I often get asked what I feed Cooper. This is a big topic for discussion and like everything these days, there are so many differing views and opinions. Dry food versus wet food versus raw food versus human food, the list goes on. Today I’m not going to go into any of that with you, rather, I’m going to let you in on some of my favourite go-to healthy snacks for dogs, including all of Cooper’s favourites.
Cooper gets fed his regular food twice a day, usually in a slow feeder bowl, a puzzle toy or just scattered all over the garden. Using enrichment to feed your dogs is so great for mental stimulation! Sometimes while the kids sleep during the day, I like to give him a little snack/treat – usually in a lickimat, kong, topple, snuffle matt! You can now buy some enrichment toys from my shop too if you don’t have any of these for your dog. He loves it and he totally deserves it after putting up with my crazy two children! It’s also something fun and different for him to look forward to each day.
My preference is to give him something fresh from the fridge or something I have prepared earlier and frozen overnight. But not all foods are safe for dogs, so you must be careful about what you choose.
With young kids, we have lots of scraps and left overs. So if it’s safe for Cooper – he usually gets that either with his dinner or in one of his enrichment toys or scattered in the garden. I don’t just free feed them – I use them creatively.
Cooper’s Faves and My go-to list of healthy snacks for dogs…
- Carrots – sometimes I give them whole and sometimes I chop into small pieces and scatter over the garden.
- Cucumber – sometimes I chop them up and put into his kong with some peanut butter or natural yoghurt and freeze overnight.
- Broccoli stems – not too often as they can make them gassy
- Celery Sticks
- Natural Yoghurt – I give this to Cooper in two different ways, either I give him the end of the tub to lick clean. Or I smother the yoghurt on a lickimat. When a dog licks receptively it is meant to be quite soothing for them. To make this even longer-lasting, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes for before giving it to your dog (see images below).
- Frozen bananas – I find if I freeze them, it takes him slightly longer to eat. You can even mash a banana into the lickimat and freeze overnight.
- Watermelon – no pips or rind as they are bad for your dog
- Apple or pear – cut up with no pips or core as they are also not good for your dog
- Ice cubes – this is more of a summer treat. But you can also freeze chicken stock or beef stock.
These are my favourite pre-bought snacks for Cooper:
- Kangaroo liver – Literally a staple in our house. Cooper and all of his mates love these liver treats.
- Yoghurt drops – I love putting these in Cooper’s Kong Wobbler for him – you know those interactive toys they have to knock over to get the treats out. Keeps him busy for ages! They’re also a great training treat. They smell so good, you’ll be tempted to eat them yourself.
- Kangaroo bone – long lasting treat and great for your dogs teeth. Plus kangaroo is one of the leanest meats on the market.
My online shop is no longer up and running so you can find those products at www.getwag.com.au
Don’t overdo the treats!! Do your best to keep your dog a nice lean weight, it is super important for their health (and yes, I will be posting about this very soon too). Especially as they get older and especially for bigger dogs who are prone to arthritis, etc. So, if you have given your dog a few extra treats during the day, please make sure to slightly reduce the quantity of their food you give them for dinner.
Ultimately you know your dog best. If you’re ever unsure of what foods you can give your dog or your dog has quite a sensitive gut, please make sure to always speak to your vet before introducing anything new.
I would love to hear from you guys if you have any other good go-to treats or snacks for your dogs. Leave a comment below.