Limit Treats To 10% of Daily Calories
Just like humans do, dogs also love treats. The only problem is sometimes we my overdo it by giving them too much which can cause them to gain weight. This is what you want to avoid. So, should I give my pet treats? Absolutely. They can be used for training your dog which many pet owners do.
Treats are OK, but don’t overdo it. You may not be aware of just how much treats you are giving your dog on a daily basis. Many owners may give their dogs two, three or four treats at a time and are not aware of the calories your pet is ingesting.
Dog treats come in three basic flavor types: meat, fruit, and vegetable. Your dog is bound to get excited over one or more of these flavors. By trial and error, you should be able to know which one your dog likes the best. Keep these on hand for training sessions.
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Rule of Thumb for Treats
Below are some basic rules you should follow when feeding treats to your dog:
- The treats that you give your pet should not exceed more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. The amount of treats given is based upon your dog’s breed, weight and how active he is. Treats should be given out one at a time.
- The primary use for treats is during the training sessions you have with your dog. This is where you are training your dog to change a behavior or learn new commands or tricks. You only praise your dog when he does the correct response to the command you are training him to do. You reward your dog with a treat for showing the proper response or behavior.
- Never, reward your dog for showing an incorrect behavior during the training sessions as this will send him mixed signals.
- Remember, when your dog displays the correct behavior on command, you can eliminate the food treat and just give him verbal praise and then work on the next command.
Healthy Dog Treats
The biggest issue here are the treats being purchased in a pet or grocery store. Many of the store bought treats are good, but may contain more fat, sugar, and preservatives which are not healthy for your pet. Being an excellent reader of the nutrition label is a must.
Better yet, you can skip the store bought treats and give your dog some fresh vegetables and fruits that you have in the house. These are much lower in fat, sugar, preservatives and are healthier.
What types of vegetables or fruits? Here is a list:
- Green Beans
- Banana Slices
- Berries (no seeds)
- Watermelon (no seeds)
- Apple Slices (no seeds)
- Air-popped popped corn (no salt or butter)
- Plain Rice Cakes (broken down into smaller pieces)
Treats To Avoid
Below is a list of food treats that must be avoided as they are toxic to your dog:
- Anything with caffeine
Avoid treats that are too hard. Some treats that are on the market today are fracturing dog’s teeth. Follow this rule: If you push your thumbnail into a treat and it leaves a mark, it’s a safe treat. If it doesn’t, the treat is too hard for your dog to safely chew.
Exception to this rule is rawhide. As your dog chews on it, it becomes soft. Be watchful as they are chewing on rawhide as it can break into little pieces and get lodged in their throat.
Dog’s like treats and also like your attention. Treats are an excellent way to bringing both of you to bond together. However, dogs prefer the attention over getting a treat.
Remember, limit the treats being given to your dog no more than 10% of his daily caloric needs. Also, limit the number of treats being given when the dog is not in a training session. This also is true for other family members. It’s best for only one person to give the dog a treat or treats in order to keep his weight under control. An overweight dog is an unhealthy one and can lead to health issues later.
Below are some excellent healthy dog treats that are highly rated by consumers. Select the image of interest and you will be taken to the ordering page where you can read the customer reviews, frequently asked questions, product specifications before purchasing. The treats are listed in the following flavor order: Meat, Fruit, and Vegetable.