Do you think your dog might be eating too many treats?
Much like us, dogs love their treats. Treats are a great way to spare your beloved canine the monotony of everyday food and offer them a chunk of goodwill and affection as a token of appreciation for their good behaviour or just because you want to celebrate with them. However, if left unchecked, your dog could be getting way more calories from treats than he should.
Again, just as in the case of human beings, the occasional, indulgent treat is great and actually is a positive influence but replacing wholesome and healthy calories with less healthy, less nutritious ones (i.e convenience food/treats) can be quite detrimental to your dog’s health.
The 10% Rule
It is a common mistake that many overworked or busy dog owners make that they tend to be more liberal than they should with dispensing treats to their dogs. This usually could be to make up for the lack of actual quality time spent with the pet or in the form of appeasement in exchange for desirable behaviour, Either way, it’s important to note that your dog should never derive more than 10% of his daily nutritional requirement from treats. These calories should be sourced from whole and nutritious sources.
Veggies and Fruits
Fruits and Veggies are just as healthy for your dog as they are for us. Packed with vitamins, essential micronutrients (like minerals) and Dietary Fibre, packing a solid portion of two of fruits and veggies into your dog’s diet will do him a cornucopia of good.
Replacing mass produced snacks that are typically high in hydrogenated fats and sugars and are often replete with potentially hazardous preservatives with fruits and veggies will yield a noticeable boost in your dog’s health and activity levels. Lethargic dogs are usually those whose systems are weighed down by the workload of having to process disgusting amounts of processed foods that their gullets were never meant to digest such tough foods.
What to Avoid?
Avoid foods that are hard on your dog’s teeth. This narrows the list of appropriate treats down significantly but is something you would be wise to stick by. Damaged teeth are irreplaceable and any augmenting therapy costs a fortune.
Treats like Rawhide, say PetMD , are a much better pick over conventional options because they are chewy and don’t contain the usual suspects of injury – bone, hoof or claw.
It’s important to understand that treats are treats and that they are not food. It is not uncommon for owners to overfeed treats to their dog when they are running out of regular dog food. It is crucial to bear in mind that treats are meant to be special to your dog and are to be used sparingly to signify celebration, appreciation or to reinforce positive behaviours.