06 March 2010


If your house is like mine, you show your animals a little extra love with treats. Our dogs are pretty easy to please, and they will eat almost anything that seems like something special -- even if it is dog food packaged correctly. Some of the favorites here are mini-marshmallows and anything based on peanut butter like Sportmix peanut butter biscuits. You can get much fancier though with a trip to visit pet bakeries, purchasing frozen dog desserts at the grocery, or creating homemade treats from a pet treat cookbook. All of these choices can make it challenging to know what is best for your dog.

Positives of Treats
You can feel good about giving your dog treats, and you probably all ready know that tasty treats are great training motivators, are excellent for positive reinforcement and can reinforce the bond between you and your companion. Chosen wisely, some treats can even help your pet stay healthy. some treats can even help your pet stay healthy. Best of all, it can be a lot of fun watching your pet savor a treat she really loves. See the video on top of this post for dogs having fun.

Treat Challenges
Count those calories! Just like people, dogs can -- and do -- overindulge which can cause obesity. Obesity is a growing problem, and almost half of the pets in the United States are overweight. Obesity can contribute to a wide range of health problems, from arthritis to diabetes and heart disease.

Treats can be a weight gain trigger because you may not realize how many your pet is getting through the day, and this is more critical if there is more than one person handing out the goodies. Some treats are higher in fat and sugars which also makes them high calorie. Large biscuits can contain well over 100 calories each, and that can add up quickly.

Choose the right treat your pet
  • Buy treats made specifically for your type of pet. By doing this, you'll be less likely to have a pet with an upset stomach.
  • If you feed at specific times, don't give too many treats before meals. Pets are like children and will fill up on the goodies and not have room for the meals.
  • Use healthy treats that help your pet maintain god health. There are dental treats that help clean teeth, cat treats that help prevent hairballs, treats geared to senior citizens and many, many more.
  • If you can't resist giving your pet people food as treats, give them healthier treats like carrots, broccoli or green beans. These are low calorie and great sources of vitamins and fiber. Make sure to check with your veterinarian about food safety. Avoid onions, grapes and raisins as these can be dangerous for your dog.
  • Remember to compensate for treats by reducing regular feeding amounts. That simple step will help keep extra pounds off. Our veterinarian suggests that treats shouldn't be more than ten-percent of the daily intake.
As always, if you have questions about how many and what kinds of treats are right for your pet, talk with your veterinarian.

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