars give a touch of sweetness to a healthy dog treat. Baby carrots and green beans offer a crunchy raw snack without adding many calories. Dehydrated sweet potato slices provide a chewy snack packed with fiber, manganese and vitamins A and C.
Fruits are another option filled with natural sugars. However, not all fruits are good for your dog. Grapes and raisins contain a toxic substance that can lead to kidney failure. Leave these out of your dog’s diet. However, fruits like apples, berries, bananas and watermelon offer vitamins and fiber with a sweet taste. Dehydrated apple rings or banana chips make small and easy to carry training treats.
Peanut Butter and Yogurt
In addition to fruits and veggies, two other naturally sweet treats your dog may enjoy are peanut butter and yogurt. Both offer a source of protein. Peanut butter contains healthy fats and vitamins B and E. Stuffing a treat toy with a touch of peanut butter will keep your pooch happy for hours. Yogurt provides calcium and active bacteria, which help your dog’s digestive system. However, not all yogurts are good for your dog. Look for plain yogurt with no added sugars or sweeteners. For a real treat on a hot day, fill an ice cube tray with yogurt. Your dog will love the little frozen yogurt cubes. Add in some chopped fruits for an additional treat.
Other Treat Options
Many commercial pet treats offer a varieties for dogs with a sweet tooth. Look for treats with peanut butter, sweet potato or other sweet flavor. If baking is something you enjoy, consider making your own doggie sweet treats. Any of the above ingredients can be added to create a tasty treat. For example, consider making peanut butter biscuits. Mix 2 cups whole-wheat flour with 1 cup rolled oats. Add in 1/3 cup peanut butter and 1 cup warm water. Combine until thoroughly mixed. Spoon out a small amount and make into a ball shape. Flatten the ball with your hand and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.