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We all love a little treat now and again, and our dogs are no exception! Feeding your pooch a tasty snack can be a lovely way to bond with them. If you’re looking for the best dog treats, puppy treats, dog chews and more, read on! We discuss all you need to know.
Apart from the fact that they’re super tasty, why should we feed treats? Well actually, there are lots of reasons!
It should be simple, right? But there are some useful steps to make sure your dog is respectful and calm around food. When giving a treat, wait until your dog is calm and waiting patiently. Hold the treat between finger and thumb, or on an open palm. Never tease them with the treat, but reward gentle behaviours.
Treats should not make up a large proportion of your dog’s diet. They can be high in calories, and too much of a good thing can lead to obesity and other dietary issues. A good general rule is for treats to make up less than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. If your dog is on the chunky side, choose a lower calorie healthy dog treat, or use some of their usual dog biscuits as treats throughout the day.
We now know when to give a treat, and how to do it. So which brand, type, or flavour do you choose? There is a certain element of individual liking here – some will prefer certain soft treats for dogs, some love dog chews, some want dog cookies! However, there are some things to bear in mind when choosing a treat.
Your dog’s nutritional needs vary throughout their life, with puppies requiring a different balance of nutrients than older dogs. This is important when it comes to choosing their food (see here for more) but it is also worth thinking about when choosing treats. Puppy treats, puppy bones, and puppy dental sticks are all different from the adult version and may be more suitable for our younger canine friends. Similarly, senior dogs may do better with softer treats as they may have more difficulty with their teeth, and can benefit from treats with added supplements to support their health.
There is a lot of variation in the types of treats. Think about what you will be using the treat for. Dog treats can be soft and pliable, or hard and chewy. Soft treats are great for training, as they can be broken into small pieces, squeezy treats are wonderful for enrichment as they take time to be licked out, and harder chews are brilliant for a long-lasting dog chew.
Some treats offer additional benefits than just a tasty snack, some have added supplements or uses. Calm dog treats, dental chews, and treats with joint supplements are examples of this, and can be a good option for a healthy dog treat.