Lots of us show our dogs they’re loved and appreciated with a little morsel of one of their favourite treats but one of the most commonly asked questions we get from dog owners is how often they should actually be treating their dogs?
McDug food is nutritionally complete dog food and it’ll give your dog all of the vitamins and minerals they’ll need, as well as the right balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates. So while your dog might not need any other food sources, it’s only natural to want to treat them now and again.
So how often should you treat your dog?
The answer depends on a few factors: the size of your dog, their activity level and their diet in general. But the general rule of thumb is that treats should only make up around 10% of your dog’s daily calories.
Dogs see treats as a form of affection, which makes them a great option to reinforce positive behaviours and as training tools. But it’s important to be careful not to overuse them.
Accidentally giving your dog too many calories on a regular basis will eventually lead to obesity and can cause long-term health issues such as cardio-respiratory disorders, hormone problems, and even cancer.
What should you give your dog as a treat?
There are so many options out there on the market, but a lot of it will come down to what makes your dog’s tail wag with glee!
If you’re looking for a training treat, you want to choose something that’s small enough for you to keep in your pocket (so you can reward your dog as they complete the behaviour you want to reward them for). These treats should also be small enough that you can give them without worrying about impacting their calorie intake.
Other treats can be used to boost your dog’s health. Dental treats are a popular option to promote healthy teeth and gums in dogs while having the added benefit of keeping their breath nice and fresh, a blessing when your dog is panting near your face!
Digestive treats are also great if you have a dog who tends to have a sensitive stomach - the ingredients typically include pre and probiotics to support a healthy gut, while also being super tasty for your dog.
When should you treat your dog?
The timing of when you give the treats is almost as important as how often you choose to give them.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when treating your dog:
DO use treats to reinforce the behaviour you want your dog to continue
DON’T give your dog a treat as a response to begging for food
DO limit treats to a maximum of 10% of your dog’s overall calorie intake
DON’T replace mealtimes with treats
DO use treats to boost your dog’s health, such as our dental, digestion or immunity treats
DON’T accidentally make your dog unwell by giving them food that’s toxic, especially if you’re feeding them leftovers of your meals
What’s your dog’s favourite treat? Leave us a comment below and let us know!