Giving your dog a proper diet is essential. You want to give your dog fun, delicious treats on top of their regular meals.
This is especially important if you train your dog and need to reward them.
Finding the right treats for your pup can be a difficult task, though.
You want to ensure your dog is getting what they want while also helping them stay healthy.
1. Dog Size and Breed
Treat needs vary depending on the size and breed of your dog. A smaller dog like Yorkies will not need as many treats as a bigger dog.
Snowy Pines White Labradors would require a larger treat due to their larger diet.
This is mostly based on size but activity level should be accounted for as well.
As a rule of thumb, treats should only make up 10% of your dog’s diet, so keep their regular diet in mind and choose treats that will help satisfy that requirement. Keep dog size in mind when selecting treat size.
2. Look at the Nutritional Facts
Try to buy treats that are lower in calories. You want to keep treats as only 10% of a dog’s calorie intake.
If you are unsure about your dog’s calorie intake, consult a vet. You should also look for treats that are lower in fats and sugars to help your dog avoid weight gain.
Becoming familiar with common ingredients can help you find treats with good, healthy ingredients for your dog. Getting treats with real meat, fruit, and vegetables is a good idea.
3. Go for Treats With Added Benefits
Some treats can offer the health benefits of added nutrients and increase dental hygiene.
This is an added bonus since treats are a great way to help you improve your relationship with your pup.
These treats can be an excellent option for getting your dog what they need along with what they want.
Dental treats are often a way to drastically improve dog breath, keep your pup’s teeth healthy, and reward them for good behavior.
4. Avoid Table Scraps
While it may be tempting to sneak your dog bites of dinner under the table, this can be more harmful than good.
Many foods like grapes, chocolate, and onions can be toxic to dogs. Feeding your dog from your plate can also train them to always be expecting food when you eat.
Feeding your dog out of your hand with your food could also lead to your dog inadvertently biting you if your hand smells like food and he hasn’t gotten a treat.
5. Consider How Fast It Can Be Eaten
Some treats can be eaten faster than others. Small, fast-eating treats are a great option if you want to quickly reward behavior and move on to the next thing in training.
With these treats, you can also give your dog multiple treats and still stay at a healthy calorie level.
Slow-eating treats are a great option when you want to keep your dog occupied for an extended time.
These are great for crate training and keeping your dog busy while you are gone or watching TV.
Deciding whether you want many small, fast treats or just a couple of large, slow treats can help you determine what kind of treats to get your dog.
6. Opt for homemade treats
If you are worried about knowing what is in your dog’s treats or want to mix it up and offer some of your pup’s favorite flavors, you can always make some treats at home.
Mixing peanut butter with fresh fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, or unseasoned meat can be a great option.
Be sure to stay clear of toxic ingredients, seasonings, and sauces. Watch the calorie count, but homemade treats can be a good way to experiment with new flavors and foods.
This option is also great if your dog is on a strict diet or has food restrictions due to allergies or vet recommendations.
Since you control what goes into the treat, you can ensure it is right for your dog’s dietary needs.
7. Go for variety
Your pup can quickly get tired of the same treats every day, so add different treatment options to your puppy pantry.
Make sure your dog has a good balance of small and large treats. Your dog might also appreciate it if treats have different flavors.
Keep some frozen treats on hand for a hot day and dental hygiene treats for when the dog’s breath is starting to get too much.
Having a variety of slow and fast-eating treats is also a great idea to reward your pup in many different ways.