Tips for Dog Treats: Avoid Overfeeding with Proper Timing
Some pet owners take a very easy going approach to dog treats. While this can work out alright, your pet's health should be a top priority. Dog treats can become a problem when they are fed too often. Although Fido may look adorable when he or she does certain things, avoid giving a treat every time you have the urge. Instead, consider putting your pet on a treat schedule. This will reduce the likeliness of obesity in your dog and ensure he or she will always eat their daily meals to get the vitamins and nutrients they need to remain strong and healthy.
When to Reward
Dog treats make excellent rewards because canines love to work for food. The key thing to remember is that you should not reward every little thing your pet does with something edible. Instead, reserve food rewards for the bigger achievements. For example, if you are housebreaking, it is not advised that you give your pet dog treats every time he or she goes outside. This will come be expected and can have the opposite effect should you suddenly stop rewarding once the dog seems housebroken. Instead, utilize praise for potty training. On the other hand, if you are teaching your pet basic obedience commands and he or she successfully executes one, by all means hurry and treat!
Treats as Snacks
Some humans like to snack during the day or evening, so naturally we assume our pets do too. While a snack is not a bad thing, giving dog treats many times throughout the day is. Too many biscuits could turn your pet off to his or her food. Instead, set a specific snack time each day. This could correspond with a convenient time for you, such as in the evening after dinner or later in the afternoon when you are done working. Your pet will soon learn the schedule and remind you when it is snack time. This will also help you control the amount of calories and fat your dog is taking in each day to avoid health issues later in life.
Adjusting Treat Habits
If you are reading this and already know your pet has developed some bad treating habits, do not worry. There are easy ways to correct the problem. The first is identifying it. Has your pet put on some weight in the last months? Does he or she suddenly seem less interested during actual meal times? Then you may need to reduce the amount of treats you are giving. It is important to point out that if you are not over treating, and these problems are occurring, exercise could also be an issue or something more serious. If you suspect a health problem, immediately take your pet to a vet!
When reviewing you pet's snacking methods, you should have a good idea about whether that is truly the problem. If it is, start slow by reducing the number of times he or she gets dog treats each day. Make a schedule that works for you and be prepared to ignore your pet's pleas for a snack. Also consider changing out dog treats for something lighter, such as carrot pieces or apple slices (minus seeds and core, of course). These are excellent alternatives that can help shrink your pet's appetite.