Everyone loves a treat from time to time — and the four-legged member of your family is no different. Tasty treats are a powerful weapon when training your pooch, offering the perfect way to give your dog a delicious little reward for doing exactly what you want.
But, more importantly for any true dog lover, treats are ideal for when you want to spoil your pooch rotten. Whether they’ve been a good boy, just finished a long walk or are simply looking irresistibly adorable, the right treat will put a smile on your dog’s face and a wag in his tail.
So, how can you choose the right treats to give to your best friend? Can you just feed him whatever scraps are left behind after your own dinner, or do you need to choose treats specially designed for his canine tummy? Our guide to choosing the right dog treats will help you find the right tasty snack for your dog in five simple steps.
Choosing the right dog treats
1. Choose treats designed for dogs. You wouldn’t eat a treat designed for dogs (hopefully), so don’t ask your dog to eat something that wasn’t made for him. Dog treats are specially formulated to taste great and be gentle to your dog’s stomach. From kibble and liver treats to biscuits and bully beef, there’s certainly no shortage of dog-friendly treats to choose from. Try out a few different varieties to see which ones make your dog drool the most.
2. Look for extra health benefits. Some treats are designed to do much more than just give your dog a bite-sized snack. Shop around and you’ll find treats with extra nutrients and ingredients to provide extra health benefits for your pooch. There are treats that can help produce a shinier coat, healthier skin, and to relieve the pain in ageing, arthritic joints. There are low-fat treats to help keep your dog in shape, and even special dental treats designed to combat a range of canine teeth problems. And even though they offer a range of benefits, they’re still designed to get canine taste buds tingling.
3. Everything in moderation. Remember, dog treats are only meant to be given occasionally; they’re not meant to make up a substantial portion of your dog’s regular diet. Although it can be tempting to give in to those big pleading puppy-dog eyes and shower your dog with all the treats she can eat, you won’t be doing her any favours by over-feeding. Obesity is a common problem among Australian canines and can lead to a huge range of health problems, so make sure never to let your four-legged friend over-indulge.
4. Never give table scraps. Ever since humans and dogs formed their special bond thousands of years ago, our canine friends have been feasting on the leftovers of their masters. Slipping a sneaky treat to your dog under the dinner table is something just about every dog owner has indulged in — a cheeky sausage here, the fat off some steak there, and any vegies you don’t want to eat whenever you get the chance.
But even though it can be very difficult to ignore those adorable, pleading puppy eyes from under the table, giving your pooch table scraps is never a good idea. Not only will your dog start begging constantly — a habit which can quickly turn into a nuisance — but many table scraps tend to be high in fat and not fit for doggy consumption. Rather than giving your canine companion your leftovers, make sure she saves her appetite for the nutritionally balanced diet she should be eating.
5. Make your own. If you’re short on time, buying dog treats is a simple and convenient way to spoil your pooch. There’s a huge range of treats available at The Fuzzy Rabbit and we’ve got flavours and styles to suit every appetite. But if you feel like giving your dog an extra-special treat with a little personal touch, why not bake your own treats at home?
Do a quick Google search and you’ll turn up hundreds of thousands of recipes for home-baked dog treats, ranging from simple snacks you can whip up in a few minutes through to complicated gourmet creations — we’ll even share a couple of our favourite dog treat recipes with you in a future post. There are even entire cookbooks devoted to dog-friendly recipes, so find one you think your furry friend will love and get baking!