Key Guidelines for Choosing Good Dog Treats
When you first start looking into dog treats, you may be overwhelmed with the options available to you. Use these tips to narrow down your selection:
• Look for an all-natural treat made with high-quality ingredients
• Focus on health, not just flavor, when selecting treats
• Consider the size of your dog’s mouth and his overall oral health
• Choose a couple different treats to try before selecting one to stick with
• Review age recommendations on the packaging, especially for puppies and senior dogs
Once you have a set of age-appropriate, healthy dog treats to choose from, you will be able to find the ones that are designed with your pup in mind.
What Is the Purpose of Your Treats?
Identifying the purpose of your dog treats will do wonders in helping you choose the right treats for your pet. Are you using the treats for training, or are you just giving your dog a tasty surprise throughout the day? If you are trying to train your dog to follow basic commands or complete certain actions, you may want to get small, bite-sized treats that your dog can eat quickly. Save the bacon strips and bones for special occasions where your dog has more time to munch on them. Treats that take a long time to eat are particularly good for crate training because they re-confirm the idea that the crate is a good place to be. The longer they eat the treats in the cage, the more they will want to go back in the future.
To Treat or Not to Treat
Dog treats should only account for 10% of your dog’s daily diet or less. If your dog has started refusing regular food in favor of treats, you may want to reduce that amount even more. Wait to train your dog with treats until the end of the day, after he has already eaten his regular food. You may need to eliminate the treats altogether for a few days until your dog gets back to healthy eating habits.
If your dog has special dietary concerns, you may need to check with your vet before giving him new treats. Ask him or her about the types of treats that would be best for your dog so you know what to look for moving forward. As long as you keep your pet’s age and health in mind, you should have no trouble finding a great set of dog treats for him to enjoy.