It seems that no matter where you look online, information about what not to give your dog for a treat is all over the internet. This can leave dog owners confused about spoiling a dog and dismayed that their four-legged friends can no longer enjoy some of the little treats and activities they have done in the past.
There are lots of ways to spoil and pamper your dog that is healthy, fun, and very much appreciated by your pooch. Dog owners need to remember that treats are meant to be small additions to the daily food intake, and they should never be used to replace a meal. Dogs that are obese have food sensitivities, or those on specific types of medications will need a more selective diet, and checking with your vet on any restrictions for food or exercise is always the first step.
Think Healthy Treats
Many people assume that all human foods are bad for dogs. In fact, this is not the case. A good number of healthy snacks you and your family enjoy are also great options for your dog.
Instead of commercial dog treats, make it simple by providing your dog with small bits of fruit and vegetables. Just like people, dogs have their favorites, so try out different options to find the right combo for your pet.
Most dogs are very happy to have a piece of crisp, raw, healthy broccoli or cauliflower to chew. Some dogs enjoy the thicker stems while others like the florets. Crispy vegetables like these, as well as carrots, celery, and green beans, are also good for cleaning the teeth. In the summer, consider a treat of a nice cold slice of cucumber right from the fridge. Be sure to peel the skin to avoid the bitter taste.
Apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges, peaches, cantaloupe, and watermelon are also popular treats. Always remove the seeds and discard them where the dog cannot get at them later. Watermelon and cantaloupe should have the seeds and the rind removed before feeding.
Dogs love to be with their people, and combining companionship with exercise is a treat for any dog. Adding an extra walk, taking the time to play a game of fetch, or even enjoying a game of doggy tag or hide a seek is always a great treat.
Taking a dog someplace new, such as a walk on a dog-friendly hiking trail, a day at a dog-friendly beach or lake, or trying out a new dog park are top activities for your four-legged friend. Always adjust the activity level to the dog’s overall fitness, the weather conditions, and the dog’s age and mobility.
It is also important to understand that spending time grooming, petting, and just being with your dog is a way to bond. Dogs love companionship, and keeping it simple is a reward both you and your pet can appreciate.