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What’s better than watching your pooch react to the question, “Do you want a treat?” Whether it’s a perk of the ears or full-on freakout, we love to give out dog treats and chews because it makes our pups so happy. Entertainment aside, kicking your dog a treat now and then can have real-life benefits.
Dog treats and chews can be used to learn new tricks and behaviors, sneak in a prescribed pill (shhh), help clean your dog’s teeth or aid digestion. So what are the best dog treats? It depends on your pooch, their diet and what you’re trying to achieve. Read on to learn more!
The key to a poop-free floor might just lie with training treats. (Patience and positive reinforcement help too, of course). Because some behaviors are harder to learn than others, and you may be doling out several treats in a single session, the best dog treats for training are small and dry. For extra-long sessions, cut treats into smaller pieces.
Keeping your dog busy while you’re away is a great way to alleviate the guilt (and their separation anxiety and boredom) associated with having a life. Enter comfort dog treats and chews! Give your furry loved one something they can concentrate on for a few hours – a chew, “bone” treats (actual treats, though, since real bones can splinter and harm your pooch!), peanut butter treats or other comfort treats that can’t be gobbled up in two seconds. This will also help puppies who are teething and dogs who like to gnaw on shoes.
Make sure whatever you choose is free of choking hazards and appropriate for your dog’s size and chew strength. Shelli McDonald, President of Raw Paws, recommends bully sticks or Raw Paws compressed rawhide. “Bully sticks are great for mental stimulation. And unlike some other rawhide chews, ours don’t have knots that your dog can choke on.”
Healthy Dog Treats
Animals all have dietary needs to keep them healthy and strong. Healthy dog treats, or “functional food,” are a great way to slip your pup a little something extra without feeding them actual vitamins. Use pumpkin dog treats, or other tummy-friendly snacks, for an upset stomach. Single-ingredient treats are especially gentle on your pet’s system.
An older pup might benefit from treats with joint or hip formulas to keep them moving like a dog half their age. Functional food comes in a variety of formulas and flavors to suit your needs and your pup’s taste buds. Look for coconut oil, kelp, raw goat milk and more!
There’s no shortage of treats out there, from bake-at-home to freeze-dried to dehydrated to peanut butter treats, so it’s pretty easy to indulge your dog just because they’re amazing! Even dogs with special diets don’t have to miss out, with gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian or grass-fed options available.
Learning when and how to use treats can benefit your dog’s health and happiness in so many ways. And a happy and healthy dog makes for a happy and healthy dog owner. Now that you know everything there is to know about treats, make sure you store them somewhere covered and dry. Dehydrated treats will likely last up to a few months – especially if you keep them in the fridge. And the next time you ask your dog that question, you’ll be prepared with the right treat!