Give Your Dog Treats, But Don’t Overdo It

Dog treats are a great way to encourage your dog to behave, aid in training, –whether it’s complicated tricks and behaviors, or just potty training and the standard “sit and stay” commands. Then you can just give your dog a special treat now and then to let them know you love them, and that not chewing up your new pair of leather pumps was a smooth move on his part. Plus, many dog treats are optimized to contain vitamins to improve their digestive system, or strengthen and clean their teeth.

However, there is a lot of hazard in giving your dog too many treats, and although spoiling the animal is a concern, there are also others, such as severe possible side effects of a harmful ingredient in the treat that your dog has been repeatedly exposed to.

Making your own dog treats is very beneficial, –because you know what’s going into the food, and can control what the animal is exposed to. But it’s still important to ask a vet what ingredients you should not put in the treat.

Nutritional And Health Concerns

Throughout recent years, many foods and treats sold on mass scales especially for dogs were found to contain many ingredients that are actually poisonous to the animal, more so if they have been eating the food their entire lives.

Even today, treats and foods for dogs can include dairy products, garlic, or onion, wheat gluten, liver, and salt. Chocolate is also poisonous for dogs, but rarely ever found in treats or food, and should never actually be given to a dog. All of these can cause numerous diseases in animals, from obesity to heart failure, when given to the animal in large quantities.

Reading the ingredients panel of your dog food, or brand of dog treat, might just save your pet’s life, or you could even skip the store bought treats, and make your own at home. Some items, like raisins and popcorn are frequently given as treats to dogs; but raisins are poisonous, and popcorn should remain unsalted.

Consequences In Behaviour

Dogs can be spoiled just as easily as children can; if you give them a reward all the time, soon, good behavior will have lost all meaning, and they will act out regardless of prior training. Children however, can be verbally corrected. Dogs don’t speak our language.

So if you give your dog a treat all the time, the idea of getting a treat will have lost all meaning. Spoiling a pet and then punishing your animal for misbehaviour also leads to a lot of avoidable confusion. Train your pet wisely, and keep the treats for the times when you feel your dog deserves one, or now and then for just a little gift.

Make Your Own

Making your own dog treats is tricky, and you should always check with your vet before giving your animal anything to eat that is not specifically “for dogs”. If you plan to bake treats for your pet, also be sure of what vitamins are going to be in them, -that way you know just how this will affect your dog’s nutrition.

Try the recipe below if you want to make a homemade batch of dog treats. But also check ingredients with a vet first, –your pet may have allergies or other health issues that might cause unhealthy reactions.

Homemade Dog Treats

Preheat oven to 325 F.

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • (Garlic powder has been removed from this recipe because it is unsafe for dogs, but as an option and if your vet does not object, add 1 tsp of garlic powder.)
  • 1 tsp chicken bullion (unflavored with onion or garlic, preferably)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup milk

Combine all liquid ingredients in one bowl, and set aside. The combine together the cornmeal, cheese, chicken flavor, (garlic powder if you’re using it), and the grated cheese in a larger bowl. Not the flour. Afterward, pour the liquid mixture into the dry mix, and stir evenly.

The add half a cup of flour at a time, stirring evenly after each addition. Use cookie cutters to make doggie friendly shapes, or just drop a couple teaspoons at a time on a baking sheet like cookies. Bake for 30 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet, and remember to let them cool for at least an hour before giving them to your dog.

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