Choosing the right treats for your dog


Dr Ritesh Sood
If you are a pet parent, you would know how satisfying it is to reward your dog with some treats. But it is important to choose the right treat for your pooch.
Dog treats are always known to be one of the best ways to bond with your pet. They can offer great motivation for your dog during training and while inculcating good behaviour. It is hard to resist yourself from sharing these healthy tidbits to your pooch when he looks at you with those big, round eyes and drool dripping down his jaws, after a busy work-out and training session. However, one thing that has always bothered many pet parents is to choose the right treat for your dog. Below is a quick guide that you could use while buying treats for your dog.
Age matters
The dog’s nutritional requirements essentially vary on the basis of their age. Each dog, of any breed, will have to be given different treats that meet their needs when they are at different life stages. Puppies, aged between 0-2 years, are prone to indigestion and low immunity, and need treats that can not only provide nutrition but these additional health benefits. On the other hand, for adult dogs aged between 2-7 years, select treats that can provide health benefits such as supporting skin health and overall fitness. Senior dogs aged 7 years and above commonly have weak joints and are much stressed. Treats with added benefits like supporting joint health and stress control are of much benefit for senior dogs.
Nutrition & quantity
Undoubtedly, dogs love treats and it is hard to deny them of it. However, it is important to know that the treats should be fed moderately. Overfeeding may lead to obesity issues. Choosing a nutritious treat is just as important to ensure your pet leads a healthy life. Select treats that offers a balanced nutrition and includes special health benefits. A word of advice, treats ideally should not constitute more than 10 percent of your dog’s total calorie intake.
Even though treats are not fed as a diet, it is vital to ensure that ingredients in the treats don’t disrupt their appetite. Many forms of treats are available in the market but one must choose the right treats depending on the breed and age of the dog. Treats with special health benefits and nutrition are much more preferred over the treats that only provide nutrition. You may also choose treats that are low in calories, low in fat and high in protein. Do consult your vet for advice.
Do not overfeed
Dog treats are just as important as their regular meals. It can sometimes be detrimental to their overall health if you over feed your dog with treats. It is essential for pet parents to be highly responsible while choosing the right treat and offering it to them at healthy moderation. After all, healthy pets make happy pets and pet parents.
(Dr Ritesh Sood is product manager – Animal Health Division at The Himalaya Drug Company.)