We all love to give our dogs treats from time to time. The look of adoration on their faces when they receive a treat, and their excitement for enjoying that treat are just beyond compare. Still, too much of a good thing can turn bad. There are several factors to consider when giving your pet treats.
When: We often give treats as praise or reward. But the calories in good treats can add up quickly and lead to an overweight pet. Depending on the size of the treat, and what its being used for, consider breaking it into pieces. For example: when hiking with my friend’s dog in areas where it’s ok to allow the dogs to run free, we often break treats into small pieces and use them as rewards when the dogs follow commands like sitting, returning to us when we call, etc. If we used a whole treat for every reward, they would get fat and spoiled! A little goes a long way.
Sometimes we love to give treats for no other reason than because we think our pets deserve one. This is fine, as long as its done in moderation.
All-Natural Meat treats are high in protein, which some dog foods are lacking. This makes them a good choice for pets, especially picky ones. The new Dogswell Artisan Sliders and Deli Slices are a good example of all-natural high protein meat treats.
Rawhide treats Rawhide treats are low in calories and great for dental health. These and other dental-specific treats, like those made by Greenies, are great for protecting your pet from periodontal disease. They are available in several different sizes and shapes to meet the needs of both small and large pets.
People treats There are a few low calorie human treats are fine for dogs: carrots, green beans and broccoli are great for dogs. However, you should avoid feeding them grapes, chocolate, onions or raisins as these are all dangerous for dogs to consume.
To summarize: try to choose treats that have added nutrients or benefits for your pet, like added antioxidants, nutrients for joint health, or dental benefits. Consider calories in treats and be careful which human foods you let your dog eat.