6-9 March 2025, The NEC Birmingham

The healthiest treats to give dogs and cats

Dog being given bowl of food

We all love to spoil our furry friends. However, we should always think about the calories in the treats we give our pets, and make sure we’re not overfeeding them. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy options available that will not only satisfy your pet's taste buds but also provide them with important nutrients too.  

Treats to get their tail wagging 

Any meat-based treat is going to get your dog drooling. Meat is a great source of protein, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. When choosing a meaty treat, it's best to go for lean options such as chicken or turkey, as fatty meats can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Kibble is another popular treat for dogs. Many kibbles contain important vitamins and minerals that help keep your dog healthy. Just make sure to choose a high-quality brand with no fillers or artificial preservatives. 


Peanut butter is another tasty treat that most dogs love. It's a good source of healthy fats and protein, but make sure to choose a natural brand with no added sugars or xylitol, which can be toxic to dogs. Peeled apple slices, carrots, broccoli, and green beans are all great options for dogs. These fruits and vegetables are high in fibre and vitamins, which help keep your dog's digestive system healthy. 

Purrfect treats for your cat 

Cats diets are primarily meat-based, and without this, they will become very poorly. However, you can try certain fruits and veggies to add extra vitamins and minerals to their diet. For example, pumpkin is a good option - it can help to keep your cat regular, preventing constipation. More healthy options include steamed broccoli, carrots, and asparagus. These vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that can help keep your cat healthy. Next time you’re cooking up some of these veggies for you, why not steam a few for your cat too?


Peas are a great source of fibre and protein, making them an excellent treat for cats. Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon (be sure to remove the pips!) are all safe fruits for cats to eat in moderation.


If your cat isn’t into fruits or veg you could also try lean meats, such as turkey, and specialised cat milk as a tasty treat.


And of course, there’s catnip, which most cats love. This plant has a chemical compound called nepetalactone, which stimulates cats’ nervous systems, giving them a similar feeling to a cat’s natural sex pheromones. The buzz will normally last for 10 minutes or so, and then it’ll fade away. Catnip is thought to be safe for cats, but if they ingest too much of it, it can upset their stomach.


There’s also a whole world of healthy pet treats available for cats and dogs, like meat and fish bites, dental chews and bones. Just keep an eye on the calories and treat them in moderation. And don’t forget, sometimes a walk, a cuddle or 15 minutes of playing with our pet can be as much of a treat for them as any nibble of food.