Last week Robin and I were at a Doggie-Palooza in Dahlonega. We always love participating in these events because of the opportunity to help so many of our friends and neighbors with their dogs. There were a lot of great questions and we had the opportunity to provide some hands on training for several of the participants and their human owners. The last question that we had was one on Dog Treats. Now there is a very big push to offer dogs better quality food in their diet (please visit Really Good Dog Food). The question was if owners should only give their dogs healthy treats. Was giving them Milk Bones and Beggin Strip bad?
Over the last fourteen years and after training 5,000 dogs, I have changed my position on Dog Treats. Initially, I recommended that you only feed your dog healthy treats just like the food that you give him. But then I began to think about the word “treat” and what that actually meant. We feed our dogs a healthy diet and that is our responsibility as their protector and care giver. A “treat” is not a requirement for appropriate sustenance and because of that, giving a treat is an option that we can either do or not do.
You give your dog a treat because you feel good and you want to make him happy. You are not giving it because he did something or you are feeding him dinner. Also, a treat is not a meal. It is not meant to be something big or something that you give him because he is hungry.
Whatever you want to give your dog as a treat; as long as it is not harmful to him, given from a place you eat, he is not demanding or begging for it, or in large quantities; is fine. Taking a Beggin Strip and giving him a small piece of it is fine. Giving him half a small Milk Bone is fine. Giving him a small portion of his kibble or a few strips of Green Beans is fine.
When giving your dog a treat, remember that it is because YOU want to give it to him. Make it small so that it is not a meal. Mix up the treats so that you don’t have to always have one type of goodie on hand.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you need any dog training help or have any questions on dog treats.