Everyone enjoys a tasty morsel, so why shouldn’t your best friend get a yummy treat too? It may even feel cruel to deny those adoring brown eyes begging you for just a bite of whatever you are snacking on. Good news! You can give your dog treats. A treat, by definition, is an especially unexpected source of joy, delight or amusement. Unexpected is the key word. If you are giving so many treats that they are no longer special, they are no longer treats!
You can also delight your companion with healthy treats. Most dogs enjoy fresh vegetables like peas and carrots. A frozen green bean makes a particularly nice treat in the summer or for a teething puppy to soothe sore gums. A bite of fresh fruit, a bite of plain bread or pasta, or a bite of boiled lean chicken or turkey breast meat will also bring pleasure to your pet’s palate.
Things to consider when picking out a treat are fat, salt and sugar. Avoid fats altogether. Dogs are prone to pancreatitis and fatty foods such as pizza, bacon, and fried chicken can trigger this very painful and sometimes deadly illness. Too much salt is hard on the heart and kidneys. High sugar foods will add a lot of calories, and don’t forget that chocolate can be toxic to your dog. Count the calories in the treats you feed as part of the total daily caloric requirement for your pet to make sure the treats you give are not going to result in obesity. Some treats have no calories at all: gentle caresses, verbal praise, and taking a few minutes to play ball with your furry friend will definitely bring joy and amusement to your faithful companion. Chances are those will be treats for you too!