Giving your furry friend a treat as a reward for good behavior, learning something new or just because you love him doesn’t only provide him with something sweet to eat — it can also enhance his diet and help keep him happy and healthy.
There are several kinds of treats available, and we will look at a few of these.
Crispy and Crunchy
This type of treat is readily available in all convenience stores. Make sure the treats you buy are appropriate for the size of your dog and that you buy the highest-quality treats you can afford. These treats are great for everyday use, and it is easy to slip a few into your pocket.
Soft and Chewy
This should be your go-to treat during a training exercise, as they are easy to cut into smaller sections, which is ideal for rewarding good behavior. They are available in convenience stores and come in many flavors and sizes. Again, buy good-quality brands.
Frozen or Air-Dried
These types of treats are loved by the majority of dogs, as they are usually very similar to human food. Pieces of meat, poultry or seafood are frozen or air-dried and make excellent treats for dogs of all sizes. You may have to cut up the pieces for smaller breeds.
Bone-Like Treats and Dental Chews
Despite their name, these treats are not made out of bones. However, they are designed to be chewed. These treats are most often made from corn starch and other similar ingredients. Here, it is imperative to pick a treat of the correct size, as an incorrect size can cause problems.
If these treats are swallowed whole, they can cause blockages in the intestines. If the treats are very hard, the dog’s teeth can be damaged instead of being cleaned. Give these treats a try, but size them appropriately and supervise your dog while he is chewing.
Hooves and Other Animal Bones
It is not a good idea to give your dog animal bones and hooves. These items can cause dental problems, and if sharp shards are swallowed, there is the risk of intestinal perforation. Never be tempted to give your dog any poultry bone and avoid deer antlers as well. Instead, give your pet chews as described above.
These treats tend to be extremely fatty and are not recommended for any dogs — especially dogs with a greater potential for obesity.
Rawhide is made from the hides of animals, and there is a high probability that it has been chemically treated. Some types of rawhide are specially formulated by veterinarians to ensure they are good for the dog’s teeth. Ask your vet about these, as they are the only safe type of rawhide to give your dog. Otherwise, opt for dental chews made from corn starch.