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What Kind Of Treats Can Puppies Have

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Puppies can have treats but should be given sparingly due to their special dietary needs and digestive capabilities.
  • Soft-baked treats are recommended for puppies as they are easy to chew and digest.
  • Homemade treats can be a budget-friendly option and allow you to control the ingredients.
  • Puppies can also have dog-friendly human foods like fruits and vegetables, but certain items should be avoided.
  • Treats should be broken into smaller bites, used as rewards during training, and chosen based on your puppy's preferences.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Practicing small pets and equine veterinarian and junior teaching assistant in Veterinary Medicine.
Published on
Thursday 20 October 2022
Last updated on
Thursday 27 July 2023
What Kind Of Treats Can Puppies Have
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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.

Look for treats specifically formulated for puppies. These treats are typically designed to meet the nutritional needs of growing puppies and may have a softer texture suitable for their developing teeth.

Additionally, dental treats should only be given to your pet once all of his baby teeth have fallen out.

Dental treats are generally recommended to be given to puppies once they have lost all of their baby teeth and have their permanent adult teeth in place. This is typically around 6 months of age, but the timing can vary slightly depending on the breed and individual puppy.

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

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 Treats

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

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.

When Training 

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.

Puppies go through a teething phase when their baby teeth start to fall out and their adult teeth begin to emerge. During this time, you can provide specially designed teething treats or toys that are made to soothe their gums and provide relief. Look for teething treats that are soft, pliable, and gentle on the gums.

Whenever you give your puppy a chewing treat, it’s important to supervise them to ensure they are chewing it safely and not experiencing any difficulties. Monitor their chewing habits and remove any small or broken pieces that could pose a choking hazard.

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.

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