Giving Dog Treats the Right Way: 5 Dos and Don’ts
Most pet parents love to spoil their dogs with treats. After all, it’s a nice way to make your pooch feel loved and is a positive reinforcement during training. Giving treats is perfectly fine, however, do it the right way to prevent obesity.
It’s your duty as a dog owner to give treats to your dog responsibly, in a way that’s beneficial to him. To get the balance right in giving treats, here are some dos and don’ts from a Dubai pet food delivery service.
1. Read labels
Before you purchase dog treats, always read the label to identify ingredients which aren’t ideal for your canine. If your pooch has allergies, it’s crucial that you watch out for ingredients that may trigger unwanted reactions. Otherwise, the dog treats you give may end up doing more harm than good.
2. Count calories
Different kinds of treats will have distinct calorie counts. Giving your dog small treats outside of mealtimes will have fewer calories than feeding your pooch a piece of a fatty steak. Pay attention to the calories of the products you’re giving as treats so that you can determine how much you can give your dog without making him overweight.
3. Consult with your vet
If you can’t easily calculate how much treat food you can give your dog, don’t take the chance and talk to your vet. The vet has the expertise to help you determine the right amount of dog treats.
4. Give treats to reward good behavior
You wouldn’t want your dog to misinterpret the reward you give him. Don’t give treats to your pooch when he’s misbehaving or hyperactive as this will only reinforce negative behaviors. Wait until your dog is calm and patient before you give any treats.
5. Provide space when feeding dog treats
For your dog to truly enjoy the treat, you should give him enough space. Canines don’t like any interference when they’re eating. A little peace when feeding a treat will make your dog appreciate the gesture more.
1. Don’t use treats as a substitute for meals
Dog treats should only serve as occasional rewards and should never act as a substitute for meals. Don’t give treats so excessively that your dog will neglect to eat his main meals. In general, your pooch should receive at least 90% of his daily calorie intake from his actual food and 10% or less from treats.
2. Don’t give human snacks or junk food as treats
Human snacks provide many more calories than necessary to your dog’s body which can harm him. They are also unlikely to be nutritionally beneficial. Moreover, there are toxic human foods you should be wary of like chocolate. To be safe, stick with treats that are meant for dogs, not humans.
3. Don’t go overboard when giving treats
Give one or two dog treats at a time and regulate them. A good practice is to not take more treats out from the packet than you intend to give your pooch. If you don’t want your canine to become overweight, it’s important that you avoid giving treats in handfuls.
4. Don’t forget to provide water
Even if it’s just a small snack, you should still provide fresh water when feeding treats. Water is crucial in keeping your dog hydrated.
5. Don’t reward begging
Begging can quickly become a troublesome problem if you reward this action. Dogs have a fine radar for treats and food. If they get food every time they beg, your pooch will continuously pester you at the table. When it comes to treats, you should only reward good behavior and not teach him that there’s a constant snack available whenever he begs.
You are the best treat
Treats are a great reward when you know the right kind, the ideal amount to give, and the best time to feed. However, keep in mind that giving dog treats isn’t the only way to reward your canine pal.
Just by giving attention, praise, or playing a fun game with your dog can make him happy. Besides giving treats or rewards, the bonding moments you have with your pooch strengthens your relationship with him.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.