Health & Nutrition


snacks for dogs
Snacks, together with meat and kibbles, are most eaten food for our dogs. It’ s very important knowing which kind of food we are giving them, in order to avoid to provide with wrong snacks. When given too much they can cause obesity or stomach diseases, as not always they are so healthy. Snacks can be considered natural or industrial, these last ones can be cookies or products made using animals “skin”.
Cookies can be either produced same than kibbles or oven baked, however they contain cereals and carbohydrates because based on flour, therefore gluten, fibers, colorants and attractants.
Normally the animal proteins percentage is low, fats are essentials. Cookies have been first commercial dog food, produced in England by the American James Spratt in 1860. In 1907 the company F.H. Bennet introduced in USA a milk-bones cookie as complete dog food.
As they are rich in carbohydrates, do not exagerate in giving to overweight dogs. Also among cookies there are some better than others. Always go for those where ingredients are clearly indicated, avoid animal contents and colorants/preservatives
It doesn t matter if meat is not among the ingrediente, those with vegetables or fruit are ok.
You can also follow some home made recipes. Half dry products are often used as snacks, for training or reward purpose, they exist in different shapes and colours (however colour is not an indication of healthy!)
Another type is pastry, used to give pills to dogs but they are not made with healthy ingredients. If you know any, please share, it could be helpful for example during training.

Ox skin bones or snacks are produced with production waste of shoes, bags, clothes etc. The skin is subject to chemical and smoked treatment with addition of colorants and attractants. Sometimes with carcinogenic titanium oxide (E171). The company receiving this skin can legally label as 100% beef or porc meat. There have been cases of dogs almost choked by these products. So it is definetly an unhealthy snack.

Natural snacks are the dry ones (including home made cookies or ice creams), horns, fruit, vegetables, yogurth or  kefir.

Dry snacks are made of organs or small animals and you can find:

– meat slices

– pieces of tripe, lung, oxen nerbs et .

– porc , rabbit ears etc.

– hens legs

– dry small fish

These are the best, some  with many proteins not to abuse. They are suggested for overweight dogs or big size who can well chew.

Another type of snacks is deer or buffalo horns, sold for all size dogs. Horns are not bones, more similar to nails.

The dogs bytes and soften it with its saliva, they are suitable to clean teeth or as reward. Always supervise your dog during eating and take it away when too small. Some people think animals are killed just to use horns but it is not like that. In fact horns are the rest of deer, buffalo, roe etc.


Fruit and some vegetables as well can be given as snacks, especially during summer time to refresh the dog.

For example apple with carrot and fennel are often used to clean dog’s teeth and can be given in big pieces.

Sometimes you might find rest in poep but that is normal and it is healthy if not given too often.

In fact a dog can eat all kinds of fruit, in correct dosis and eventual alergies are as for humans. However avoid grapes because it can cause kidneys diseases. Obviously remove pits

Yogurth and kefir are good as snack and help bacterial flora. Yogurth needs to be white with milk and ferments only. Avoid cream. Kefir is better if home made but do not give same quantity as yogurth. You can use both fruit and yogurth to make ice creams and refresh your dog in summer time.

Di Barera Annalisa, fonte: gruppo Facebook “Alimentazione a 4 zampe”