Dogs love to eat and the food has to taste great. They are happy to be bribed with treats to please you. They have also the ability to turn into extremely sweet, cute and irresistible creatures when there is a chance of getting a treat without necessarily earning it. The dog sees the treat as a sign of love from you and wants to win your trust and attention. Who can stand up to big, beautiful dogs eyes?
There’s a jungle of treats for your four-legged best friend. When giving treats there must be a purpose, and you should think about the dog’s health, and the treat must work as intended.
What are bad and what are good treats for the dog? It is not an easy answer to the question. In this blog, I will try to provide an overview of this topic which I hope you dog owners can benefit by.
Mutual Trust and Respect – Positive reinforcement
There should be a good reason for the dog to get a treat or two. And you have to be consistent in how you apply the giving of treats. In my opinion, there are only a few reasons to give treats. There are certainly some who disagree with me in this, but based on 7 years of experience as a dog owner, the recommendation is the following 4 points:
- Behaviour change
- Learning new tasks
- Expressions of love
If you are slacking in being consistent, you end up with a fussy dog who’s going to require treats all the time. If the dog has first added such a habit, it is difficult to change its behaviour and it will take time.
According to the blog article “The Ingenious Treat” published on Forskning.no’s online newsletter, the treat has two features in a dog’s life. One of these is reward during obedience training e.g. upon a summons. The second is a means of learning a dog to change behaviour e.g. aggression. This is described with the following terms; “operant conditional” and “classically conditional” reward.
Furthermore, the blog article describes that the distinction between the two functions the treat has lies in the reason for the measures used in the training. Is the challenge only training-related or is there uncertainty and fear behind it.
All training must be based on mutual respect and trust between owner/trainer and dog. Training and behavioral change cannot be based on fear and dominance. A dog owner who tries such a method will not succeed very well in getting the dog to obey. Rather, the dog is at risk of developing major behavioural problems due to stress, caused by fear and humiliation.
Positive reinforcement of desired behavior contributes to the reward of desired behavior time after time, as well as stimulus to cognitive, emotional and social skills.
Size and quantity of treats
The treats you give your dog must fit the size of the dog and it must not become a substitute for the dog’s meals. Everything the dog eats must be balanced and provide an optimal nutrient intake that is adapted to age , level of activity and race.
The treat should come immediately once the dog has earned it. Give 3 small pieces quickly one after the other to emphasize the behavior/learning task. This means that the treat must not be too big, or that the dog must chew very on the treat. This prevents the dog from getting full and it leads to the road being ready for more treats
For our dog Nemi are treats with a size of about 10 000. 1/2 cm large enough. She weighs 6.5 kg. The advice from the blog article “The Ingenious Treat” published on Forskning.no provides the following guidelines for weight versus the size of the treats:
- 0-3 kg 0,25cm
- 3 – 10 kg 0.5 cm
- 10-20 kg 1 cm
- 20-35 kg 1.25 cm
- 35 kg and over 1.5 cm
These are approximate sizes.
Gobbleneck or picky – all dogs are not equal
All dogs are not the same. They have completely different desires in terms of what is the kingdom of heaven for those of goodies. Here you just have to explore different treats so that you eventually know what your own dog likes.
With Nemi, we’ve found that it’s a good idea to share the different types of treats she likes based on what we want to achieve. I always have some kind of treats with me on regular air trips. Then I’ll be covered if Nemi shows the desired behavior. In addition, these treats are great for rewarding already learned behavior at Nemi.
I also bring with me treats that she likes better than the “regular” treats. These are great for training new tasks or important behaviors that keep her in control in different situations, e.g. notice, become siitende and when passing cars in confined spaces.
Fortunately, we don’t have any particular behavioral problem with Nemi, although she may be somewhat nervous and insecure when she meets other dogs. This doesn’t always happen, but then it’s great to have a “small” reserve with wonderfully good treats that she simply can’t resist. For her, small pieces of chicken sausage are completely irresistible and everything else becomes uninteresting and the passage of other dogs acts like a dream. This is an example of countermecondition (classic contingent). In other words, the treat is used when learning tasks and behaviors that are difficult and by strong fear and/or aggression.
What about regular food – can dogs eat it?
Dogs and humans digest and process foods, fruits and vegetables in different ways since the physiology is naturally different. Some types of food are absolutely not to be supplied to the dogs as it is directly dangerous for the dog, such as the dog. grapes and chocolate. Other things need to be paid to the dog so that it does not get too much or that what it eats can go into small pieces that can harm it e.g. Bone.
Dairy products are something to be careful about as most dogs are lactose intolerant. We have on some occasions given Nemi cheese and she is absolutely crazy about it and white cheese is best. It’s worked out fine luckily, but she only gets it now when she’s done something really good.
Meat, fruits and vegetables are good for the dog of the food that we humans eat. But as I said, be aware that they can’t eat everything. What they definitely can’t eat is:
- Citrus fruit
- Bowl dough
- Turkey skins
- Walnuts and nuts in general
- Poppy seeds
- Bone residue
- Fatty foods
- What is called packaged food such as chips and (chips, cookies)
Please note that this list is not complementary. Check with your veterinarian for further guidance. The online store Dyrekassen has a good overview of some food dogs can not eat
What is good and what are bad treats for the dog?
Dogs can eat pretty much anything of dog candy. But as for humans, it’s not all snacks and goodies that are healthy. Buy treats that are as natural as possible for your four-legged best friend. If you have fruits and vegetables in the house there are great treats, except for those listed earlier in the article. Cheese can be used in small quantities. Lean chicken sausages are great as the super treat in the training situation.
Of treats specially made for dogs, you as a dog owner need to do some research work. You can make treats yourself or you can buy in store or at a veterinarian. Try out different types and stay focused on the fact that the treats are part of a balanced and nutritious diet.
We’ve tried several types of treats for Nemi. Although they have mostly been of seemingly good quality, she has been badly stomach-related by some of them. Her favorite of all favorites is Dentastix. She gets one of that a day. They come in packages intended for different size dogs.
Other treats that she likes are:
- Royal Canine Educ ( fine for training)
- Provit Go’bit with different taste types. Nemi’s favorite is with beef
- Fish4 Dogs – pieces of stockfish. This doesn’t get Nemi anymore as she gets bad in her stomach
- Purina Adventuros Venison Wild Strips. Nemi’s crazy about this one.
- Pedigree Tasty Bites.
- Trixie – Soft Trainer Snacks
Otherwise, there are other types of treats snacks such as both ice cream for dogs and frozen yogurt for dogs. Nemi usually get this when it’s hot out in the summer.
A few words in the end
Treats for dogs are part of a balanced and nutritious diet for your dog. Use common sense when the dog gets treats. It should have earned it. Always carry treats in a treat bag made for that purpose. Then your clothes won’t smell strongly of dog candy. believe me, that smell is not very appealing. Human food is just that, human food. Dogs can become extremely bad, or simply poison off the food we humans eat. The relationship between you as a dog owner and your dog is built on mutual trust and respect. Use positive reinforcement active ii reward of your dog during regular air trips and during exercise. If you follow this, you will have a safe and secure dog with confidence and a good friend who trusts you and desires you.