Whether you’re training a puppy, a rescue dog or doing refresher training with your adult dog — training treats are a must.
Dogs respond to conditioning in order to form habits.
When we give treats to a dog after the desired action, it helps to form a mental association between the pleasure of a treat and the action.
Some of your dog’s training progress will depend on the breed, environment and approach of the trainer. Yet, when dog treats are used correctly, they act as a great incentive to dogs. All dogs can quickly learn how to perform basic commands such as “sit”, “lie” or “stay” using treat-based training. Puppies, on average, take between seven and eight weeks to master these terms.
In this time, your dog will no doubt have had his/her fair share of treats, which makes the ingredients and calorie profile of such treats critically important.
What Are The Healthiest Treats for Dogs?
The healthiest treats for dogs are typically those with less than eight easily recognisable ingredients.
Dog treats with a long list of ingredients usually mean fillers have been added indicating there’s a good chance the treat contains additives and other unnecessary items.
Even if your dog treat’s title includes terms like “natural” or “salmon-based” be warned. Scan the fine print to determine how much of the recipe list is natural, as well as what ratio of salmon — or another key ingredient — is used. Remember, even if you recognise a particular ingredient name this doesn’t guarantee that the treat doesn’t contain by-products or derivatives. You may also want to pay attention to how your dog treat is formed. Does the manufacturer cook its dog treats with high heat, which loses much of its natural goodness in the process? Does the brand use excess amounts of oil during production? Does the company include anything other than fresh, human-grade ingredients?
Ideally, your dog treat should only contain ingredients that you’re familiar with like salmon and potato or chicken and turkey.
If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, the chances are it’s chemical and bad for your dog.
While a lot of treats on the market are less than ideal for your dog, some are downright dangerous.
For example, you should never buy cooked bones for your dog to chew on since these can splinter and harm the throat and mouth of your dog. What’s more, some natural treats that are great for our bodies are dangerous for dogs. Snacks like grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs even though we might happily graze on them throughout the day.
Should Human Food Be Used in Dog Training?
Dogs should have their own training treats that don’t live in the fridge alongside human food.
This is in part to protect the dog from consuming snacks that could be potentially harmful to their health. More importantly, this segregation allows you to establish a hierarchy within the home that is especially important for pack dog breeds like Siberian Huskies and Beagles.
Having strict routines and discipline within your training regime is what allows your dog training to work. As your dog becomes more obedient you may even be able to reduce the number of treats given to your dog, opting for a more subtle, interactive reward like stroking your dog.
This is the ultimate goal of dog training as you’ll want your dog to be responsive even in situations where you don’t have access to treats.
Remember, dog treats should be given as part of a balanced diet and monitored to ensure your dog isn’t consuming more than the recommended daily intake.
Best Natural Dog Treats for Training
Training treats should contain around 30% protein and be relatively low in fat.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t need a huge variety of foods. In fact, if your training regime is simple with one uniform taste, it can be more effective in conditioning and forming a mental association with the process.
For this reason, we only stock two types of training treat.
Our super training fish treats are made from a blend of fish and potato, with the following ingredient profile:
- Salmon 42%
- White Fish 28%
- Trout 10%
- Sweet Potato
- Salmon Stock
Our super training meat treats are made from a blend of meat and potato, with the following ingredient profile:
- Chicken 37%
- Duck 25%
- Turkey 18%
- Sweet Potato
- Chicken Stock
More importantly, these treats are hypoallergenic — they’re safe for all dogs to eat, even for those with sensitive stomachs. They’re also free from wheat and gluten promoting healthy digestion, as well as being free from all artificial additives, preservatives and flavourings – leaving you only with the good stuff.
Remember, the best natural training treats should:
- Be designed for dogs (not humans)
- Contain less than eight ingredients
- Contain no foreign chemical ingredients
- Be low in fat
- Contain around 30% protein.
Take a closer look at our super training dog treats. Both flavours are available in pouches of up to 2kg with interest-free payments on bulk buys. Buy now with free delivery and the opportunity to automate recurring purchases.