We all love pampering our pets with anything from a biscuit to a piece of chicken left over from last night’s dinner. What most pet parents wonder – are treats good for dogs? Do we feed our pets treats because they are good for them, or because we are satisfying our own desire to pamper them? A
Treats are not required for nutrition, so what are they good for?
Some treats are good, some treats are bad. Here at Captain Zack, we have found single ingredient protein jerky to be some of the best treats we can offer a non-vegetarian dog. Something like chicken breast jerky is rich in protein and can be used to supplement meals. Additionally, our jerkies add extra herbs, fruits or vegetables which are not daily requirements, but add supplemental micronutrients that benefit your pet’s complete health. If you want to make their food more enticing, you can even crush a treat up over their food as a topper.
Treats are not intended solely for nutritional purposes; they are a great way to positively reinforce good behaviours we want to encourage in our pets. There are two tactics you can use to train your pet. Negative reinforcement is used to discourage patterns of behaviour or outcomes that are not desired, while Positive reinforcement is an encouragement of outcomes that you desire. Negative reinforcement is usually something like a bitter spray, or a stern talking to; usually something we don’t like doing. Treats are a great option when it comes to training your pet.
I don’t know about you, but one of my Yorkies is militantly against taking medication in a pill form. He would fight to the death rather than take a pill. For me, treats have been a life saver when it comes to giving him medicine.
So, what makes a good treat? In our opinion, a good treat is something that doesn’t make you feel guilty when feeding it to your dog. Treats should not make your pet put on weight, therefore should be high in protein, and low in calories and carbs. Additionally, a lot of treats on the market are loaded with preservatives; we prefer to avoid those when feeding our pets. Our favourite treats are single ingredient, usually a dehydrated form of a protein with some added fruits or herbs. This keeps the calories down and allows us to add some beneficial micronutrients that will improve your pets longevity and quality of life.
Why Our Treats ?
Captain Zack believes in natural alternatives to what we are used to giving our pets. 60% of pets are overweight, and over treating is a contributing factor to this. Most mass produced treats available are high in calories and add to the weight gain problem. Our line of treats is focused on being all natural, high in protein and low in calories. This means there is no added worry when giving your pet one of our jerkies. Just follow the feeding guide, and rest assured that you are feeding them the best.
So finally, here are some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to treats:
- Read the ingredient label
- Always have fresh water on hand, especially with dry or dehydrated treats
- Break treats into small manageable pieces to reduce the risk of GI blockages
- Spend quality time with your pup!
- Do not over feed treats
- Do not feed your pet human snacks / anything with seasoning. (Washing off the chicken isn’t good enough!)
- Do not reinforce negative behaviours.
- Do not substitute treats / food for attention.