Dog treats are an important way of showing your dog that you loves him or her. However, if you are giving your dog treats that aren’t healthy, you may not be showing your love in the best possible way. Whether you give the treat “just because” or for the purpose of training, it is important to know what treats to give, when, and how many.
A good rule of thumb is that you should never give treats that add up to be more than 10% of your dog’s daily food intake. This means that if your dog regularly eats a diet of 10 ounces of food daily, you don’t want to provide a treat that is more than 1 ounce. You can also calculate it based upon the caloric intake, which is found on the side of all commercially produced foods and treats.
There are several different treats that you can give your dog.
These are your treats like bones, antlers, and rawhides that are made to be chewed on for an extended period of time.
These are the hard and crunchy treats that you can find in pet stores or that you can bake on your own. The size should be based on the size dog that you are giving them to. Additionally, you can find lots of fun flavors and shapes. These are great for their teeth and often breath, too.
Smaller dogs will also enjoy soft treats, which can be chewy as well. These are available in many sizes and can be made for dogs with allergies as well as problems chewing. They usually have a strong smell which your dog will find extra enticing.
You may have seen doggy ice-cream – and there are many other snacks like this that you can give your dog. Whether you buy them in the frozen section of your grocery store, at the pet store, or you make them yourself, it’s a great way to cool your dog off on a hot day and provide a fun treat at the same time.
Treats with Added Health Benefits
There are also many different kinds of treats that have some additional health benefits for your dogs. Such as:
These treats are designed in such a ways that the process of chewing these treats should help your dog clean their gums. They also usually smell good to help with doggy breath and occasionally have vitamins or supplements included as well.
Treats with Added Ingredients for Healthy Organs
These treats tend to be delicious while also containing ingredients to address some health concerns. For example, they have treats to help joint help or organ health for older dogs. Some treats are also available to help improve coat and skin health. The best part is that your dog won’t know the difference between an unhealthy treat or a healthier one. They’ll just know that you’re giving them a yummy treat.
Treats for hiding pills
There are also several treats out there that are designed for the soul purpose of hiding pills. They contain little cavities where you can insert the pill so that your dog will unknowingly eat the entire treat and pill in one. If you’ve had to give your dog medicine before, you may know how dogs will often hate their pills and get stubborn about taking them. This is one method that may help.
Regardless of what kind of treat you give your dog, you want to be sure you don’t hand him or her people food. They will certainly like the cookies or other foods that you give, so don’t think that they won’t eat what isn’t good for them. It is up to you to determine what is good for them – and it may be worth asking your vet what is recommended during your dog’s next annual visit.
Human food can lead to digestive problems and are likely higher in calories than what they should be getting. Chocolate is a no-no, though you can use carob chips as a healthier alternative. There are plenty of doggy cookbooks to provide you with some fun recipes that you can bake your pooch.
What’s your dog’s favorite treat? Share with us in the comments below!