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As a dog owner you might be overwhelmed with all sorts of things for your pup, from the type of food to get it, to the toys they play with, as well as what treats to feed them. Some owners may even hold back on treats for dogs over concerns of overfeeding or spoiling their pup. In this article, we hope to target such worries as we cover 5 benefits of rewarding your dog with dog treats- appropriately.
1. Dog treats serve as positive reinforcements
Training a dog can be difficult, but using dog treats can prove to be an easy and effective way to reinforce their behaviour during training. There are various forms of treats that you can give your dog during training, but the ideal method is to keep treats small – some commercial treats may be more than what your dog actually needs. A pea-sized treat for a large dog may be plenty especially when you are using it as positive reinforcement throughout your dog’s training. When it comes to treats given during training, quantity is prioritised over quality. Numerous very small pieces work better than fewer large pieces. Whatever treats you buy or make, break them up into little pieces.
Depending on the type of training, consider fast or slow eating treats. For example, if you want to reward your dog for “waiting” or “sit”, consider giving them a treat which they can finish immediately – often this is something soft which makes it easier and faster for your dog to eat without you needing to wait for them to finish, as compared to something crunchier which may crumble. This is especially useful if the type of training requires frequent rewarding. On the other hand, slow-eating treats are good if you are conditioning your dog to love its crate or to pass the time while you’re busy doing something else. Such treats include chewy ones like bully sticks.
2. Dog treats can reduce anxiety and stress
Treats aren’t just for training however, they can be a good source of comfort as well. All dogs may get a bit stressed out from time to time over a variety of things, depending on their characters. For example, your pup might get stressed out over getting its nails clipped while other dogs might get stressed when they visit their vet or when they are left alone.
Look out for veterinary formulated, trusted ingredients commonly used in calming treats for dogs such as melatonin, chamomile, CBD, and L-tryptophan (the ingredient that makes us sleepy after eating a large meal).
3. Dog treats can help maintain gum health
No matter the breed of your dog, there is one common factor that they share with all the other canine breeds – their love for chewing. Be it a stick, toy, sock or something random on the floor, dogs love to chew.
Certain dog treats can help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation on your pup’s teeth. If their teeth are not regularly maintained, plaque will accumulate over time, eventually turning into tartar when hardened, forming a yellowish stain on your dog’s teeth. By giving treats that can help remove plaque and tartar, you can reduce the risk of your dog developing gum inflammation caused by bacteria that the plaque and tartar harbour.
4. Dog treats allow you and your dog to bond
Dog treats, when incorporated into your dog’s daily routine as rewards (in moderation of course), can help to add fun in day-to-day interactions. Dog treats allow your pup to see you as a giver of good things and this may prove to be especially useful if you have a rescue dog with a haunted past which makes them wary of people. Simple treats can serve as a good foundation of your new-found relationship with them.
5. Dog treats allow you to sneak in medication they may not want to eat
We’ve all been there – your dog needs to take medication or supplements, they take a whiff and decide that it’s not for them. One way to circumvent this is to hide the medication inside their favourite treat. Consider soft dog treats, canned dog food or pieces of hot dog or cheese which typically have a stronger scent which can help mask any smell of anything foreign such as a medicine pill.
Another option is to consider using “pill pockets” which are soft dog treats specially made to hold pills for your dog. If your dog prefers to chew rather than swallow a treat whole, ensure that the treats are smaller – starting with non-medicated treats, so they won’t know right away that you might have snuck a medicated one in between. Apart from pill pockets, canned food or cheese, other options include boiled pieces of chicken (without seasoning), hypoallergenic marshmallows or chunky peanut butter. Chunky peanut butter works particularly well as the chunks of peanut helps to conceal any pill chunks as well.
No matter the size or breed of your pup, incorporating healthy treats in moderation as part of their day to day not only adds fun to their daily routine, but also forges a stronger bond and trust between you and your fur friend. Check out the natural and high protein treats for sale at PetCubes!
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