When it comes to dog treats I’m always asking my clients why they feel that their dog even needs them.
Unfortunately a large percentage of dog treats out there really aren’t that good for your dog and provide no nutritional value.
In fact most of them contain things that you wouldn’t ever allow in your dog’s food, but yet you give the dog a treat that contains that ingredient.
One thing you need to consider when purchasing a treat is the choking danger.
You want to make sure that you choose an appropriate size treat for your dog, something that they can chew up easily and swallow it without having a choking problem.
Quite often I see people giving their dogs greenies and for some people greenies work well. However I’ve had other people tell me that their dogs actually get aggressive over greenies and I’ve even seen that in my own experience.
Greenies at one point had a real choking issue and after some lawsuits they actually changed their formulation to keep that from happening.
When choosing a treat try to get one that is most nutritional and also stay away from the ones that are made overseas. There’s been a lot in the media lately about chicken jerky treats that actually have killed dogs and sickened hundreds or even thousands of other dogs.
Most of these products that they had a problem with were manufactured in China. I don’t think I’d ever give my dog a treat that wasn’t made here in the U.S.
In the U.S .we have more stringent requirements of what can be used for ingredients.
Not Too Much
Another thing to consider about using treats, use them sparingly. Using too many treats can really cause weight issues with your dog and as we all know, weight can cause all kinds of health problems.
If you use treats during training, try very small treats instead of normal-sized ones.
Rawhides are not actually a treat but yet dogs do consume them when they’re given to them for chews. I always tell my clients that rawhides are actually dangerous for your dog.
When your dog breaks off a chunk as it’s chewing, it’s just small enough that it’s able to swallow without choking. However it gets into the gut.
In the stomach, rawhide expands with the liquid in the stomach and then can actually block your dog’s intestines.
Another cause for concern is choking. Basically a dog breaks off a piece of rawhide that’s just a little bit too big to swallow and actually chokes on it.
I actually saw a vet on the national news a few years ago who was talking about these exact issues and how he had clients whose dogs had died from choking on rawhides or required surgery to remove the blockage.
So what should you give your dog for a treat?
Do a little homework and choose something that’s good for your dog, has the proper ingredients and is nutritional.
In fact, the ideal treat for my dog is a few pieces of its kibble. He feels like it’s a treat and I know it’s good for him.
Another option is hot dogs. Slice hotdogs into lengthwise quarters and then slice into small pieces. Place on a paper towel with another paper towel on top and microwave 7-9 minutes.
You’ll have a perfect-sized training treat that won’t pose a choking hazard, is easy on your wallet and that your dog will love.
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