The 411 on Doggie Treats
One of the easiest ways to make your dog feel special is to give it a doggie treat. There’s something so heartwarming about how much pleasure a dog feels when it receives one, and how easy it is for you to grant such love! Then again, pet owners should also be conscious of regulating the doling out of treats. While they certainly taste yummy, keep in mind that too many treats can result in several dog health problems.
While you are not being asked to remove treats entirely from your dog’s diet, make sure to only bring them out as a form of reward for the good behavior that they worked hard at achieving. This way, the satisfaction of such a delicious indulgence becomes all the more higher.
Treats to Avoid
You might get excited about stocking up on all the different (and great-looking) treats you see at the store, but it is imperative that you scrutinize each one to eliminate those that are made from unhealthy ingredients. We’re talking about cheap biscuits that are high in fat: they may be very tasty and are light on the pocket, but if given regularly will cause health problems for your pet. So, watch out for supposedly “value for money” high fat (and high in fillers such as wheat or corn) dog biscuits!
Another no-no for dogs is table scraps and human food. A good number of these can be very dangerous for dogs and should be avoided at all costs. You might think a few pieces of innocent-looking mojo potatoes are a fine treat for your dog, but in reality the garlic powder ingredient added to it will result in your precious pooch having a really bad digestive problem. Pig ears and ham bones, often pushed to the side of the plate once other parts are consumed, put dogs at risk for salmonella when offered these tasty but strictly human treats.
The kind of human food consumed in today’s times is generally fatty, and this becomes magnified for dogs. Fatty human food can cause dogs to develop organ problems, enlarged or weakened hearts, or canine diabetes. The best thing you can do for you pet to avoid it developing any (further) health problems is to just give it food that is made for dogs. That way, you can be sure that whatever is in it is good for it.
What to Buy
So, now that you know what to avoid it is time to talk about what sorts of good treats to get for your pet. Not all dog-friendly pet treats are made alike, and some are definitely far better for your dog than others. These treats are fantastic (and healthy!) choices that just might cause your dog to make several backflips for once they receive it!
- Frozen and icy treats. Most dogs just love ice. The best evidence of this is how they much they want to approach a snow back when they see one. In their brains, there seems to be some sort of wiring that causes them to desire devouring frozen water. Of course, the only exception would be dogs that suffer from dental problems and may find that frozen or icy treats will make them feel uncomfortable. Still, this is a great doggie treat that’s free and healthy for them – even if it can get a bit messy both for the dog and its owner!
- Stuffed Kong toys. These super sturdy toys are designed to withstand even the most enthusiastic of dog chewers and can take years to replace. The best thing is that you can put additional flavor to them like meat chunks, peanut butter, and other yummy stuff that will motivate them to all the more chew on it.
- Heavy bones – while human food is generally a no-no, there’s no harm in giving your dog a nice big piece of bone to chew on. Smaller bones are also fine, for as long as you keep a keen eye out for your dog and ensure that they are chewing and gnawing properly. Smaller bones like ham bones can chip off or break into small but pointy pieces and can injure your dog. Large and heavy bones (usually beef bones) are the best.
- A great treat that is not loaded with all sorts of additives is jerkies. Dog owners like to stock up on jerkies because they are much safer than bones because a dog cannot choke on it and are generally easy to come by. Pet stores and even most supermarkets have jerkies on hand, so you can rip open a package as a treat even if you are not planning to cook beef stew that night! These also make great training treats, given that you can break up the jerky into smaller pieces to be given when a dog demonstrates the right behavior.
- American rawhide. Dogs love rawhide and it’s generally safe, but make sure that you get the pressed rawhide. This ensures that big chips of it do not fall off when it’s being chewed on. It’s also best to limit your purchase to American made ones, given that other variants outside this have been linked to arsenic poisoning issues.
When on the stocking up on doggie treats for your four-legged friend, be sure to get those that have minimal fillers and are free from (or do not too much) artificial flavoring or coloring. The best type of treats is organic ones made from grain-fed meats sourced right in the United States. You can be sure that this kind has gone through proper handling to guarantee that your dog will not get sick as a result.
Do your research on dog treats and choose from those that are readily available in your area so it will be easy to stock up on it every time you run out. And while it may be nice to give a doggie treat on a regular basis, take full advantage of it and use it to improve on your dog’s skills. You’ll get a better return of investment on it by having a happy, satiated, and better-trained dog!
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