Healthy Treats For Your Dog!

There are many reasons people give their dog treats, from training rewards to something to keep them occupied for a bit. No matter the reason, your dog is likely to be happy to have something tasty to munch on.

As fun as treats can be though, dog owners should be aware of how many treats they’re giving—and realize that the treats aren’t actually necessary, experts say.

“Due to obesity, I advocate feeding both dogs and cats high quality, nutrient rich balanced diets with appropriate calorie contents to support and maintain a healthy weight and do not advocate giving treats,” says Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, a veterinarian and veterinary acupuncturist at Animal Acupuncture.

Dr. Amy Farcas, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist with Veterinary Nutrition Care in California, agrees that treats are unnecessary but knows that dog owners don’t necessarily see it that way:

“A lot of people think they’re important for bonding with their pet and they’re an important part of life and what they do with their pet together.”

Farcas recommends that people really think about the treats they’re giving and says they can be appropriate for activities like dog training or agility.

“I think it’s helpful to think about why you’re using treats and what message you intend and what behavior you want to reinforce,” she says.

“If you give treats willy-nilly all over the place for no apparent reason, that can be detrimental because you may be giving too many treats and your pet may become overweight, but you also lose the opportunity to set up certain [behavioral] expectations.”

Here are some treats to consider for your dog:

Peanut Butter Popsicles, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Sweet Potato Jerky and Commercial Treats.

However be wary and do not over over-treat to maintain their health.

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