Using treats for training and for play is a great incentive for your dog to do the things you ask. Who wouldn’t sit, stay or roll over for a tasty nibble? But the question of how to use dog treats in a healthy and safe way often comes up in discussion. No one wants to make their dog unhealthy by rewarding them too often. So how much is too much? How many treats can you give your dog, and what kinds of treats should you be using? Read on for a general guide to using dog treats.
Training with Treats
When you ask your dog to follow a specific command over and over in order to get him to associate the command with the action, it can be easy to overfeed. Rather than giving a whole treat each time as a reward, it’s better to break the treat into small pieces. This makes it possible to use about two average size treats during a training session rather than going through a whole box and giving your dog a tummy ache.
Besides giving your dog a small piece of a treat each time while training, you can also use verbal encouragement and petting to reward him for following commands. Beginning with a food reward and working toward the dog following commands without receiving food is a good goal for training. You don’t want a dog that only does what you ask when you provide a treat. You need a dog that follows commands for his own safety, simply because you say so. The treats are just a way to get things started. Dogs are eager to please and will be happy with a loving touch and verbal confirmation when they perform as asked.
Some dogs don’t get treats only for training purposes. If your dog behaves well in the bath, then a tasty CANIDAE biscuit makes a nice reward. After a rough and tumble game of fetch, your dog would probably like nothing more than a cool drink of water and a nice chewy treat. In this case, choose healthy treats that will occupy them for a while and make them happy. Dental chew sticks and crunchy treats that will help to clean their teeth are great for dogs to enjoy once a day without worrying that you’re making him fat or unhealthy.
Besides allotting a certain amount of treats for each training session, choosing healthy dog treats is also your responsibility. Most dogs will basically eat whatever treat you offer, so it’s up to you to make the right choices for your four-legged family member.
If you want healthy treats for your dog (cats too!), consider one of the many different kinds CANIDAE offers. They’re all made with premium ingredients, and your pet will go absolutely bonkers for them.