Do you love to spoil your dog and shower it with affection and rewards? Sometimes rewards that are often in the form of treats?
If you're like us, then you will love to give your dog spontaneous treats and also when they've done a good behavior. You kind of get this good, altruistic feeling inside of you.
But, you SHOULD be careful about the treats you are giving it and the frequency.
To help you, we're going to give you some advice on what you should do before giving a dog a treat.
Consider the 10% Rule
If you are to give your dog a treat, then it should not take up any more room than 10% of its daily calorie intake. If your dog's maximum intake a day is 500 calories, you can only give it a treat worth 50 calories.
Also, do not provide it with leftovers or snacks you eat; this will add to its calorie intake.
Feed the treat by hand
No doubt your dog has separate bowls to eat its food and water. When you give your dog a treat, you should do so with a clean hand and from your palm.
That way, they can identify it's a treat and not become acquainted with its meals. Also, never give your dog a treat at mealtimes; they may become fussy about eating and lose out on the nutritional value of a meal.
Give treats as a reward
Sometimes you don't want to give your dog too many treats spontaneously. Try and weave in treats into their training regime. A treat will work as an incentive or as a form of positive reinforcement for them to do good behavior.
If you're dog is too excited and you don't know how to calm him down, you can also try products like calming dog treats.
Provide healthy treats
Treats need to be tasty for your dog to enjoy them. Nowadays, you can get treats that are not just tasty but also nutritious in value. This saves you from buying vitamins or supplements for their health.
For instance, there are dog treats that help stomach upsets or joint pain. Similarly, there are dental chews and bones, which can help their teething problems.
Read the label
Ok, we cannot stress this point enough. Before you buy or give any treat to your dog, you must thoroughly read the label. By merely reading it, you will find out what ingredients are in there and any that could trigger allergies for your dog.
Do note that your dog's palette is different from yours and therefore may not like at first the treats you provide; it can simply be a case of trial and error. Reading the label also gives you an idea of the calorific content to guide how much you can give.
Speak to your vet
While it can be tempting to buy certain treats in the shop or online for your dog, they may not always be the most appropriate. The best person to consult advice from is your vet, as they can review your dog's nutritional needs. Your vet can then provide you with tips on which is the best treat for your dog, based on its size, age, and breed.
Remember, when giving your dog a treat, you need to mix it up between comfort and healthy. The best time to give a treat to your dog is between its meals and always give it from your hand. Before you buy or provide any treat, remember to read the label to review the ingredients. It will also help determine if the treat is of a nutritional value and its calorie count.
Also, remember your dog's treat should make up 10% of its daily calorie intake.
Ultimately, the best person to provide you advice and guidelines on giving your dog a treat is a vet.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.