Giving treats to your dog is a great way to show extra love or a little reward. The special yummies can be anything from a biscuit from a dog bakery, homemade cookies, grocery brand treats, or morsels of table scraps. With so many options, we tend to go over board with indulging our dogs. However with moderation you can be sure you are choosing the right kind of treats for your dog.
Advantages of treats
Every dog deserves an extra treat occationally, and treats can be a good thing too! There are many different kinds of treats, some promote improved dental hygiene, others may contain added nutrients. Knowing your dogs favorite treat can also provide great motivation during training, or encouraging good behaviour.
When you are rewarding your dog with these yummy morsels, you feel good, and he will feel good because hes pleasing you. This goes along way towards strengthening the bond and trust between you and your dog.
When good treats go bad
Unfortunately too much of a good thing can be bad. And many of the treats and cookies dogs love the most are very high in fats and sugars. This can be a hidden cause of weight gain, as it is easy to lose track of how many treats you offer over the course of a day. 40% of all pets in the United States are obese, and only 17% of pet owners realize their pet is over weight. This puts nearly half of all pets in the US at a higher risk of heart problems and diabetes. One way to monitor your dogs treat intake, is to watch the monitor the amount of calories in his favourite treat.
Depending on his level of activity, a 20-pound dog may burn only 700 calories a day. If one large dog biscuit contains 100 calories, just 2 or 3 of these added to his regular daily diet will push him into overindulgence. Keep track of calories in the treats and subtract these from your dog’s total daily diet to prevent overindulgence. If your dog is overweight, save treats for very special occasions only or choose low-calorie treats.
Many of us share a portion of our meal or snack with our dog. If you’re lounging on the couch eating popcorn, usually it goes, one for me one for you. Soon it’s hard to resist those pleading brown eyes looking up at you, and know there’s a monster who begs constantly. Table scraps tend to be high in fat and sugar and can upset your dog’s digestion. Many people who have ‘picky dogs’ have spoiled their dog by consistently feeding table scraps after dinner, soon kibble is no longer appealing and health problems ensue.
You don’t want to deprive your dog but how do you choose the proper treats for him? Choose treats made for dogs, it is best to eliminate all sorts of table scraps as they cause more harm then good. Another great idea is substituting dog treats with fresh veggies such as carrots, green beans or broccoli. Fresh veggies are low in calories and high in fiber , however, some table foods can be harmful or toxic to dogs.
Make sure your dog eats his nutritionally balanced food before filling up on treats. And always have fresh water available for your dog.
With the vast array of dog treats available, do your best to make wise choices. Check ingredients and fat content. If your dog is healthy and eating a balanced diet, an occasional healthful treat will enrich his life.
But keep in mind, try to keep treats to under 10 percent of his diet.