We all deserve a treat once in awhile!
'Dog Treat' is actually a blanket term used for many different types of snacks and treats you find in your dog supplies store. Different types of treats satisfy different needs, and desires, in your dog. They can also aid in behavior training, dental care and even physical development.
Labeling of dog treats is similar to pet food labeling in that it will refer to life stage, purpose and nutritional contents and ingredients.
Puppies, especially, need to chew! They are cutting their teeth and developing their jaws, and providing them with healthy treats (and chew toys) will help save many a leather shoe. Chewy treats include:
- Rawhide - Made from the inner layer of a cowhide, it's a chewy treat that satisfies your dog's natural urge to chew and provides benefits for their dental care. Rawhide treats come in a variety of forms, with descending hardness, density, and chewing time.
- Pigs Ears - Very high in fat, these are another chewy treat. Some veterinarians discourage feeding pigs' ears because the high fat can cause obesity and pancreatic problems. Furthermore, they have been known to cause salmonella and other bacterial infections in both dogs and the humans handling them.
Many veterinary sources suggest that dry food and dry treats help keep dogs teeth clean. Bite-size crunchy treats are good for training - they fit in your pocket and don't distract your dog from the task at hand for too long. Common varieties include:
- Biscuits and Cookies - Baked, hard and crunchy, they are generally wheat-based. They come in a range in sizes and shapes.
- Animal Bones - Real animal bones are generally discouraged because they can splinter and become lodged in your dog's throat and intestines.
Homemade and Natural Dog Treats
You can find dog treat recipes that are quite easy, inexpensive and healthy on the Internet, in books, and in dog food bakeries, many of which also provide all-natural, even organic products.Also, check out our Pet Nutrition Bookstore page for more useful resources!