Pet owners like to give their pets treats. Treats are often helpful as training aids and can be used to distract pets undergoing procedures such as removing mats, trimming nails or grooming your pet, etc. Sometimes, we give pets treats as a health benefit. And sometimes, it is just fun to give pets something special.
There are dozens of types, styles, sizes and brands to choose from, and trying to choose the perfect treat can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you choose the best one for your Pet!
Features to Consider:
- Quality of ingredients
- Consistency of ingredients
- Size (size of treat relative to size of your pet)
- Palatability, flavor, and appeal to pet
The ideal treat is one made of good quality ingredients, low in calories and consistent in ingredients (thus unlikely to cause stomach upset from bag to bag). New formulations that minimize dental tartar may also be beneficial to some pets. Treats need to be low in fat, good tasting and nutritious (high in vitamins and minerals).
It is also important to ensure you are buying the proper size relative to the size of your pet. Treats that are too large or too small can cause esophageal obstructions in some pets.
It is also ideal if they don't cost you a fortune!
Choose a treat formulated specifically for your pet's size. If you are going to give treats, choose complete and balanced treats. Hill's® Science Diet® makes great quality treats that are relatively low in calories, consistent and made of high quality ingredients.
| ||Treat Tips |
Using treats in Training
- Good nutrition may be the most important factor affecting your pet's health. This is especially true in growing puppies and kittens. Feed the best quality food you can afford. Do NOT supplement treats for a good quality core dog or cat food diet.
- There is nothing in a treat that is nutritionally required for your pet if he or she is on a good quality dog/cat food. They are just that, a “treat” or a “snack”, not dissimilar to potato chips or a Snickers bar for us. We might like it, but we don't necessarily “need” it.
- Consider low-calorie treats for pets with weight control problems. Another alternative is to break up treats into small pieces to make them last longer, thus giving less (and less calories). Always read the labels for caloric content.
- If your pet suffers from food allergies. Watch for those ingredients on any treat you buy for your pet. There are hypoallergenic treats available from food manufacturers.
- If your pet is on a special prescription diet, ask your vet which treat is best for your pet. In this case, the best treat might be homemade. You can usually purchase the canned version of the prescription food and use it to bake treats.
- Treats that control plaque and tartar in pets are a great option. Consider that the treat may help control some tartar and plaque but the most effective method for providing good dental care is daily brushing.
- Make sure that you select the right size treat for the size and weight of your pet. Also, watch how he chews and eats it. Some treats have been associated with causing problems such as esophageal foreign bodies. Make sure your pet does not “gulp” the treat or eat it in big pieces.
- Some cats really like canned food and consider that a wonderful treat. Some pet owners feed small amounts of canned food twice daily to supplement their cats core dry food diet. The benefit to this approach is that it gives you a good opportunity to observe your cat's appetite twice a day.
Treats are an excellent way to reinforce desired behavior if they are used correctly.
While some pets need only our approval or a pat on the side as a reward for good behavior, others need a little more incentive to respond consistently to our commands. To keep pets from becoming dependent on treats for behavior that is expected of them, limit treat-giving to the learning phase of training.
|Joint Treats® |
- All-natural pet treat
|Greenies Feline |
- AAFCO approved
- Reduce tartar buildup
- Bad Breath
- Clean Teeth
|Lean Treat |
- Made with real skinless chicken
- Bite-size pieces for portion control
- Low Fat Treat
|Breath & Dental-Care Treats |
- Elimination of Tartar buildup and Bad Breath.
- Contains Eucalyptus, Parsley & Cinnamon extracts
- Contains no Fluoride
|Hip Chips |
- Semi-Moist chips that are good for your dog
- Contains both glucosamine and chondroitin
- Can be combined with arthritis supplements