‘Treat’ them right!

Delicious, scrumptious treats…our pooches love them and we love to see the happiness on their face when they get one of their favourite treats. But, before you toss that treat to your pooch, hold on, think again – is it right for your pooch?

Treats are an important training tool – used for rewarding your pooch for good behaviour. Treats like chew sticks help to keep your dog’s teeth healthy. But, treats should be used in moderation, let’s see why.

  • No human treats please: We love to share our life with our pooches and sometimes even our food…but it can be harmful for her. Pet food is different and contains the essential nutrients for her health. So, do not share your food, even if she looks at you with those soulful pleading eyes.
  • Choose the treat as per your dog size and health: If you have a puppy, feed her smaller treats and if you have a senior dog, softer treats should be fine. Make sure your pooch is not allergic of any contents of the treat. For obese dogs, low-calorie treats are available.
  • For dental health: Chew treats help in promoting healthy teeth and keeping bad breath away. You can use rawhide chews but supervise her to ensure that she does not choke on swallowing it.
  • Treats and training: While training your dog, you can use treats to reward her. But, you can control the calorie intake by giving her a smaller treat. And sometimes, even a pat or ‘Good Girl’ should be enough treat for her. Also, make sure to use different kinds of treats to keep her motivated.
  • Make treat a fun: Use a Kong toy to hide your pet’s favourite treat. She can play with the Kong for hours to get hold of her treat. This would be mentally stimulating for her as well.
  • Limit the treats: Treats should not form more than 10 percent of your pet’s total calorie intake.
  • Special treat…you: There’s nothing like spending quality time with your pooch. Bond with her, play with her, groom her, or take her out for a walk or a ride …because you are her special treat.

Experts’ comments

“We should be very careful about the ingredients while giving treats to our dogs. Treats containing saturated fats are harmful to our pets. Particularly, obese pets should avoid milk-products, ice creams, etc.”
– Dr CS Arun, My Pet Clinic, Mysore
“Apart from other health factors, amount of Buten is the treats should always be checked. Such treats sometimes cause allergic to dogs. And it’s good to go only for additive-free treats.”
– Dr Mahmood Abbas, Caliph Pet Zone, Bengaluru
“Treats are useful during training for a specific reason that it helps in pulling attention of young dogs (4-5 months in age) who are in the initial stage of training regimes.”
– Rajesh Kumar, trainer, Dog Kennel, New Delhi
“One of the useful tools during training sessions is treats. The treats we use are not for feeding purpose. That’s just rewards which encourage the spirits of furry trainees.”
– Sanjay Kumawat, trainer, Kumawat Dog Trainer, Ajmer