Choosing the Best Dog Treats and Bones
Article by Suz Redfern | Found on WebMD
“People will give their dog two, three and four treats at a time and not really think about it until they’re asked details about the dog’s health history and diet,” Pierce says.
The 10% Rule
Treats and snacks should only make up 10% of a dog’s daily calories. To get an idea of how many treats that is, ask your vet. They can make a recommendation based on the treats your dog likes, his weight, and how active he is.
But dogs love treats. And people love giving their dog treats. It’s a way to bond with your pet, and that’s a good thing.
You can still give your dog treats. Just give them one at a time.
Try Veggies and Fruit
You can skip the store-bought snacks that are high in fat, sugar and often preservatives, and try offering your dog some vegetables.
“Give them a baby carrot, a green bean, some broccoli,” Pierce says. “Those have virtually no calories, and dogs don’t care if you’re not giving them something meaty and fatty. They just want you to give them something.”
Dogs are open to all foods, potentially. So vegetables can be a great snack option for your dog.
Try fruits, too. Banana slices, berries, watermelon and apple slices, (with no seeds, of course). Steer clear of grapes, raisins, onions, chocolate and anything with caffeine. These can be toxic to dogs.
Other snacks that can work well as low-calorie dog treats are air-popped popcorn with no salt or butter, and plain rice cakes broken into little pieces.
What to Avoid
Your dog’s treats should be easy on their teeth. Skip anything that’s hard, like bones, antlers, or hooves.
Want to know if a treat is healthy for your dog’s teeth? Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s seal of approval on it that reads “VOHC Accepted.” If it’s not there, don’t offer it.
There’s another way to look at treats.
“Treats are things that bring joy; they don’t have to be food,” says Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, professor in the veterinary clinical services department at Ohio State University.
“If you want to provide your dog with a good treat, then take him for a walk or teach them a new trick,” he says. “Your dog wants your attention and time far more than he wants a snack.”
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.
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