TREATS ARE A FACT OF LIFE FOR PETS
Most clients give their pets treats because they love their pets, and the pets love their treats. The fun of having a pet who is happy is the main reason for having a pet in the first place!
We still find that many doctors will recommend not giving pets treats, table scraps, or vitamin supplements. This is because the pet foods manufactured by reputable food company are complete and balanced according to federal nutritional guidelines. But we’ve already established that most pets get additional food above and beyond what they get from their pet food, so what can we recommend?
Keep in mind that every time you give your pet treats then you need to reduce the amount of regular food they get by a small amount.
P O R T I O N C O N T R O L !
Weight gain in pets is just as big (or bigger) of a problem than it is in humans. Excessive weight can contribute to the development of chronic conditions such as diabetes, liver problems, arthritis etc.
We recommend giving most pets a balanced multi-vitamin such as Pet Tabs Plus (chewable tablet) or Hi-Vite (liquid) every day. Give the recommended dose of the vitamin for your size of pet, and control the urge to give them a bunch of vitamins (too much can be harmful). Vitamins are great treats and most pets love them. They are also low in calories.
Fatty acid supplements (we recommend Omega-3 Capsules and Omega-3 Liquid) given daily can help pets who have dry or itchy skin, poor hair coats, or joint problems.
Table scraps are almost always a poor choice of a treat. If you do give your pet a table scrap, keep it small and only give them the same quality of food that you would eat. Don’t give pets big pieces of fat or similar items -that can make them ill! Don’t give them raw meat or unwashed produce.
Dog and cat treats such as biscuits can vary in quality greatly. Choose a treat that is made from high-quality ingredients (i.e. not the cheapest treat in the store) and keep the number of treats reasonable. Some large dog treats can be over 200 calories each. That adds up very quickly, especially when most pet owners cannot stop at one!
Many dogs enjoy freeze-dried liver or chicken treats such as those made by Gimborn. As long as you don’t give your pet a few dozen of them, these treats are low in calories.
Small pieces of carrots can be a good treat that most dogs enjoy. Many dogs enjoy little bits of bread. A few pieces of the pet’s regular dry kibble is also often greatly appreciated when coming from you!