Offering treats is one of the many ways through which human-owners reward their pets, especially dogs. Be it for learning something new, remaining calm, practicing good behaviour, or just for being an excellent companion; a treat is a simple and effective way to reward your faithful four-legged pet.
While most of the owners spend a lot of time when it comes to selecting food varieties for their pets, they are not prudent when selecting healthy dog treats. After all, a treat is special bite your dog enjoys now and then, right? But, are you aware of the adverse effects of some of the treats you let your pet indulge in, which can result in health issues?
To avoid such issues, look for the best dog treats, and the below six tips can act as a guide:
- Find the Right “high-value” Treat
Every pet has their own likes and dislikes. Some would eat everything served to them, while others will be fussy, and indulge in specific foods. As an owner, you should be aware of your dog’s likes and dislikes, and get the ones your pet likes. In the dog-training world, these favourites are known as “high-value” treats. Use them as a tasty incentive to make your dog do or learn something.
- Only select Healthy Treats
The term “high-value” has nothing to do with the nutritional value of a treat. Humans too are aware of this, as ‘liked’ foods can be the unhealthy alternatives. While hot dogs and table scraps are popular dog treats, they are certainly not the healthiest. Select treats manufactured for dogs. Chicken, ground rice, beef, peanut butter, and barley flour are some common ingredients in dog treats. Avoid treats with artificial colours, preservatives, or flavours. Indulge in organic treats as much as you can.
- “Meat” is Good
While you may have turned vegan, your pet needs their ‘meat-laced’ foods. Their digestive tracts and nutritional needs are different from humans, and meat-based diets give them the right amount of nutrition. Also remember, the kind of meat a dog depends on their breed. A large dog like an Alsatian will require higher quantities of meat than a Promeririan. If going for packed food items, make sure the percentage of meat is high.
- Size Matters Too
Prefer smaller-sized treats or those which can be broken into smaller pieces. Your pet should be able to consume the food quickly, without getting distracted. Smaller treats will keep your dog healthy and not lead to pudginess. Remember, it is usually recommended the treats should not contribute more than 10% of the daily calorie intake of your dog. So, avoid over-treating, and keep your favourite companion happy and healthy!
- Look for treats that can do Double Duty
Be smart when choosing dog treats, choose treats which offer additional health benefits. For instance, opt for glucosamine-enriched treats to strengthen joints or enzyme-enriched ones to control tartar. You are indulging your pets while keeping them healthy. Just because the treat is healthy, it should not translate into over-indulgence – treats are still occasional foods.
- Variety is Good
When it comes to taste variety, dogs happily copy their human companions, preferring different foods and tastes. Instead of sticking to a single high-value treat for your dog, identify 3-4 treats and store accordingly. Rotate between the favourites while rewarding good behaviour. You and your pet, both will be happy.
Selecting healthy dog treats is as important as selecting the right food when planning your dog’s daily dietary intake. Remember the tips mentioned above and rely on reputable brands to pick the best for your four-legged companion.