We love our fur babies and we want to ensure that they are always happy. Treats are an important part of your relationship with your dog! Dogs love to receive treats. Of course as a pet parent you want to make sure that you are picking the best treats for your dog.
A little forethought into the type of treats that you keep on hand can help to create a healthy environment for your dog. There also has to be some rules to treat giving, yes it can be hard to be firm with treats but when you understand the real value in giving your fur baby treats it will become easier.
When and Why It’s Necessary to Reward with Treats?
One of the easiest ways to train a dog is with kindness. Using treats as positive reinforcement helps to encourage your dog to respond positively to training.
When they know that there is a treat that will be offered for complying with commands they are far more likely to get on board with the idea. Even the most-stubborn dog will respond if a treat is involved.
Dogs associate food with love, so treats are not only a great way to reward your fur baby for being a good dog but it can also be perceived as a love token for them.
Some ideal times to offer a treat include:
- During training when your dog responds successfully to a command.
- As a reward for good behavior outside of the commands, like when guests arrive and your dog does not jump up or goes and finds their spot.
Dogs really enjoy food treats as rewards. Just like a child that will sit through something that they do not want to sit through with the promise of an ice cream cone if they behave, your dog will come to associate certain activities with that treat and be far more willing to cooperate.
Positive reinforcement by offering a reward for good behavior will help your dog to associate good behavior with good results and make them far more eager to please you because they know that you will work to please them.
Treats as a reward are a great motivator and a nice gesture on your part that will be appreciated. They can be a very powerful tool if you use them right.
How Often Can You Give Your Dog Treats?
Treats as a reward can be given freely but you do want to manage how many you give them because you want them to be viewed as a reward not as a normal part of their diet. The goal with treats is to give them in moderation only when they are deserved.
You should always at the least make your dog “sit” or “stay” before offering a treat. There are some treats that are “healthy” that you can offer more frequently without any concern. Treats are not to be given all the time.
Treats are typically much richer than regular dog food and over using them can cause stomach upset. Of course over using treats can also mean that they lose their persuasive power over your dog. Use moderation and you will be fine.
To ensure that good health of your dog you always want to be sure that you are choosing treats that:
- Come from a trusted source
- Have some nutritional value
- That they like
Choosing a trusted source is very important. There was a scare a few years ago with contaminated dog treats that were making dogs sick. Using a trusted source can eliminate the concern about the safety of the treats.
You also want to make sure that you are choosing treats (as you would choose snacks for children) that bring some nutritional value to the table. Empty calories may taste good but over the long term they will cause health problems.
You may have to try a few different options before you come across the option that your dog loves. Dogs have palettes just like we do and if they do not like the treats you can forget using them as a training aid.
The List of Treats
We compiled a list of some of the best dog treats on the market to help you to make an informed choice for your fur baby! We looked at treats that come from reliable sources that are committed to the good health of your dog.
We considered a different variety of options so that you can try the options to find the treat that your dog will love.
We did not put this list in an sort of order, they are all equally great products that can help you to raise a healthy well-adjusted dog.
Wilderness Blue Buffalo Dog Treats
We recommend these biscuits because they contain all natural products like turkey, beef, salmon and flaxseed that are all very good for your dog. When you give these treats you are providing more than a tasty snack you are actually giving them the supplements that help to improve their health.
Triumph Dog Turkey, Pea, & Berry Grain Free Jerky
We recommend this treat because it is grain free and offers the delicious ingredients that most dogs love. It is shaped like beef jerky and has a nice chewy consistency that can keep your dog busy as well. These are grain free treats that are perfect for dogs with food allergies.
Pet Botanics Training Rewards Mini Treats for Dogs
We recommend these treats because they are the perfect size for training activities. They can easily fit in your pocket. They are made from wholesome ingredients that pets love. They are all natural which is always a good option.
Wellness WellBites Soft Natural Dog Treats Made in USA Only, 8-Ounce Bag
We recommend these treats for training as well. They are soft bites which are ideal for puppies and older dogs. They are made from all natural lamb and other ingredients. These are soft treats which are great for more mature dogs that may have trouble with chewing.
Milo’s Kitchen Dog Treats
We recommend these all natural chicken meatballs because they are easy to carry for training, are all natural and dogs seemingly go crazy for them! Milo’s kitchen uses only the best ingredients for their treats so not only are they tasty tidbits for your dog but they are good for their health as well.
PureBites Chicken Breast Dog Treats
We recommend these treats because there is only 1 ingredient in them, Chicken. There are no fillers, artificial colors or artificial flavors. It is a great option for those meat loving dogs. They are ideal for dogs with grain allergies and other filler allergies because they are 100% pure chicken.
Smokehouse 100% Natural Chicken Chips Dog Treats
We recommend these treats because they are quality tested to ensure safety and made from 100% chicken. They are easy to carry in your pocket for training. The chicken chips are a fun treat for your pooch any place, any time.
Kingdom Pets Premium Dog Treats, Chicken Jerky
We recommend these treats because they are also made from 100% chicken and have all natural ingredients. They are highly palatable and dogs love them. They are a great option for dogs that are older and have to watch their weight. Only lean meat is used to create these treats.
4 Good Deeds Dog Treats, Peanut Butter, Large Bones, Made in USA
We recommend these treats because they are crafted with peanut butter and other natural ingredients. They are made in the USA to the highest standards. Peanut butter is a great treat option for dogs. It is healthy, offers high density protein and really gives them something that they can sink their teeth into.
Merrick Texas Hold em’s Lamb Lung Fillets Treats for Dogs, 12-Ounce
We recommend these treats because they are made from protein rich lamb. They are a great option for dogs that love their meat. While lamb lungs may not seem appealing to you, your pooch will go gaga for them and be willing to do just about anything for them!
Some Extra Tips
There are a couple of more tips that we have for you that can help you to choose which treats are best for your dog:
- If you notice we did not really choose any grain based treats. This was intentional because dogs are carnivores that really need the added protein and that really enjoy the taste of meat based products.
- There are some great grain based options but there are many dogs that are actually allergic to grains and the allergy can manifest itself as gastro issues and even skin rashes.
- Be sure to choose treats that are proportionate to the size of your dog. If you have a large dog clearly tiny tidbits of treats are not going to be very satisfying and are not going to feel much like a reward.
- Buy different types of treats and switch them off so that your dog does not become bored with the idea of treats. Having a variety can help to keep things interesting for your dog.
- Also switch off between crunchy type treats and soft type treats. Crunchy treats have the added benefit of cleaning the plaque off of your dogs teeth as they chew. Soft treats are typically more palatable for the dogs but they are ingested quickly and there is not a lot to savor. Soft treats are best for puppies and older dogs while the hard crunchy treats are great for adolescents and middle aged dogs.
- Remember half the fun in getting the treat is in the anticipation leading up to the treat. Always be sure that you get some sort of positive response out of your dog so that they will always associate the treat with that good behavior.
Using treat rewards for your dog is an excellent way to show your appreciation to your dog for complying with commands and for just being a good friend.
Choosing wholesome treats are a great way to ensure that you are making healthy choices for your dog as well.
Dog treats are relatively inexpensive and can be one of the best tools you use in the care of your dog.