Although Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is an American day, there can’t be many dogs who don’t appreciate a nice tasty treat.
The first dog biscuit was developed in the mid-19th century by American manufacturer James Spratt. He came up with the idea after he visited Liverpool, where he observed stray dogs hungrily tucking into ship’s biscuits. Subsequently, Spratt’s secret dog biscuit recipe, including both meat and vegetables, was produced in London.
Types of Dog Treats
Today, there is a plethora of dog treats on the market, not just dog biscuits, making choice bewildering. So how do you know if the treats you give your dog are healthy?
If you have the time you could make your own. Importantly, you will ensure that your dog’s treats don’t contain any unnecessary ingredients and fillers. There are lots of recipes out there for tasty treats. For example, you could make liver cake, sardine or pilchard cake or you could also invent your own.
Like dog food, dog treats have to list their ingredients. So, if you know what is in your dog food it will be easy to recognise the ingredients in treats. Our recent blog “Love those Ingredients Labels” shows you how to read the ingredients. Additionally, the website allaboutdogfood.co.uk can explain the ingredients in greater details.
Lots of dogs really enjoy the crunch of raw vegetables such as carrots. Dog also love fruit. Over the years I have had dogs that used to sit and watch me eat apples and drool while they waited the core.
Or if you really want to push the boat out you could invest in a small dehydrator which will dry strips of meat, fruit and vegetables to make really tasty, healthy treats.
These two options could be just the thing if you are a raw feeder.
Treats for Training
Clearly, one of the most obvious uses is for training. Make sure that when you start to train your dog you are consistent with the treats you use so that the dog will associate these with training. This is very important when training your dog to come back. Your dog needs to learn that he or she only get these treats when they have done well, and they come to recognise them as high value.
Our George always had a routine. First, he would have his dinner and then, later, his supper. Finally, at bedtime he would get a treat and woe betide if we forgot.
Using Treats Wisely
We all know that eating too much leads to putting on a few pounds and the same can happen if you feed your dogs too many treats.
After all, a dog can suffer from the same ailments as us such as arthritis or heart disease if they are overweight. Therefore, if you are giving your dog treats make sure that they are getting enough exercise. Also, cut down the amount of food they get at mealtimes to take into account treats. That way you will keep your dog at a healthy weight and healthy.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained here it is for educational purposes only. The writer of this article and Dog Hair Day can’t diagnose any physical, mental or behavioural condition in animals nor prescribe treatment. We urge you to consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog.