If you are a dog parent, you will probably have the canine diet rules on your tips. You must ensure a balanced diet, optimal portion sizes, and right mealtimes. It is equally crucial to avoid food triggers that cause allergies or digestive issues. But are you equally careful about choosing treats for your canine companion? If you aren’t, you must give attention to them because treats are an integral part of the canine diet. Ensure that you feed only the right ones rather than toss a goodie from your plate.
Here are the rules to follow for choosing the best treats for your dog:
Avoid Table Scraps
The worst thing to do is sneak rewards from the dinner table, even when your pet exhibits good behavior. Human foods such as wheat, corn, and soy can cause food intolerances in canines. Some treats like chocolate can even be outright dangerous for dogs. Another downside of feeding the dog from your plate is that it encourages the animal to beg rather than earn. As a rule, resist the urge to share table scraps with your pet.
Count the Calories
Obesity in canines is a growing health problem, and the last thing you want to deal with is an overweight dog. Treats can be a weight-gain culprit if you fail to count calories. While you must pick the ones that do not load up on calories, control the intake too.
Sticking with low-calorie options is a good idea. Alternatively, you can break larger ones into smaller chunks and use them throughout the day.
Check the Ingredients
It is crucial to check the ingredients in your treats as carefully as you do with the daily diet. Skip the ones high in fat and sugar, and stick with high-protein options. For example, bully sticks make an excellent choice for your dog as they are high in protein, easily digestible, and even good for dental health. You can find them in different shapes and sizes to match the needs and preferences of your pet.
Limit the Intake
Your dog may do several good things during the day, and it deserves a good word every time. But refrain from rewarding them with a treat frequently. Ideally, treats should comprise only 10 percent of the daily diet. Going overboard with treats can do more harm than good. You will probably end up with an obedient yet unhealthy and overweight pet because of the overfeeding habit.
Timing is Crucial
When it comes to dog treat rules, timing is a crucial aspect. Make sure that the pet is not full before meals. If you take the pet for positive reinforcement training classes, cut back in the dinner portions on class days. Since the animal gets extra treats, it will need less food to stay full and happy. Also, ensure adequate gaps between meals and treats so that everything is balanced.
Treats are a good way to bond with your pet and train them for behaving well. But you must use them carefully to keep your pet healthy and happy.
*Photos by Maksim Goncharenok