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Reaching into that treat bag and tossing your pup a quick bite can feel like you’re absolutely making their day. You love seeing them so excited about what’s to come, and you love your dog...you want to make them happy.
But how many times has that 1 treat turned into 3, or 5, or even more? Do you ever find yourself losing track of how many dog treats you’ve doled out? Does that bag tend to mysteriously run low much more quickly than it should?
It’s easy to mindlessly toss your dog a few snacks here and there. You probably never even think twice about it. Treats are small. They can’t make that big of a difference in your dog’s diet, right?
It might seem that way, but in reality, treats can have a serious impact on your dog’s well being, and they should only be used in moderation as rewards for good behavior or dog training tools.
Here are 3 reasons to think twice before letting 1 treat become 5:
1. Treats add more calories to your dog’s diet than you think.
With most treats being so small, it might not seem like they’d pack a significant caloric punch. The truth is quite the opposite, though. Depending on your dog’s size, metabolism, and activity level, it might need fewer than 1,000 or even 800 calories per day to remain healthy and happy.
Especially if using the cheap, generic-type treats that come in dozens of different shapes and colors, even a few per day could lead your dog toward unhealthy weight gain.
Even if you’re using all-natural treats, over-supplementing your dog’s diet is a bad idea. Natural products contain much higher amounts of pet protein, which your dog can only handle controlled amounts of. It’s best to rely on these treats solely for reward purposes - not as a significant addition to your dog’s daily diet.
2. If treats aren’t all-natural, they’re likely filled with junk.
You might think those unassuming treats lining the shelves of your grocery store have little effect on your dog’s wellbeing. They probably seem too small to even offer any negatives.
With targeted marketing and packaging, it’s easy to think you’re doing your dog right by making the purchase. However, those treats tend to be packed with harmful byproducts and fillers like wheat, corn, and soy that can cause gastrointestinal distress in your pup.
You might love seeing the excitement on their faces when you pull out the treat bag, but they’re the ones feeling all the after effects.
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3. Treats aren’t dog supplements.
Even if the treats you buy are high in protein and 100% natural (which they always should be!), they’re still not viable supplements. They make excellent training incentives, rewards, and tools for healthy pups if used correctly, but when handed out in excess, they’ll throw your dog’s nutritional balance off course.
Dog supplements are things like multivitamins or probiotics. Combined with veterinarian advice, they can help replace vital nutrients your dog is lacking.
Treats are dog rewards. They help your dog learn the ins and outs of good behavior.
Tips For Training With Treats
Even when used in combination with dog training, treats still need to be high quality, healthy rewards.
Choose all natural products and make sure they’re broken into small pieces if you’re planning on using them throughout consistent training sessions.
Beyond rewarding your dog when they follow a specific training command, use treats to reinforce good behavior, like remaining calm when someone knocks on your front door.
Homemade Dog Treats
Want to try your own hand at creating the perfect training reward? Follow this recipe to create healthy dog treats from your own kitchen:
¾ cup hot water
⅓ cup butter
½ cup powdered milk
1 egg beaten
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons peanut butter (high quality, all natural peanut butter)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl pour hot water over the butter.
Stir in powdered milk and egg.
Add flour ½ cup at a time and stir well.
After 2 cups of flour are added, mix in the peanut butter.
Knead for a few minutes to form a stiff dough.
If the dough feels too sticky add in another ¼ cup of whole wheat flour.
Pat or roll dough to ½ inch thickness.
Cut into bone shapes or any shape you prefer.
Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.
Want more great homemade dog treat ideas? Here’s a list of our top 15 recipes!
When it comes to your dog, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep them healthy.
Always remember to:
Monitor how many treats your dog consumes on a daily basis
Only use high quality, all-natural treats
Always reserve treats for training rewards, not dog supplements
Keeping those points in mind, your pup’s nutrition will remain in check (and you’ll still get all the tail wags when reward time comes around).
All of Safe Bones Company dog bones and dog treats are 100% Natural and Made in the U.S.A. at our facilities in the beautiful state of Nebraska.
You’ll never need to be concerned with low quality imported products, or overly processed dog bones, jerky, or other treats. Shop now and treat your dog to something special.
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