Dogs love treats, and like every other dog lover I love giving them! The fact is though that treats are exactly that, a treat! They shouldn’t make up more than a small amount of your pets diet (say 10%), and giving the wrong thing can have disastrous consequences for your best mate and your hip pocket.
So when we’re talking leftovers, or sharing your food with your fur kid, stick to the following guidelines:
- Know what is toxic and what to steer clear of it! refer to our 10 pet pantry traps
- Know that fatty food and processed meats,(crackling, chicken skin, sausage, ham, salami),are a common cause of tummy upsets and pancreatitis which can result in days in hospital, and $$$ on treatment. Not worth the risk.
- Consider it as a treat only, and ensure the bulk of your pets diet is fully balanced and digestible.
- If you wouldn’t eat it, neither should your pet.
If you’re in need of some treat inspiration that’s easy, safe, tasty and tooth friendly, try these:
- Raw veggies: carrots, broccoli, and green beans (most pooches actually love their vegies, they’re a great thing to get in the habit of giving).
- Cooked veggies: pumpkin, sweet potato.
- Fruit: banana pieces, berries, apple slices- no core or seeds.
- Frozen treats: get an old ice-cream container and fill it with a little dry dog food, a little vegemite and the rest with water, put in the freezer and it’s ready to go the next morning. Keeps them cool and helps with boredom- two birds one stone!
- Filled Kong toys: Get inventive and fill these with a small amount of kibble or vegemite and then filled with fresh chicken or beef stock, then freeze and voila, a fun tasty snack that also provides entertainment.
- Raw hide chews.
- Greenies: great for teeth, available at vet clinics and pet stores.
- Dried chicken breast: great as a reward, always break into tiny pieces, it’s the flavour and reward the dogs love, ensure it’s sourced from Australia.
- Liver treats: same goes as per the dried chicken.
- Kangaroo tendons: for pearly whites, available at vet clinics and pet stores, ensure air-dried and not fried.
So now you know some healthy treats you can give your fur kid, but remember these are never a substitute for what your mate really wants – your love, care and attention.