Your dog is your best friend. The fun walks, frisbee throwing, and great snuggles compel you to reward your canine with the very best. You’ve picked great food, but how do you ensure you have the best treats? With so many choices on the market, you’ll want to be certain you weigh your options in selecting the finest.
Manufactured Or DIY
Even before the invention of Pinterest, there were many people crafting dog treats from home. Now, with Pinterest, there are multiple recipes and cute presentations. But is it right for your dog? Before attempting to do a do-it-yourself (DIY) method, ask yourself if the time and the ingredients are worth the effort. Some dogs are picky eaters. The last thing you want to do is spend hours on a recipe that Fido will not eat.
One way to test whether the item is right is to cut the recipe down to about one-fourth if possible. This way, you aren’t plunging into a huge amount of ingredients that could be thrown away. The safer ones are recipes that use peanut butter, banana, and sweet potato. These ingredients are delicious to dogs and are also easy on the stomach. You can get creative with them and use fun shapes or use a typical dog bone cookie cutter. If you want to just test the raw ingredients first, take a toy they like, such as a Kong, and fill or place the ingredient on the outside. If you receive a great reaction, it might be a green light to try a mini-recipe.
Make sure that your ingredients are safe for dogs. Just because you eat it doesn’t mean your dog can. For instance, grapes are extremely toxic to dogs and can hurt their kidneys. Chocolates can be poisonous to dogs as well. Blueberries or apples, on the other hand, can be very healthy and delicious.
If you’re not willing to try a homemade treat, look at manufactures and their reputations. Some companies pride themselves in having natural ingredients and offer money-back guarantees. Others run great online sales. There are plenty of wonderful options besides dog biscuits, including pig’s ears, antlers, bully sticks, beef hooves, and more. Some of these have amazing flavors for your canines, like beef brushed with egg or even the exotic gamey type flavors like a kangaroo. Online sales are great because they allow you to mix and match, so your best furry friend can try them all.
But What About Real Bones?
As fun as it might seem to give your pooch a real treat from a doggie bag, think twice. Certain bones may sound like a great idea, but they can splinter and cause real injury to your dog. In addition, they may go down the hatch easy, but the next morning, you may find yourself cleaning up doggie regurgitation or watery stool.
When choosing the right treats for your dog, always consider the shape of their teeth and gums, as well as any dietary concerns. If you have a puppy, they will want something to really sink their teeth into. An older dog may have teeth that are worn and not stable enough for tougher chews. There are plenty of textures of treats that will keep your dog’s teeth and gums in good shape. Some dogs have halitosis, so you might lean towards a treat with a minty flavor. Greenies are very popular for dogs with breath issues, but there are plenty of different brands.
Many dogs with food allergies, diabetes, kidney problems should not have DIY treats or those offered by regular manufacturers. And while there are dog treat recipes for specialized diets, you don’t want to try it until you consult with your vet first. Consulting your veterinarian is key for this particular reason as they will recommend a certain type and write your dog a prescription for the treats. The specialized treats are a bit expensive, but if your dog has a health problem, it would be wiser to spend the money on the pricier prescription treats rather than the vet bill later.
What Will You Use Treats For?
You might be using them for training, in which case different flavors are a great idea. But many owners use dog treats as supplements as many are enriched with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, there are treats containing omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat. In addition, you want to make sure that you’re not giving your dog more treats than meals. Treats should never take more than 5-10 percent of your furry friend’s diet, leaving 90 percent of their daily nutrition from meals. If you’re concerned about the caloric intake for your dog, consult your vet.
Where Will You Use Them? How Will You Transport Them?
If you’re always on the go and training your dog, you will want to get treats that are smaller so you can place it in your pocket or waist belt. There are lots of great options for training treats. Some of the flavors are very pleasing as dogs really love a little morsel when obedience training. If you don’t want to take them out and place them in a pocket, consider buying pouches that are easily transportable. Commit yourself to not give out too many during a training session, keeping that balanced diet in mind.
If you’re more of a homebody and want your pooch to relax with a treat while you watch the game on the weekend, a bigger, longer-lasting treat would be a fine idea. One fun idea is dog ice cream. Some grocery stores sell it, and there are some great recipes for it online. Be aware that dog ice cream, while fun and delicious for your canine, can tend to get a bit messy. You should definitely consult your vet first.
Now that you have boned up on all the latest trends in dog treats, it’s time to get shopping. Make an effort to research and have your pooch taste test what works, but don’t forget to include your vet in your decision. That way, you can enjoy the reward of snuggling with your best friend as much as they enjoy being there for you.