If your dog has been patient and obedient for the past couple of hours (or even minutes, depending on how active they are!) then one of the first things on your mind is probably to give them a treat. It’s a fantastic way to give your dog a motivational boost and it helps to train them and stimulate their minds. However, over-treating your dog can have some harmful effects that could disrupt your life and their behavior in the future.
There’s an art to dog treats, and in this article, we’ll be going through some of the most important points on how and when you should be treating your dog.
What to look for in a dog treat
Every dog’s tastes are different, so try and get a sample of several different treats and see which ones they like the most. Look at the list of ingredients and try to make a solid decision. There are some unique choices like dog duck jerky that you might want to consider if your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy the selection at your local supermarket. If your dog seems to have more refined tastes, then you’ll need to look to the internet for more variety.
What giving a treat to your dog signifies
Dogs aren’t dumb creatures. They can feel pain and emotion just like you, which is why you can’t treat them as if they don’t understand your feelings towards them. If you love your dog, then they’ll be able to pick up on things that you do for or to them and learn from it. For instance, giving your dog a treat is often seen as a way of expressing your love for them. It’s critical that you understand this and don’t give your dog the wrong impression, and a good way to handle this is to simply treat your dog at the right time.
The right times to treat your dog
Here are a couple of important notes to remember whenever you think about treating your dog:
- Dogs can smell treats from far away – if you have treats nearby, then your dog can smell them and it’s usually enough to spur them on to follow your commands. If you let them smell the treat before you begin training them or asking them to do something, they’re more likely to follow what you say because they know there’s a treat waiting for them at the end of it.
- Give them a chance to figure out what you want – give your dog some time to figure out what they need to do if you’re trying to train them. Don’t get frustrated because they aren’t following or because they’re too fixated on the treat. Try and lead them on first so they have a grasp of what you want.
- Give treats in between meals – you don’t want to overfeed your dog. Dogs have caloric intake recommendations just like humans, and too many treats can sometimes push them over their limit and cause them to become overweight if you aren’t careful.
This brief guide should have given you a bit of information on how to give your dog healthy treats. So whether you’re trying to train your dog or just want to show them some affection, make sure you do it within reason and set limits.