Best Chicken Treats for Dogs
One of the most common meats found in dog food today is chicken. While this powerful meat-protein comes highly recommended by veterinarians as a staple in dog food, should you look for the ingredient when choosing treats too? Unless your canine has an allergy it’s a fantastic option for those on the hunt for a single-ingredient snack for their precious companion. Let’s review.
For one, dogs need meat protein. They are descendants of wolves, and wolves didn’t eat vegan. To stay true to their genealogy you want to reward them with a meat-based treat that delivers the protein punch they need to grow and maintain healthy muscles - the foundation of their health and wellness. While there are certainly other meat-proteins to choose from, chicken is one of the leanest sources. That means your dog gets the muscle-building and joint-supporting punch without taking on unhealthy fat.
While most humans (dogs already get it) understand that chicken is an invaluable source of protein, this popular poultry delivers other essential nutrients. For instance, chicken is a good source of Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 plays an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin and coat. Omega-6 from chicken also contains important amino acids along with glucosamine which is necessary for the development of healthy bones, making it important for a dog’s health inside and out. Chicken also contains Vitamin B12, which is crucial to the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, brain function, the formation and growth of blood cells, and intestinal health. B12 is also essential to your dog’s absorption of iron, which is often the solution to when they exhibit weakness, a lack of energy, a loss of energy, and general lethargy. In fact, the importance of adding B12 (aka Cobalamin) to your dog’s diet cannot be overstated:
“Cobalamin, or Vitamin B12, is a water-soluble vitamin that is an essential cofactor for many enzyme systems in humans and animals. Animals are unable to synthesize cobalamin and are dependent on nutritional sources. Deficiency in this very important vitamin is common” (MSPCA)
Chicken also contains a significant amount of tryptophan. You may associate this with the sleepy feeling you get after eating a high-poultry dinner (chicken or turkey) but studies show that dietary supplementation of the essential amino acid has promising effects on dog behaviour, namely in reducing anxiety.
In addition, chicken contains choline. This essential nutrient serves as an antecedent to nervous system chemicals such as acetylcholine and dopamine and is therefore used (via dietary supplementation) to improve cognitive functioning in dogs.
Honestly, we could go on and on, listing additional beneficial amino acids, vitamins, and other nutrients found in this natural food source. But to keep things succinct we’ve focused on the key elements. Everything that we have listed above paints a very clear picture - your dog needs (and wants) chicken.
There is no denying the benefits of chicken for dogs. However, there are advocates of a raw diet (including poultry) for dogs. They base part of the movement on the aforementioned fact that dogs are indeed descendants of wolves. What the movement does not account for, is that unless your dog is running around the country plucking chickens from a free-range (sorry for painting that picture) there is an inherent risk of salmonella or bacterial infections. Please steer clear of these raw chicken recommendations. Instead, supplement your dog’s diet with chicken via single-ingredient dog treats. One of our top sellers in the Canadian market is our Chew Love Chicken Jerky. Our handcrafted Chicken Jerky uses 100% chicken breast, leveraging the healthiest and leanest part of the chicken. Better yet, this locally sourced ingredient has no additives or preservatives. You know exactly what your dog is eating - chicken, and that’s it.