Dog Treats You Shouldn't Give to Your Dog

While it's true that treats can come in handy when it comes to positive reinforcement training, you should be very careful regarding what foods you give your dog.
Dog Treats You Shouldn't Give to Your Dog

Last update: 13 November, 2018

Nowadays, you can find many kinds of dog treats in supermarkets and pet stores. There are many flavors, aromas, and textures available.

Many pet owners wonder if giving their dogs treats is a good thing and which ones they should and shouldn’t give them. In this article, you’ll see how treats can be helpful when it comes to training your dog. In likewise, you will find out what treats are healthy for dogs and which ones you should avoid. 

Are dog treats good?

Dogs enjoy eating treats and every time you give them to your dog, they will interpret it as a display of affection. However, treats are much more than just a yummy snack.

Using treats in positive reinforcement dog training

You can also use treats to train your dog. Positive reinforcement consists of rewarding your dog to stimulate and train them.

In other words, by rewarding your dog’s good behavior and recognizing their effort, you not only encourage them to repeat these actions, but you also stimulate their cognitive, emotional, and social abilities.

The traditional methodology, that’s based on punishments or scolding, subjects dog to situations of humiliation and intense fear. These negative emotions stress the animal a lot and can favor the development of numerous behavioral problems such as aggression, destructiveness, phobias, and stereotypes.

An owner giving his dog a treat.

The belief that the owner must be “dominant” and the dog must demonstrate its submission is totally false. Dominance is part of a system of social hierarchy, which only happens between animals of the same species. Thus, a man will never be able to dominate a dog and a dog will never submit to a man.

A dog obeys their owner due to the special bond they share that’s based on trust and mutual respect. Thus, they don’t obey their owner because they feel scared, submissive, or dominated. Therefore, remember to use positive reinforcement when it comes to training your canine friend.

Good dog treats

First of all, your dog can eat any treat that’s made especially for dogs. However, it’s important to review the ingredients of each product to choose the most appropriate dog treat for your best friend.

For example, when it comes to obese dogs, traditional treats aren’t the best options due to their high caloric value. There are now healthy treats that are good overweight or obese dogs.

On the one hand, puppies can benefit from treats that are rich in calcium and proteins to promote their growth. On the other, older dogs usually enjoy treats with a softer texture that are easier to chew and digest.

You can also find many treats that help clean your dog’s teeth and gums. Therefore, they may help get rid of bad breath and the formation of tartar, especially in adult dogs.

Moderation plays a key role when it comes to giving your best friend treats. Also, you can use fruits and vegetables or make homemade treats for your dogs. These options are more natural and fresh and our dogs will love them!

Unhealthy dog treats

Here is a small list of unhealthy dog that should be eliminated from your dog’s diet.

Human snacks and foods: There are foods that both humans and dogs can eat, such as some meats, fruits, and vegetables. However, the way we cook them isn’t always appropriate for our dogs.

Seasoned, salty, sweetened, and fried foods are very harmful to dogs.

Treats with food coloring and chemical additives: Some dog treats contain chemical additives such as preservatives and food coloring. The best thing you can do is choose natural treats.

Forbidden foods for dogs: Never feed your dog chocolate, avocado, citrus fruits, cookies, and packaged foods (chips or stuffed cookies), etc.

Dairy products: Most adult dogs are lactose intolerant. Consuming milk and dairy products can cause a hypersensitive response in their immune system.

Finally, treats shouldn’t be the base of your dog’s diet. They need a complete and balanced nutrition to develop their physical and cognitive abilities. The best thing to do is allow your vet to help you come up with the right diet for your dog.