Some tips to “treat” your dog!!
For Valentine’s Day, your dog deserves a healthy treat to fill both their stomach and heart. Here are some tricks on how to navigate keeping your dog healthy while still being able to give them their favorite treats.
- Reward with treats
Is your dog food motivated like mine? Dogs love to be rewarded so try training your dog with positive reinforcement and reward with treats throughout the day for good behavior. When training, most dogs are going to fail more than they are going to succeed, so give small treats during a training session and always end on a good note. One idea would be to break up Springtime’s Duck Cookies throughout the day as training treats and then give a Springtime Duck Foot as the grand finale to end the session with a bang!
- Don’t take away all treats if you are worried about caloric intake
A good idea is to keep your dog’s treat intake to about 10% of their diet (Miller). If you go over that during the day, simply reduce the amount of food at their next meal. Dogs in the wild are hunters and scavengers so their bodies are used to going for periods of time without food. While treats are not fully balanced meals for dogs, if you are beginning or ending your dog’s day with a fully balanced diet, you have nothing to worry about. Whether you want to teach your dog how to sit or you are planning on having company over and want to occupy their time, break up a Beef Liver & Coconut Cookie into pieces or grab a Curly Bully Stick to keep them busy.
- Make one treat last longer
Dogs are much more focused on how many treats they get, not how big of a treat it is. A little morsel of a dog cookie to them is just as a good as a bully stick, because in a dog’s mind, a treat is a treat! One Springtime Duck Cookie is just 44 calories and if you break that up into 8 pieces, your dog will view that as 8 treats, not just 1. A bowl of food is equivalent to 1 treat or 1 meal in their minds. Break it up – your dog will be more excited!
- Check the ingredient list on your treat bag
We recommend natural treats, ones that are not filled with grains, animal by-products, sugars, chemicals, preservatives nor additives. It is simple to find out what is exactly in your dog treats – find the ingredient list on the package of treats and notice how many ingredients there are and if you can pronounce or recognize these ingredients. For example, Springtime’s Sweet Potato Pieces contain only one ingredient – sweet potato!
- Figure out your dog’s body score
Visually inspect your dog to see if they are in the shape they should be. Watch, feel, observe your dog’s body according to the chart below. Also, take into account how much activity your dog is getting daily.