February 23rd may very well be Fido’s favorite day ever: It’s Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! Fido certainly is super cute when he is angling for a yummy snack. Treats are actually beneficial: they help you form and cement that special bond with your pet, brighten his day up, and just keep that tail wagging. But, while giving your furry buddy snacks certainly isn’t rocket science, there are some things to consider here. A Fayetteville, NC vet offers some advice on giving Fido his cookies below.
Choose Healthy Snacks
Junk food is no healthier for dogs than it is for us. Get into the habit of reading the labels on Fido’s treats. Choose things that use mostly whole ingredients, which you can identify. If the listed ingredients contain a lot of fillers or things you can’t pronounce or identify, opt for something else.
Tricks For Treats
Doing tricks can be a great confidence booster for Fido. Have your canine buddy perform for his snacks. You may be surprised at how much this can help a timid pup come out of his shell!
Don’t Indulge Begging
We know, we know. Fido is really, really good at that please-feed-me-I’m-starving look that is so effective at tugging on our heartstrings. However, begging is bad petiquette. It can also lead to bigger behavioral issues. Sometimes dogs get pushy when they are too used to getting their way, and can get aggressive. Don’t fall for that sad stare!
Don’t Overdo It
Obesity is a very common problem among our canine companions. Of course, Fido can’t get his own snacks, so it’s up to you to keep him at or near a healthy weight. Here’s a good rule of thumb: keep your furry friend’s snacks to about 5 or at most ten percent of his daily caloric intake. If your pooch is getting a bit pudgy, try going with smaller portion sizes. You’ll still get all the tail wags!
Try Homemade Options
If you enjoy cooking, you may want to try your hand at making dog biscuits. There are plenty of great recipes available. Just stick with ingredients that are safe for Fido. Some good options are shredded meat, natural peanut butter (without xylitol), ripe bananas, and bacon bits. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Fayetteville, NC animal clinic, today!