Today we’re looking at 5 mistakes to avoid with dog treats. You didn’t know there were mistakes you could make with dog treats? These are pretty important, and I’ve made all of them with my own dogs over time. In fact, I’ve talked to dog owners whose dogs have gotten very sick or have died because they just didn’t know the 5 mistakes to avoid with dog treats.
- Not reading the ingredient label – How many ingredients are in the treats you buy for your dog? Can you pronounce all of them? Are there more than ten? More than twenty? Do you know what each ingredient is? The answers to all of these questions are the first step in buying better, healthier treats for your dog. Know what’s in your dog’s treats.
- Not knowing where the treats originate – Are the treats made in America? Are all of the ingredients grown on American soil? If you’re not an American consumer, are all of the ingredients from the country in which you reside? It’s important to purchase treats with ingredients that are completely sourced and assembled on American soil, or all in one country, your own. Click this sentence to find out more about treats with ingredients from other locations, treats which have harmed and killed dogs.
- Giving your dog too many treats at once – Yes, it is possible to give your dog too much. Dogs love, love, love their treats, and you want to give them what they love, but too much can be harmful for any dog, in particular a small dog. I like to make the analogy of toddlers and cupcakes here. Toddlers love cupcakes, but a responsible parent won’t allow their toddler to have more than one cupcake in a sitting. A responsible dog owner shouldn’t give their dog too many treats at once. Treats are higher in fat and calories, usually, and can overload a dog’s system if given too many at one time.
- Not monitoring your dog while it chews on a bone or eats a treat – For several reasons, it’s always a good idea to monitor your dog when it’s eating a treat or gnawing on a bone. First, any and all bones have the ability to splinter, including raw bones – know your dog’s chewing ability, jaw strength, how much bone your dog can handle. Second, some dogs are nibblers, others are gulpers – give the gulpers treats in small doses to avoid either too many treats at once or choking.
- Treats are not food – Again, I make the toddler analogy. There’s a reason we don’t give children dessert before their meals, and it’s equally applicable to dogs. Don’t give hungry dogs treats. Dog food – whether you feed kibble, homemade or raw – is designed to meet your dog’s dietary needs completely. Treats are designed to be rewards for training, or just for something fun, but never as food. Toddlers will typically refuse to eat their meals, the ones which meet their dietary needs, and dogs will beg for treats while turning their noses up at their meals, if they get too many treats, or are given them at the wrong times. DO NOT substitute treats for meals.
All that said, should you even give your dog treats? Why, of course! That’s like asking if humans should ever have dessert! Treats, like dessert, are eaten at the appropriate time, in appropriate measure, and for much the same reasons that we eat dessert. It tastes good! Or we’ve had a tough day, and that little something sweet just hits the spot. Or we reward ourselves for exercising self-control in some way. Whatever the reason, treats are good. But please, keep the 5 mistakes to avoid with dog treats in mind. Treat your dog well, and properly. It’ll make your dog smile.
There are some amazing dog treats on the market. Of course I’m going to recommend Jones Natural Chews for your dog. They’re always 100% all natural, with ten ingredients or fewer. They’re always 100% grown and produced in the USA. And the labels state which size dogs they’re best for. They’re even almost entirely meat!
Now, if you’d like the chance to win some Jones Natural Chews for your dog, there are two giveaways happening until the end of the month. Click this sentence to be taken to our giveaway – you can enter daily via tweet – for the Wuv You treats. Or click this sentence to be taken to Oz the Terrier’s giveaway of Wuv You treats. Your dog will love them! Just spreading the good chews …
Until I write again …