What types of dog treats should I use?
Have you ever stood at the pet store, looked at all of the different treats available, and felt a little overwhelmed? I know that it can be hard to figure what types of training treats will work best for you and your dog. This is something that my clients ask me about a lot!
I’m not going to tell you what brand or type of treat to use. However, here are some general questions that you can ask yourself when you are selecting treats to use when training your dog.
Questions to ask when selecting dog treats
- What are the main ingredients? It’s important to check the list of ingredients so that you know exactly what you are giving your dog. I like treats that have some sort of meat as the main ingredient and that aren’t full of things with long, hard-to-pronounce names.
- How big is the treat? You dog may love big treats. However, he’ll fill up pretty fast during a training session if your treats are too big. Also, too many big treats can lead to weight gain. I like to use small treats so that they can be swallowed quickly and so that my dog won’t fill up too fast. At the same time, the treats should be big enough so that you can easily handle it and deliver it during training. For small breed dogs, I’ll often break large treats into halves, fourths, or even smaller.
- What is the texture and consistency? Treats that are soft and moist are usually the best for training! If the treat is hard and dry the dog has to chew more. Also, the dog will likely get thirsty during a longer training session. Make sure the treat isn’t too crumbly or soft. Otherwise, you’ll end up with little bits of treats all over the place.
- Does my dog have any health concerns? If your dog has allergies or a sensitive stomach, you’ll want to check the ingredients (and maybe even consult with your vet) to pick a treat that is appropriate for your dog. Likewise, if your dog gains weight easily or needs to loose some weight, you’ll want to select low-calorie treats. If you’re concerned about your dog getting extra calories, one perfect solution can be to set aside a portion of your dog’s daily kibble and use this for training. This way, you’re not adding any extra calories during your training sessions.
Remember, if you need help training your dog, you can contact Mary to schedule in-person lessons in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex or Zoom lessons for dogs all over the world!