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Giving your dog a good treat

dog good treatFood is the primary motivator for the majority of dogs. Therefore, food treats are excellent rewards for training, good behavior during grooming, and sometimes just for fun. If your dog is like most dogs, he will do much of what you ask, just for that nibble of food that you have in your pocket!

Your dog wants to please you because he loves you, you say? That might be true, but odds are that he loves you because you are his pack leader and food provider. Now that you know what he wants, don't disappoint him.

Your dog will try to eat anything you give him. He trusts you to give him what he needs, even if he does not necessarily like it. Conversely, you should familiarize yourself with treats that will be good for him and that taste good, too. Here are a few good treats, as well as a few that are "okay" just to get you started.

Good Treats

Dried liver: you can make your own dried liver treats by buying some beef liver with garlic powder and baking it in an oven set at 300 degrees. Your dog will love you for it--although you may need to burn some scented candles for a couple of hours to dispose of the liver aroma!

Baby carrots: sweet and crunchy, many dogs love these little taste treats. Although they are not good training treats because they are hard in texture and don't go down quickly, your dog will love them as a mid-afternoon snack. Unless they are pureed, your dog ingests no calories from baby carrots, since he cannot efficiently digest hard vegetables. This characteristic makes them excellent treats for overweight dogs.

Premium-quality commercial treats: these treats are usually found in bags or boxes in your pet supply store. Unlike grocery store treats, these premium-quality treats are made from natural ingredients and often have supplements added. One premium soft treat/Zuke's Hip Action Minis, for example, has glucosamine added for added joint protection during training. Soft treats like Zuke's Minis are better for training, since they require little chewing. Small hard treats, like Charlee Bear treats, are all right for training large dogs who do not need to chew them, but might be better for rewards for good grooming behavior or "just because". Your dog might also find freeze-dried treats to be appealing, but these may be a bit expensive for every day. Freeze-dried treats are usually made of chicken, liver, or beef. They range from light and crunchy to hard chews.

Hard-boiled eggs: hard-boiled eggs are a great occasional "just because" treat for your dog. Eggs are high in easily digestible protein and can help your dog develop a thick and shiny coat. You should give your dog eggs only on occasion because they are also high in fat and cholesterol, but in moderation they are excellent treats for your dog.

Not-So-Good Treats

Commercial dog treats: you know that warm and happy feeling you get when you bite into some fast food? Your favorite dessert? Those feelings are the same as the ones that your dog experiences when he gets these "junk food" treats. They might seem tasty and are made in fun and colorful shapes, but they offer no nutritional value. If you are unable to afford to give your dog any other treat, you will not harm him with these-; gain in moderation--but be aware there are better treats out there.

Words of Caution

Chocolate: a lot has been written on the hazards of feeding chocolate to dogs. It's not a good idea to share your chocolate bar with your dog. If you want to give him something like chocolate, get some carob-coated treats. It looks the same and contains no sugar. Your dog will like it just as much.

Grapes and Raisins: feeding your dog raisins can cause his kidneys to fail. If he manages to get a grape that is dropped on the floor, there is little reason to panic. However, even a few raisins can cause poisoning. Call your vet if your dog has eaten either grapes or raisins and appears lethargic, has diarrhea or vomiting, or urinates less frequently than usual.

Nuts: Most nuts are not suggested as treats for your dogs. Dogs can develop bladder stones if they are regularly fed nuts.

Onions: don't like those raw onions that someone put on your burger? Don't give them to your dog! Like all of the other foods mentioned here, onions contain a chemical that is toxic to dogs, even in relatively small amounts. Not every dog who eats onions (or even onion powder) will die, but it's best just to be safe and avoid giving them to your dog.

Many good treats are available on the market for your dog. Your dog can even share your food with you, if done with care. Just be careful and all of your dog's treats can be good treats.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.

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