I really watch Chester and Gretel’s weight. That doesn’t mean they don’t get plenty of treats though. We have treats for photo shoots, treats to give them energy while hiking, treats to distract them from acting inappropriately in public situations, functional treats (treat/supplemement combos), rahab therapy treats, and treats just because.
I’m able to keep them slim because I balance the quantity of food they get a day with the amount of treats they are getting a day. If they get more treats, they get less food. That’s why it’s important to me to pick treats that are not just liked by Chester and Gretel, but are also nutritional. If I’m replacing part of their food with treats, I don’t want it to be with high-carbs and empty calories.
Below are the treats that make “Chester and Gretel’s 12 Favorite Dog Treats” list. Each one is high-quality, all-natural, made in the USA, and most of them are grain or gluten free.
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1) Zuke’s Tiny Naturals – these treats are less than 1.5 calories per treat. They’re great when I just need to give Chester and Gretel a taste of something to distract or motivate them.
2) Zuke’s Mini Naturals – I use these in place of the Tiny Naturals mostly when I’m on the move and need to put the treats in my pocket. The Mini Naturals are formed more solidly than the Tinys so are less likely to leave crumbs in your pocket. These treats are under 3.5 calories each.
3) Zuke’s Power Bones – Power Bones was the first ever “hiking energy bar” I gave Chester and Gretel. Heck, they are the first dog treat I ever remember buying on a regular basis. They’re great because the treats are large enough to be seen from a distance when I’m asking them to pose for a photo but soft enough that I can break of a small piece to give them as a reward.
4) Zuke’s Z-Filets – I also use these primarily for taking pictures. They are even bigger than the Power Bones so I use these if I will be standing far away from Chester and Gretel with the camera. They are a different consistency than the treats above but it’s still easy to breat off smaller pieces as a reward.
5) The Honest Kitchen Pecks – these are little crunchy nuggets of goodness. Chestr and Gretel like the novelty of cruncyness because most of their treats are soft and chewy. The primary thing I use these treats for is to dispense the dog’s Hemp CBD oil. It’s best to give the oil on an empty stomach but just squiring it in their mouth is messy. Instead, I drop the oil on these treats. Because they’re porous and have a rough texture, the oil soaks right in. I also use these as “just because” treats around the house.
6) Blue Dog Bakery Doggy Paws Cookies – These are also fun, cruncy little cookies. The molasses flavor is novel to Chester and Gretel because it’s the only treat they get that has that distinct flavor. I rotate these with their other “just because” treats around the house.
7) Fruitables Skinny Minis – These are a grat alterative to the Zuke’s Mini Naturals above because they’re about the same size, have the same amount of calories, and have the same texture. The sninny mini’s come in some really unique flavors though like apple bacon, pumpkin mango, and grilled bison, and watermelon. These treats are under 3.5 calories each.
8) Spot Farms Natural Pork Bacon Jerky – Ok… these are just straight up an indulgence. I do cut them into small pieces (it’s pretty much impossible to tear them) but they’re fatty bacon. Sure, it’s antibiotic-free, USDA approved, human grade, uncured meat but it’s bacon none-the-less. As you can imagine, Chester and Gretel think this is crack. They only get this as a “just because” treat on very special occasions. By their nature, these treats are grain free.
9) Spot Farms Chicken Strips – These can be broken into smaller pieces – although not real small ones – too so I use these for photo shoots or for distractions when out in public. Like with the bacon, Chester and Gretel don’t get these very often. They’re more of a special treat to change things up.
10) Glycoflex Plus Joint Chews – These are the first in the list of functional treats that they get and the one we use most often. It’s a joint suppliment they get daily. It’s counted in their daily treat allotment for calorie purposes. The treats contain Glucosamine , Green-Lipped Mussel, Chondroitin, DMG , Grape Seed Oil and a bunch of other good stuff. This is one of the highest-quality joint supplement’s Ive seen.
11) VetriScience Composure Chews – This is another functional treat that I give Chester and Gretel. Composure chews contain a Colostrum Complex isolated from proteins in a mothers milk and is a natrual way to help them keep calm. They don’t get these every day but I give them to Chester when he is doing his nervous pacing around the house and to Gretel when she’s traveling in potentially stressful situations. This is the only natrual calming product that seems to work… and I’ve tried a lot.
12) VetriScience Everyday Probiotic – Chester has some digestive issues so I always give him a probiotic. I give probiotics to Gretel too for good measure since they can help with the absorption of nutrients. Sometimes the probiotics I give them is from a capsule and I sprinkle it on their food. Other times, especially when I’m feeling lazy, I give them a probiotic treat instead.
13) K9-Power Carnivoire Cookies – K9-Power recently sent these to Chester and Gretel to try. They absolutely loved them! The cookies are substantial so I bring them in a little tupperware container and this is what they get for lunch. They’re healthy and provide energy to keep them going for the rest of the day.