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Many pet owners like to purchase dog treats for their dogs to reward them for good behavior, assist with training, or to give them something to chew on instead of the furniture. When buying dog treats, be aware that there are a wide range of products from simple rawhide chews to more processed options like Snausages. There are several considerations to take into account when buying dog treats to make sure that you are getting the best products for your pet.
Before buying dog treats, consult your veterinarian. Many veterinarians have products that they prefer and recommend. It is also important to make sure that you will not compromise your pet's health when buying dog treats, as some are high in fat or use ingredients which may not be appropriate for your pet. Your veterinarian can give you the best advice when it comes to buying dog treats, helping you select a product appropriate for your dog's needs and telling you how frequently the treats should be given and under which circumstances.
Dog treats fall into several categories. Some are designed for dog training, which means that they are usually small bite-sized pieces so that you can give out a large number of treats in a training session to reward a dog for good behavior. Others are designed as dental treats to improve the health of your dog's teeth and gums. Larger treats such as Milkbones might be reserved for special occasions when your dog has exhibited prolonged good behavior.
When buying dog treats for training, look for treats that can be easily palmed or put in a pocket. You may want to avoid fatty treats both because they are unhealthy and because they will stain clothing and leave your hand with an oily residue. Dry treats in small servings are ideal. Most dog trainers also recommend the use of other systems, like a clicker, during training so that your dog's training does not rely on treats alone.
Some treats may help your dog's oral health by removing plaque and tarter, although some veternarians say that brushing your dog's teeth is the only way to really fight plaque and tarter. Dental treats are also usually high in vitamins and other nutrients your dog needs, and should be designed to be digestible as well. Dental treats should be textured, chewy, and designed for the size of your dog: larger dogs need larger treats.
Special occasion dog treats, with a veterinarian's approval, can be as big and flavorful as you want them to be. When buying dog treats that are rarely given out, dietary balance is not as important. Consider these treats as ice cream for your dog: a rare but delicious experience rather than a daily event. You might also consider making your own, using a recipe from a dog treat cookbook or the Internet.