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Puppies are adorable, playful creatures that can make your day better. They are also a lot of work since they need to be cared for properly to grow into healthy dogs. A critical part of puppy care is feeding them the right kinds of food and treats.
Although some people might think otherwise, treats for puppies are essential. Just like taking care of a human child, a puppy also needs a healthy diet to grow strong and healthy. There are a variety of treats available for puppies. But which ones are the best for your puppy? Are they healthy and safe?
Read along as we give you some essential tips and details on feeding your puppies healthy treats.
When looking for a delicious treat for your puppies, it is vital to consider a few factors. The treats should be small enough that the puppy can chew them without hurting their teeth and gums, and they should not contain any harmful ingredients. Treats should only make up a small portion of your puppy’s diet. Too many can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Some good examples of healthy treats for puppies include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: A great source of vitamins and minerals, and puppies love them. Be sure to wash the produce well before giving it to your puppy.
- Puppy-safe dog treats: Many dog treats are available, but choosing treats specifically designed for puppies is essential. These treats will be smaller in size and will not contain any harmful ingredients.
- Cooked chicken: Chicken is a good source of protein, and it is safe for puppies to eat. You can cook the chicken at home or buy pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store.
Puppy treats provide vital nutrients that help puppies grow strong and healthy. They also help to develop the puppy’s taste buds and encourage them to eat healthy food.
Puppies that get treats regularly might not beg for human food, and they can help train the puppy to obey commands and learn good manners. Fur parents give treats as a reward for good behavior and to build a solid and happy bond between the puppy and its owner. Comfort treats calm puppies that have separation anxiety and destructive behavior and divert their attention. Bone treats help puppies feel safe and comfortable. A puppy training treat is good when trying to potty train your new puppy.
The types of treats that puppies like best vary depending on the puppy’s age. Younger puppies prefer softer treats that are easy to chew. Most puppies love treats that are smelly or taste good, and there are a variety of treats available.
Choose treats based on purposes, like training, comfort, bone, tooth, or playtime treats.
It would be wise to ask your veterinarian to estimate the number of snacks to give your puppy based on its weight and breed. Follow the 10% rule that treats and snacks should not exceed more than 10% of the dog’s daily calorie intake. Many treats are heavy in fats or sugars, so you should use them in moderation.
When to Start Giving Treats to a Puppy
Ideally, it’s best to start giving treats to puppies at six to eight weeks. Puppy teeth are like baby teeth, and their stomachs are tender and prone to infections if the treats are hard to digest. Professionals recommended dental treats be given only after six months. Again the breed and age of the puppy should be considered while choosing treats.
Be sure to check for any allergic reactions, including grains and chicken. Some of the common allergic symptoms are:
- Persistent scratching
- Upset stomach or gas
- Constant kicking and chewing
- Ongoing ear infections
Soft treats that are safe and specially made for puppies, and you can give them as rewards in small quantities.
Treats should be given to the puppy in moderation and with good frequency. Give training treats more often than treats for entertainment or rewards. Treats as snacks should be at most 10% of the daily calorie intake. Therefore, use treats less so that it does not interfere with regular meals. Maintaining a healthy balance between treats and meals.
It is crucial to use treats to supplement a puppy’s regular diet, not replace its nutritional needs. Puppies need to eat nutritionally-balanced meals to grow strong and healthy.
If a puppy is overweight or obese, treats should be limited or eliminated. Treats should be different from regular meals and snacks and used sparingly as rewards or treats for special occasions. Low-calorie treats such as vegetables, fruit slices, lean meats, and other healthy options are better options.
In addition to limiting treats, it is vital to ensure that the puppy is getting enough exercise and engaging in daily activities. Regular walks and playtime will help keep your puppy fit and active. It is also essential to feed your puppy nutritionally balanced meals, providing all the vitamins and minerals it needs for growth and development.
Healthy Homemade Puppy Treat Recipes
Homemade treats are a great way to provide healthy puppy treats for your puppy. Here are a few puppy training treats that you can make with natural ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives:
- Apple Slices – Cut thin slices of apples and serve as a one ingredient tasty treat.
- Banana Treats – Mash one banana and mix it with two tablespoons of oatmeal and two tablespoons of water. Form into bite-sized smaller pieces and bake at 350°F (176°C) for 10 minutes.
- Cinnamon Fingers – Mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, three tablespoons peanut butter, and ½ cup of chicken broth into a dough ball. Roll out the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick, and cut it into small treats. Bake these healthy dog treats at 350°F (176°C) for 25 minutes.
- Sweet Potato Chews – Cut a large sweet potato into thin slices and bake at 250°F (121ºC) for about 2 hours, until it is dry and crispy.
Following these tips and recipes can provide your puppy with healthy dog treats that they will enjoy!
Using these tips, you can choose the best treats for your puppy. Be a responsible parent to your fur baby. A wise choice of treats can keep your puppy safe and healthy in their growing years. Happy treats make happy puppies!
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