Whether they are store-bought or homemade, there are several kinds of treats puppies can have. These food rewards are a must-have for giving your new puppy a warm welcome to their new home. Given that puppies have special nutritional needs and dietary restrictions that adult dogs do not, new owners often ask: what kind of treats can puppies have? This article will teach you everything you need to know about feeding treats to your puppy.
Can Puppies Eat Treats?
If you are wondering if you can feed treats to your puppy, the simple answer is yes. There are safe treats for puppies that your pup can consume without adversely affecting their health.
Another common question is when can a puppy have treats? You can use treats to reward your puppy’s good behavior when they turn six weeks old.
It would be best to use treats sparingly since puppies do not have the same digestive capabilities as adult dogs. Most treats are high in calories, so you should be wary of how many you give your puppy.
Remember that your pet is still in its early developmental stages, so they will need a diet that provides the nutrients they need in each mouthful of food.
Treats should not be a part of your pet’s everyday diet. Giving your puppy too many treats will provide more calories but fewer necessary nutrients and vitamins.
What Treats Are Good For Puppies?
If you are asking what treats are good for puppies, you should know that there are several ones you can buy in pet stores. These treats are good for them, but you should still read the label and check for unwelcome ingredients and additives.
Alternatively, you can make puppy-safe treats at home using recipes from the internet. You can also feed your pet dog-safe human food like fruits and vegetables.
Soft-baked treats are soft, chewy, and bite-sized treats made of several healthy ingredients. These treats are perfect for your pet because they are incredibly tender, making them easier for puppies with developing teeth to eat.
These treats are also great as an immediate reward when they behave well. Because they are bite-sized, you can give your pet a soft-baked treat during training sessions. Your puppy will be able to consume it in no time.
Homemade dog treats are an excellent choice if your puppy is a picky eater or you cannot find inexpensive treats. You can make these treats from the comfort of your kitchen with ingredients you can find at home or in your local supermarket.
Aside from being budget-friendly, homemade dog treats have several advantages over their store-bought counterparts. With these treats, you know what you are feeding your puppy, which means you can cater to your pet’s preferences while avoiding unwelcome ingredients and additives.
Remember to ask your veterinarian if your pet has any stomach issues or allergies to determine which ingredients you should avoid before making treats for your puppy. You can also ask your veterinarian: can puppies have treats? This will give you a general idea of what you can give your pup.
Dog-Friendly Human Food
Puppies have a different digestive system from humans, meaning some food safe for human consumption can harm dogs. Conversely, several human foods are safe for dogs and can provide various nutrients and health benefits.
Vegetables like carrots and cucumbers are excellent low-calorie snacks for dogs, and they can be a good option for controlling your puppy’s weight. You can also feed your pet several fruits like apples and watermelon, but remember to remove the seeds first since they can block the intestines.
Dog Treats You Should Not Give to Puppies
Now that you know the answer to the question of what treats puppies can have, it is time to figure out which treats are not suitable for your pet.
While you can feed your puppy some treats that are meant for adult dogs, there are some that you should avoid giving your pet. Puppies have developing teeth, and sensitive stomachs, meaning your pup may not be able to chew and digest some treats safely.
If your puppy has an adverse reaction to a treat, you should immediately stop giving it to them. You should also consult your veterinarian to check if your puppy is allergic to certain types of food.
Hard-Texture Dog Treats
While adult dogs can handle hard-texture dog treats, puppies would not be able to chew them because of their small jaws and teeth. It would help if you only feed your puppy soft and bite-sized treats to ensure they can comfortably eat them.
Jerky Dog Treats
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association found a link between jerky treats and kidney disease. Although the evidence is insufficient to claim that these treats directly cause kidney problems, you should avoid giving them to your puppy just in case.
Freeze-dried treats are essentially raw food without moisture. Raw food can be dangerous for puppies with developing intestines and immune systems. It would be best to avoid giving them freeze-dried treats until they reach adulthood to avoid risking your pet’s health.
How to Give Treats to Your Puppies
Treats are high-calorie food that can be unhealthy in large amounts, so it would be best if you used them sparingly. Puppies need as much nutrition as possible, and treats can take away a lot of stomach space from essential vitamin-rich food.
Break Into Smaller Bites
If you buy treats from a store, chances are they are too big to fit in your puppy’s mouth. During your training sessions, breaking these treats into smaller pieces makes them easier to chew and avoids overfeeding.
Giving a puppy a treat for accomplishing a task, performing a command, or behaving well reinforces that behavior. Treats are a great way to gradually build habits and reward good behavior if you want your pet to remember a trick.
As a Reward
A treat tells your puppy that they have done a good job. Your puppy will think that you will always reward a particular behavior, and they will remember whatever you teach as long as you reward it with treats.
How to Find the Best Treat For Your Puppy
It is best to use the treat that your puppy loves the most during training. You can discover your pet’s tastes and preferences by conducting a taste test.
Put two different treats in both hands and offer them to your puppy. Your pet will eat one; whichever they choose is the treat they prefer. Remember to only use treats safe for puppies when conducting these tests.
Knowing your puppy’s tastes is merely a trial-and-error process. Determining your dog’s best treats can help when rewarding good behavior or teaching new tricks.
You should also use only one type of training treat for a few days. Doing so will allow you to monitor any gastrointestinal signs like vomiting and abnormal stools.
High-Value vs. Medium-Value vs. Low-Value Training Treats
Dog trainers may have discussed high-value, medium-value, and low-value training treats. These terms refer to the value your puppy assigns to each treat you give and have nothing to do with the price you pay for the food reward.
Throughout your training sessions with your puppy, you must take note of which treats your pup likes the most.
High-Value Dog Treats
High-value treats are food that your pet does not get to eat very often outside training sessions. These high-value treats are moist and fragrant meat like chicken, sausages, or liver.
It would be best if you used high-value treats in the following situations:
- When introducing a new behavior
- When teaching your puppy a difficult trick
- During socialization training
- When your dog provides a quick and high-quality response to a cue
- During counter-conditioning against aggression, fear, and anxiety
Medium-Value Dog Treats
Medium-value treats are food you will give your pet regularly during training sessions to reinforce a behavior you have already taught. You can use these treats to reward your dog for behaving well throughout the day.
You can use medium-value treats in the following situations:
- When maintaining a previously learned behavior
- When your puppy behaves well in mildly distracting environments
- When your puppy responds quickly to a cue.
Low-Value Dog Treats
Low-value treats are ones that your puppy eats regularly. These treats like dog biscuits and dried dog food tend to be dry and crunchy. Although your puppy will still work for these treats, they are less likely to be motivated.
You should use low-value treats in the following situations:
- When your puppy behaves well in a non-distracting environment
- During regular enrichment activities
- When encouraging continued good behavior
- When your puppy performs a requested cue
It would be best to use treats sparingly during training sessions to give your pet a balanced diet. Only give your pup safe puppy treats that it can safely digest to prevent stomach complications.