How to feed dogs healthy dog treats as a meal supplement or replacement
This is very rarely a topic that dog treat makers will discuss, because either their treats are cheap and nasty, or because they don’t know. Dog food makers will not tell you, because it might slice into their profits.
Why replace some dog food with dog treats?
It’s the age old thing of rich and powerful multinationals advertising grain or potato based dog food for you with local vets convincing you that your dog is almost a vegetarian. Which is pretty much a complete lie.
And by replacing with healthy dog treats, I mean up to 50% if you want to play it really safe. You have the option of either keep feeding your dog the same old same old bag of grain (who would you like the same cereal for every meal for the rest of your life) or actually giving your dog a dog treat that can act as a replacement/ supplement that improves their health.
The only thing that dog food really gives your dog is an unnaturally high amount of vitamins and minerals that they regulate by AAFCO labeling rules, to ensure that a raw diet can be classed as dog food!
The reason that you would want to replace dog food with 50% meat based treats is if they are 80% meat, then they are getting somewhere towards the 95% meat that a dog in the wild would eat by choice. That is the natural real healthy diet of a dog can be recreated if you a manufactured dog food feeder, by adding MEAT based dog treats.
If you feed your dog a can of manufactured dog food, it will be a lot of grain, a lot of water, fake jelly (ie not marrowbone anymore) but perhaps 30-40% meat if you by the most expensive cans on the market. The reason you are replacing the dog food every night or even occasionally is that MEAT is bioavailable to your dog – ie your dog can naturally use the meat-based protein (amino acids) MUCH more effectively than any vegetable based protein – because their digestive systems is that of a carnivore still.
If you feed your dog one 100g can of dog food, you can feed your dog half of that and 50g of meat based dog treats. Any of the black dog prepacked treats are 80% meat plus, while many of them (mostly called jerkies) are 100% meat.
I raw feed my dog, and I freeze it and defrost it and combine meat, offal, and bones in the right amounts for a nutritious meal. Some people don’t like to go to that bother, are not sure how to do it, or it just doesn’t work for them for some reason or other. If you are one of those people, try using high meat dog treats from a quality source (ie our Healthy Dog Treat range).
WHAT healthy dog treats are best to supplement dog food?
I use the 100% meat range and for my breed of dog the low-fat species are most appropriate (roo and fish). A few of my dog walking clients have recently started buying my treats for their dogs and have realized that if they don’t want a lot of chewing that the meatballs are a perfect shape match for their dog food pellets.
Chicken, Roo or Beef meatballs are a great way to boost your dog’s meat protein. And the reason I think they like them is that they can count out or easily measure into a cup the amount they want to add so their dogs are getting the overall same weight of food. In this case, the meat based treats energy value is similar to most regular dog food pellets, so you can just aim for the same overall amount.