With 54% of dogs in the United States well over their ideal weight, it can be difficult to know when to offer your favorite dog a treat.
The right treat for your dog will vary greatly depending on several factors such as their activity level, ideal weight, and any health concerns.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while searching for new treats for your dog.
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The number of calories your big dog needs will depend on what they do. If they start to gain weight, adjust your dog’s treats and daily meals to find the sweet spot. Keep in mind that each dog no matter the breed is going to need a different ratio between meals and treats in order to maintain their ideal weight.
Always start with the recommended amount on the bag of your dog’s food. Look at the amount for your dog’s ideal weight, not the weight they currently are. It is much harder to know a large breed dog’s ideal weight on their breed alone.
Add food and treats based on their activity level. A working dog may require up to 70% more food than a family pet. If you aren’t sure how to do this contact your veterinarian, they can help you figure out the right balance for your dog.
Picking a Good Treat
A lot of big dogs go nuts for something that they can spend a few minutes chewing on.
For a long time, things like antlers and beef bones were a go to for big dog owners. The huge downside to these is that they can cause extensive dental damage.
Bully sticks are a great alternative. They come in several sizes for the more serious chewers.
If your dog is having signs of health issues, there are also several treats out there that do double duty, including joint supplements and dental chews. Some of these may need a prescription from your veterinarian.
Help for the Picky Dog
There are several reasons why your dog may be picky.
If your dog is in otherwise good health, then there is a chance that it is either behavioral or environmental.
If they seem to be turning their noses up to many of the popular treats there are cost effective ways to find one that they will enjoy. Even providing them a bit of cheese or boiled chicken can be an effective treat. Boiled chicken is one of the best options if your dog often finds themselves having issues with their digestion after being offered treats.
Treating His Health
Whether you’re using treats for training or love to spoil your pup, dogs should get at least 90% of his daily nutrition from balanced meals and only 10% from treats.
Be sure to choose quality over quantity as low-budget deals tend to offer less nutrition.
Choosing low-calorie rewards such as kibbles and even green beans will give your pup a filling snack than a high-calorie treat would. In fact, a single, high-calorie treat – such as cheese or bacon snacks – can fill as much as one-fourth of a small breed’s daily calorie needs.
So, what other healthy snacks can you give your furry pal without costing a fortune?
Baby carrots and other vegetables can be offered on occasion. It is important to never give your dog any chocolate, garlic, onions, or grapes, as they are toxic for canines.