Dog treats don’t need to be brown, bone-shaped, and from a bag. Our dogs deserve a special treat from time to time, and our refrigerators often have healthy snack options.
So, let your dog enjoy all-natural, healthy hydrating dog treats in the hot summer or after a run or hike. After all, hydration in dogs is as essential as food, and we love giving our dogs treats.
Your dog is guaranteed to enjoy these tasty, hydrating, natural treats. Just remember, always start new snacks or food in small quantities. New food additions to your dog’s diet may cause an upset stomach.
How important is hydration in dogs
Like people, water makes up sixty to seventy percent of a dog’s body. Water helps flush waste from the body, transport nutrients, regulate body temperature, and assist digestion.
When dogs don’t receive enough fluids, severe dehydration can cause organ failure and eventually death.
As a general rule, dogs need 1 ounce of fluids per pound of body weight to stay hydrated. That’s roughly 4 cups — or two bottles of water — for a 32-pound dog. If that sounds like a lot of water, it is. The average person only drinks 8 cups per day.
If your dog eats wet food, they receive a substantial amount of water in their regular diet — wet food is 75% to 80% water — but dry food diets are much lower with only 15% to 20% moisture.
One of the best ways to help your dog stay hydrated, especially if an active dog, is snacks with high water content.
All-natural healthy hydrating dog treats
Dogs have a high demand for hydration. The average dog needs the amount of two 16 oz water bottles a day. To help, swap your dog’s old treats for hydrating dog treats.
Thankfully, many tasty fruits and vegetables comprise 90% water or more. Furthermore, turning water or ice into a sweet natural drink can encourage a dog to stay hydrated.
To help, here are the best low-calorie, high water content snacks your dog can enjoy today:
Watermelon certainly lives up to its name, containing 92% water in each refreshing bite. Because of its high water content, watermelon is hydrating, refreshing, low in calories, and a delicious treat your dog can enjoy daily.
One cup of watermelon is only 47 calories and half a cup of water.
Watermelon is also packed with nutrients and antioxidants like lycopene, vitamin C, and L- citrulline, an amino acid used to relieve high blood pressure and heart disease.
For the hottest days, consider freezing small cubes of watermelon. Just be cautious if your dog is not a chewer.
The seeds of watermelons aren’t toxic, but ingesting too many seeds can cause intestinal blockage in dogs. Use your best effort to remove seeds before serving.
Whoever named the watermelon never met a cucumber. Cucumbers have the highest water content of any food, containing an impressive 96% water.
With that much water content, cucumbers are also very low in calories containing only 16 calories per cup.
The health benefits of cucumbers for dogs include:
- Hydration: The cucumber contains electrolytes that prevent dehydration.
- Bone health: Vitamin K in cucumbers can lower the risk of osteoporosis in dogs.
- Antioxidants: Cucumbers have dozens of antioxidants, like flavonoids, which can protect against heart disease.
- Promotes weight loss: Cucumbers are low-calorie and contain fiber and water, providing a filling, refreshing snack.
Cucumbers make excellent weight loss treats due to their high fiber content. Fiber provides a sense of fullness while also helping the digestive tract.
After years of eating dry dog bones, imagine the flavor of biting into a juicy red strawberry for the first time.
The benefits of strawberries for dogs extend much further than a tasty treat. Strawberries are an excellent healthy snack for dogs.
Containing 91% water, strawberries are a great source of manganese, rich in Vitamin C, and provide your dog with a healthy mix of vitamins and minerals. But, they are higher in sugar than other healthy snacks.
Strawberries contain 53 calories per cup — roughly four calories in one medium strawberry. A general rule of thumb is to start with one strawberry for small dogs, two for medium dogs, and three to five for large dogs per day.
A nutrient-dense fruit, Apples are a healthy hydrating dog treat containing 85% water. Dogs can benefit from adding apples to their regular treat rotation since they offer numerous vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin C: Apples are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your dog’s cells from damage.
- Fiber helps aid in their digestion and increases the feeling of fullness.
- Vitamin B1, E, and B6, potassium, and polyphenols are also present in apples and contribute to various health benefits for your dog.
Apples are ideal for dogs with hypoglycemia, common in many toy breeds. A piece of apple can quickly increase small dog’s blood sugar levels in an emergency.
Containing almost as much water as a watermelon, cantaloupes are 90% water and 60 calories per cup.
Cantaloupe is high in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, helping dogs maintain a healthy heart and low blood pressure. For magnesium-deficient dogs, cantaloupe is an excellent addition to their diet, with 12 mg per 100 grams.
You can freeze cantaloupe for an icy snack or blend it with water to make a refreshing ice cube.
Ice cubes are inexpensive, easy to make, and contain NO calories. The end.
Jokes aside, if your dog is happy crunching on an ice cube, then you have a perfect hydrating dog treat. The best part of ice cubes is the flexibility in options. Consider adding fruits, fresh fruit juice (not processed store-bought juice), or vegetables for an improved flavor and added vitamins.
Veterinarians often recommend ice cubes for sick dogs avoiding drinking water. Electrolytes, like Pedialyte, can be added for dogs suffering from heat stroke but should be cautiously administered.
Electrolytes can cause diarrhea, and the side effects aren’t widely studied. Discuss options with your veterinarian before giving your dog electrolytes.
With new refreshing dog snack options, have fun and create delicious snacks for your dog. Freezing a medley of fruits as ice cubes or pupsicles — doggy popsicles — allows dogs to slow down, lick, and chew.
It’s essential to remember that although healthy, fruits and vegetables still have calories, and too much can cause weight gain in dogs.
There’s never a replacement for a bowl of water, and leaving a bowl of fresh water out at all times is essential. But providing natural hydrating dog treats is a bonus they will love.
Plus, sharing a strawberry with your dog is wonderful.
Does your dog have a favorite summertime snack? Share this post and let us know!