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Do dog treats matter?
All dogs love getting a bone, biscuit, cookie or whatever else you call the treats you give them. Most dogs are highly motivated by food, so treats can be an extremely valuable tool in getting your dog to behave. Treats should only make up about 10 percent of your pet's daily calories, but it is still important that they be wholesome and nutritious.
Many treats on the market are filled with sugar, salt, artificial ingredients and colors as well as preservatives. While these treats look appealing to owners, they are most likely not the tastiest or the healthiest option for the dog. Plus, unnecessary ingredients can cause digestive upset in dogs.
If you are trying to get your dog to lose weight, you need to be paying close attention to the ingredients in treats as well as the pet food it eats. Meat-based treats with no artificial ingredients are usually the best option. Try PureBites, freeze-dried chicken breast and liver, or Healthy & Natural Liver Treats, which are simply baked beef.
Fresh fruits and veggies are another wholesome, nutritious and low-calorie option. Apple slices, carrots and green beans are great single-serving treats that dogs love just as much as store-bought treats. Ice cubes may also be a calorie-free alternative that keeps your dog occupied.
Supporting your dog's joints
Although treats are no substitution for joint supplements like Dasuquin, there are plenty of options that offer a little extra support to achy joints. Greenies JointCare Dog Treats have omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin and glucosamine for dogs, so they promote healthy cartilage. Other treats like Greenies Pill Pockets can be used to conceal pet drugs prescribed to treat arthritis pain. Stick pills like Previcox inside these tasty treats to make medicine time easier.
How to give treats
You may think you know how to give your dog treats, but many owners make mistakes on this, feeding dogs treats for no reason or accidentally rewarding bad behavior. Dogs should always have to complete a command before getting a treat – this is one of the best ways to maintain your role as the dominant one in the family. Many owners will also give treats as a way to tell their dog they love them, when really a walk around the block or a game of fetch is a better way to win the pooch's affection.