What you feed your Boston Terrier has a big impact on your dog’s health. So what treats you choose matters too.
Wondering which are the best treats for your Boston Terrier? There are so many options out there and many of them don’t do your dog any favours!
Let me share with you what to look for, what ingredients to avoid and give you some useful examples. 😉
Boston Terrier Treats
Although they are a great way to reward your Boston Terrier’s good behaviour, treats should not constitute more than 10% of your Boston Terrier’s daily calories (total food intake).
But, what is a healthy dog treat?
Basically, a nourishing piece of food. (“Piece” because it’s a treat, not a meal!)
To keep your Boston Terrier’s treats safe and healthy, you probably want them to:
- Have natural ingredients (free of preservatives and additives).
- Come from a reputable source.
- Be a single-ingredient treat.
Also, variety is important when it comes to food. It ensures that your pooch is getting all the necessary nutrients.
Insider Tip: Overfeeding treats on top of daily food intake will result in an obese dog. Plus, overfeeding treats while underfeeding balanced meals will result in a dog with nutritional deficiencies.
I am not a veterinarian, so always check with your vet before changing your Boston Terrier’s diet to avoid unexpected consequences.
However, I do have knowledge on dog nutrition and dietary needs.
Ingredients in Boston Terrier Treats
Unfortunately, many commercial dog treats contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs.
Sugar and starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, cereal grains) contribute to many dog illnesses and cause inflammation.
Ingredients To Avoid
Personally, I avoid purchasing commercial treats that contain the following ingredients:
- Grains (wheat).
- Artificial colours.
- Additives and preservatives.
- Unidentified meat or “meals”.
As well as avoiding dangerous ingredients, such as:
- Propylene glycol.
- 1,2-dihydroxy propane.
- Methyl glycol.
- Trimethyl glycol.
And the list goes on!
Basically, anything you don’t identify as food or cannot pronounce should make you pause and reconsider.
Best Boston Terrier Treats
When thinking of types of dog treats for Boston Terriers, I classify them in three categories:
- Raw human foods.
- Commercial and single-ingredient treats.
- Homemade treats.
Let’s see what those look like!
Here’s a list of dog treat ideas, free from harmful ingredients:
#1 – Apples
Boston Terriers can eat apples in moderation. This fruit is a great source of fibre and vitamin C (source).
You can feed your pooch:
- a bite-size piece of raw apple.
- 1tsp of homemade apple sauce.
- 1tsp of fermented apple (see here for the recipe).
- Wholesome Pride Apple Slices single ingredient dog treat -dehydrated apple.
However, don’t feed your dog the core and seeds of an apple. The core is a choking hazard or, if swallowed, can cause a gastrointestinal blockage.
The seeds contain low amounts of cyanide, which is toxic and over time builds up in the system.
Note: You should always ask your veterinarian before giving your Boston Terrier any human food, including apples.
#2 – Bananas
Boston Terriers can also eat raw bananas in moderation. But discard the peel since it’s hard to digest.
Bananas have major health benefits for dogs. They are a good source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6 (source).
Even if they are low in sodium (salt) and fat, they are high in carbs (93%). That’s why you should practice moderation.
You can feed 2 or 3 tiny slices of banana once a week or every two weeks.
Banana can be served:
- Mashed in your dog’s meal.
- Or feed in small slices.
- Wholesome Pride Banana Bites dog treats – dehydrated banana.
For more serving ideas and benefits, check out the Can a Boston Terrier Eat Bananas? 6 Things to Know blog post.
#3 – Berries
You can feed your Boston Terrier all the types of berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
However, blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants of any fruit around (which are known to slow the ageing process and boost your dog’s immune system).
Also, they are a good source of fibre, manganese, and vitamins C and K (source). Plus, blueberries are quite low in sugar compared to other fruits.
Just don’t overdo it. The number of vegetables and fruits in a dog’s diet should only constitute 5-10% to ensure that your Boston Terrier is not mineral and vitamin deficient.
You can feed a couple of berries (or half strawberry) once a week:
- Raw berries (whole apart from strawberries, which you need to cut to bite-size chunks).
- Homemade treat (refer to #9 – Frozen Coconut Oil and Blueberry Treat Recipe below).
#4 – Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of protein (93%), vitamin B12 and manganese. They also a good source of phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium (source).
Also, raw organic pumpkin seeds work as an effective deworming agent against tapeworms and other intestinal parasites in dogs and humans.
In terms of quantity, Boston Terriers only need one or two teaspoons, once a week. You can easily mix them in the meal or hand-feed them.
Alternatively, you can give your pooch a pumpkin treat like this one:
- Wholesome Pride Pumpkin Strips – single ingredient (dried pumpkin).
#5 – Watermelon
Watermelon is another safe fruit for dogs. However, don’t give your dog the rind or the seeds, which could be a choking hazard.
Watermelon is packed with micronutrients, such as potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C (source).
But, also it’s mainly a carbohydrate, which means sugar. So just give a bite-size piece one in a while.
#6 – Raw Bones
Boston Terriers can eat bones as long as they are raw and they are the right size for their jaw. What’s more, they should be eating 12% bones as part of their daily diet (15% for puppies).
Bones are a high source of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for dogs, especially puppies.
Also, chewing on bones have other benefits, like being:
- A muscle-building activity.
- A natural teeth cleaner – it removes plaque and tartar from your Boston Terrier’s teeth and freshens his breath.
- An exercise and entertainment activity for your pooch.
Poultry bones (from chicken and turkey) are easier to chew than beef bones (which are harder and also bigger). Plus, bones get harder as they dry.
Source your raw chicken or beef bones, for instance, from a reputable butcher. Make sure that they come from pastured animals (grass-fed and grass-finished).
Commercial options include Pet ‘n Shape Beef Bone – medium size.
However, feeding bones to your Boston Terrier can have it’s risks (source):
- Cooked bones splinter, harming your pooch internally.
- Raw bones can carry bacteria like salmonella (so clean the bowl or feeding area afterwards).
- Raw bones can also spoil in a few days if not eaten (remove them by the end of the day and discard them).
- Bones need to be the right size for your pooch; otherwise, very small bones can become a choking hazard and big ones can break their teeth.
- Raw bones can pose digestive problems for Boston Terriers that don’t follow a raw diet.
#7 – Single-Ingredient Treats
Here are some reasons to choose single-ingredient treats that are dehydrated:
- Great for sensitive stomachs – common for Boston Terriers.
- Also a good choice for Boston Terriers who have allergies.
- No cheap fillers, artificial colours, salt and sugars.
- Since they are dried, there’s no need to add preservatives for moisture.
- Freeze-drying retains more flavour and nutritional value than other processed foods and treats for dogs.
- They are savoury and smelly, which is enticing for dogs.
Here are three examples of healthy, single-ingredient + dehydrated treats:
Organic grass-fed beef liver is a great source of protein. It has a strong smell, which dogs love.
Here are two examples that offer Guaranteed Analysis (so you know the percentage of protein, fat, fibre and moisture):
- Rocco & Roxie All Natural Liver Dog Treats – made in the US.
- Snarfies Roasted and Dehydrated Beef Liver Dog Treat – sourced locally.
Organic and free-range chicken is a great source of lean, low-fat protein which aids in muscle growth and development, and also helps support healthy body weight.
Some commercial options:
- Snarfies Roasted and Dehydrated Chicken Liver Dog Treat – chicken liver.
- Canine Cravers Single Ingredient Dog Treats – chicken breast.
P.S. Look for the recipe to this further down this post!
Wild salmon, commonly from Alaska, is a great source of lean protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. It also has a strong smell that your dog will find exciting.
#8 – Commercial Treats
Apart from healthy whole foods and dehydrated treats, there are some commercial dog treats that are still a good option.
When you are shopping for treats, remember to look for:
- Products that are made locally.
- Be sure all the ingredients are safe for dogs (refer to the ingredients list above).
Ideally, you will be feeding some raw food as I mentioned above. But, it can be tough keeping treats healthy, especially on a busy schedule.
So what do you do?
Well, I was wondering the same thing as I knew I wasn’t satisfied with some commercial dog treats that are full of unwanted ingredients.
After doing some research, I found a company that aligned with what I have been talking about in this post – check them out in my favourite dog treats. Subscriptions can be a plus to some of us!
Boston Terrier Treats Recipes
The last two alternatives are about preparing homemade dog treats.
Personally, I prefer to feed raw foods since they are what dogs are naturally used to eating, and it’s species-appropriate. Also, when cooking (heating, boiling, baking, etc.) whole foods lose their nutrients. That’s why I try to stay away from cooking their food.
Here are two simple recipes that you can try out:
#9 – Frozen Coconut Oil and Blueberry Treat Recipe
- 1/2 cup of raw organic coconut oil – this is the one I use (solid form).
- Frozen blueberries (one per cavity).
- Silicon mould like this one.
- Place a frozen blueberry per cavity in the silicone mould.
- In a small pot, heat the coconut oil until it liquefies.
- Then, allow the coconut oil to cool down for a few minutes.
- Now, pour oil into each cavity until it’s covered.
- Carefully place the mould into the freezer to solidify.
- Once the coconut oil treats are solid, you can give one to your Boston Terrier as a treat.
- Store the treats in the freezer and only pop one out of the mould each time you want to reward your pooch.
#10 – Chicken Jerky Strips Recipe
- Boneless chicken breasts.
- Just buy some boneless chicken breasts, clean them, and slice into long, thin strips – the thinner the better.
- Place the strips on a greased or non-stick cookie sheet and bake them for at least two hours at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. To get them extra chewy, bake them for up to 3 hours.
- The low temp dries the chicken out slowly and the strips wind up nice and chewy.
- Let the strips cool, and then store them in a crystal container (or BPA free plastic).
- You can also freeze them.
Read also: Boston Terrier Diet – for more about what to feed your pooch, including the essential nutrients.
Thank you for these very enlightening articles and the treat sources and recipes! I’ve only owned Bostons and I’m finding that there’s still so much that I don’t know. I bought a Blue from a very reputable breeder last year after losing my perfect little black and white seal sweetheart, Lexie. The Blue has actually had no skin or other issues unlike my black and white girls. However, as I mentioned..I sought this breeder out and got on their wait list for my puppy. She’s a very lively little thing and I’m looking forward to making your treats for her. My only black and white left, Lola..has terrible skin and I’ve tried everything. Food, shots, medications..everything. I think she will benefit from the treats as well. She’s only 7 years old, but not lively at all. She was a rescue that I adopted. I’ve had her for 6 years and she’s never been a playful dog..unlike my Lexie or the new baby, Tessie. But she’s a great eater! Thank you again☺️
I’m really glad you’re finding the articles enlightening, Victoria! And thank you so much for sharing that 🙂 Wishing both Tessie, the new baby, and Lexie much health and liveliness! (great names btw ;))