Every pet parent knows the satisfying feeling of rewarding their dog with a treat. It is one of the best and easiest ways to make your dog feel at home, tell them they’ve done a good job, and strengthen the bond between the two of you. Treats are one of the most popular and successful training tools, and they come in a variety of flavours, shapes and forms. Some dogs may be picky about different smells, textures and flavours - but there is a treat out there for every dog to enjoy.
Dogs living the treat life
Discover the many benefits of treats
All pet parents will be aware of how motivating treats can be for our furry friends, and if you reward your dog with a treat at the right time it will prove beneficial in their training, behaviour and wellbeing.
Look for healthy treats that contain a calorie count on the packaging. This way you can keep track of how many “extra” calories your pet is consuming. Remember to subtract the calories given through treats from your pet’s daily food intake.
- Reward good behaviour
Treats are perhaps the easiest way to let dogs know that they are behaving well and you want them to continue with this good behaviour. If you are looking for a particular behaviour from your dog, providing a “high value” treat may just do the trick. Try some freeze dried treats or these Whole King Salmon pet treats from Omega Plus.
- Positive reinforcement
Using treats during training time will give your dog incentive to learn new tricks and skills. Because you may be feeding these treats more often, look for a healthy treat to avoid weight gain. Royal Canin Educ are a low calorie treat that offers optimal palatability for use during your training sessions with your puppy or adult dog.
- Beat boredom
Longer lasting treats such as chews can be a great way to break up your dog’s day at home or to keep them occupied while you are doing other tasks. Try a puzzle toy filled with treats, or a KONG stuffed with treats or peanut butter to really get their brain working. Lick mats such as this one from Trixie are another great way to keep your dog busy and happy for longer periods of time.
- Provide mental stimulation
KONGs, puzzle toys and lick mats will also provide your pooch with mental stimulation. Another way to provide mental stimulation through treats is to hide them in different spots around the house and let them use their nose to seek them out. Awesome Pawsome treats come in a range of delicious flavours and are the perfect size for hiding.
- Can promote healthier teeth and gums
Some treats are designed for dental health, such as Greenies or Pedigree Dentastix. These dental treats can be given daily to keep your dog’s teeth and gums cleaner. Not to mention, these will keep any bad doggy breath at bay. Certain chewy treats can also help to remove any plaque on your dog’s teeth and gums.
Know your options
These make for great training treats as they have high quantities of meat and smell great for dogs. They are also a healthy option so you won’t need to worry too much about feeding a few more of these throughout the day.
These long lasting chews are designed to keep your dog occupied for a longer period of time.
These tasty treats also help improve your dog’s oral health and are usually fed once a day, or as needed to freshen your pup’s breath.
If you’re looking to support local and feed your dog some tasty treats made right here in NZ, there are a large range of locally made dog treats.
Quick tips for treating your dog
- Give 10%
While treats are a great reward, it is important to remember that they shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. If you are feeding more treats throughout the day for training purposes remember to Look for healthy treats that contain a calorie count on the packaging. This way you can keep track of how many “extra” calories your pet is consuming. Remember to subtract the calories given through treats from your pet’s daily food intake.
Peanut butter is a favourite
If you have a fussy dog or are unsure what your new dog will like, try peanut butter flavoured treats first such as these are a favourite amongst dogs. Some popular choices are Ivory Coat peanut butter flavoured gourmet dog treats or the KONG stuff'n treats peanut butter range.
- Mix it up
You may find that your dog reacts differently to different flavoured and textured treats. Try a variety to find your pup’s favourite. And don’t be worried if they go off their favourite treat after a while, they might just be craving something new!
If you have any questions about the best treat options for your dog, or how many treats to feed, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of Pet Direct’s Customer Service Experts on 0800 200 240.