You should know that there are actually many kinds of treats, such as playing with your dog, taking them out on a walk, or offering them praise. But let’s face the facts, whenever any dog-owner thinks about treats, it is the food kind. There is no better feeling than seeing the happiness and joy on your pup’s face when they are offered dog treats.
Treats are an important part of their diet but not a major one, so it is also vital that you remember their nutrition and what is needed in their diet during the day. First, we shall talk about the criteria for selecting a treat and the different kinds of treats available out there in the market. Secondly, we will understand the general feeding guidelines that are there for dogs and puppies, and discuss some facts about dog nutrition.
That said, there are a lot of types of dog treats out there in the market, and choosing between so many options can become overwhelming. How do you actually choose the right treats for your dog? You can’t just give them any treat, and you should also pay attention to the number of treats you give out.
Consider the number of calories your dog needs
One of the biggest things you should factor in while selecting a treat for your dog is how many calories those treats contain. You have to keep their calorie intake in mind.
You should remember that most vets recommend treats being no more than 10% of a dog’s daily diet, and as such you should look for something within that range. You cannot give out high-calorie treats as much as you can give out low-calorie treats to your pup, so choose wisely.
Dog treats for obedience training
There are a few dog treats specifically for the purpose of dog training. Repeated treat feeding helps in providing a reward to your dog for a job well done. This works great for obedience training but you need to keep the calories of the treat in mind.
There are certain low-calorie treats available but they are not so appealing to dogs, so learn to balance your high and low-calorie treats well. For small dogs, try sticking to frozen peas and baby carrots and break them up into smaller pieces. Small pieces of cheese and chicken are considered high-calorie treats.
Special occasion dog treats
There are certain treats that you can give to your dog on special occasions. Have you been out of town for a while and haven’t seen them? Is it their birthday and you want to celebrate it with something special?
Treats like bully sticks are the perfect way of showing your dog how much you love them. You can even go the extra mile and pick up “pupcakes” (cupcakes for puppies).
Dental treats are not only good for your dog but are amazing for you as well. These treats contain certain ingredients that are designed to clean tartar from your dog’s mouth.
These can also be used as training treats if your dog likes them. There are a ton of different kinds of dental treats out there. There are a lot of vets who recommend using dental chews along with a regular toothbrush to help keep your dog dentally hygienic. This helps a lot in keeping debris away in between dental cleanings.
Did you know that canines have the innate instinct to keep chewing? Natural chews are great treats for your dogs since they do not contain artificial supplements and are all-natural.
These provide your pet with much-needed calcium that can help fulfill their daily dietary needs. A lot of vets recommend chews since they can also provide mental stimulation for your dogs and can help control anxiety.
Remember to choose something that is won’t hurt their teeth and buy the appropriate size. For example, a big dog will need a big chew, not a small one that they can follow.
If you have a young puppy who has not fully developed its gums and teeth, soft chews are a much better option than natural ones. It is vital that you choose treats with high protein and low fat in order to meet your dog’s dietary requirements.
Senior dogs or young pups that have weakened dental health cannot chew natural treats. This can lead to dental issues or even teeth damage. Your dog will definitely be excited with a soft chew since they have a strong smell and attract dogs quickly.
When you use a process to remove all the moisture from an ingredient, it is called freeze-drying. This process helps in preserving all the nutrients in the food, making sure that they stay for a longer period of time than fresh treats.
These are quite a healthy alternative if you are looking for low-calorie treats for your dog or pup. These are usually single-ingredient treats such as frozen baby carrots or frozen peas. Due to their calorie content, they are also a popular option for dog training purposes. What is better than giving out treats that are healthy and non-fattening?
Nutrition for dogs
Now that we have discussed the various kinds of dog treats, let’s talk about nutrition. Your pet needs a healthy and balanced diet that includes a mix of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
For this, it is important to look for dog food that has “complete and balanced nutrition” on its label. Also, look for food that meets standards given out by AAFCO.
You can give your dog a mixture of dry and wet food or alternate these. If you prefer feeding your dog food made by you, follow recipes given out by nutritionists in order to help provide your pet with everything that they need.
Choose the right dog treats
It is important to understand what kind of treats are best for your dog and what kind of nutrition they need. You should also keep their calorie content in mind to keep your dog fit and healthy.
Richard Thomas has been a freelance writer for animal and pet care for more than a decade. He also is a volunteer dedicated to animal rescue and welfare, working for different organizations. He lives with two adopted cats and a rescue dog.