BaxterBoo Blog
October 12, 2017

Choosing the Right Treats to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

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There’s nothing quite like the look of pure puppy joy and excitement that you get from your dog when you offer them their favorite treat. Whether you have a pup that prances playfully or one that sits patiently with their tail wiggling, you have probably witnessed the feeling of satisfaction that comes from rewarding them for being the perfect pet. Many dogs enjoy food so much that they tend to beg relentlessly for anything you happen to be eating. It can be tempting to share a little of whatever it is with them, just to see them enjoy it and possibly get them to leave you alone. Although it is fun to let them try new things, it is important to remember that some foods can be unhealthy or even toxic to dogs. Knowing what is safe to feed them and what to avoid can help you keep your best friend safe and might even save you an unexpected trip to the vet.


 Care to Share?


Most dogs have an extremely strong sense of smell. They can pick up on subtle scents that might be impossible for their human owners to notice. They are naturally inclined to search for food and eat it when it is available. Is it any wonder then, that they feel tempted to beg for your dinner? Even if your dog has never tried whatever it is you’re eating, they may still be curious and optimistic at the chance of getting a taste of something new. A good way to help prevent them from begging is to never share with them from the table. Giving them food when they beg will likely reinforce the behavior. They will know that begging works, so they’ll do it again. If you do choose to share with your pet, it is better to do it away from where you’re eating. If the behavior remains a problem, there are several strategies you can use to try and solve it.


These can include:

  • Putting the dog in another room
  • Giving the dog a food-filled toy
  • Tethering the dog away from the table
  • Feeding the dog before you eat


Your dog’s behavior can be strongly affected by habits. If you don’t want to have to lock them in a different room while you eat, then one alternative is to train them to stay a given distance away. You can do this by placing a dog bedin a corner or other out-the-way location in the room where you usually eat. Have your pet go there every time you’re eating and reward them with treats for obeying you. This should reinforce the idea that they should go there every time you eat, therefore helping to prevent begging.


You may find that one or another of these ideas works better for you. You could also try a combination, such as giving your dog a toy and putting them in a different room. It can be important to remain patient with your pet. After all, they are usually only doing what is natural for them.


Trick or Treat?


With Halloween coming up at the end of October, closely followed by Thanksgiving and other holidays, there are probably going to be a lot of new and delicious foods in your home. While you may love and enjoy every one of your holiday treats, they may not be safe for your dog. There are many common foods that can be surprisingly toxic to your pet.


These are some foods that can be especially dangerous: 

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts (especially macadamia nuts)


Ingesting these foods may lead to several unpleasant or even life-threatening symptoms in your dog. These may include upset stomach, diarrhea, dehydration, and irregular behavior of your pet’s nervous system. Dangerous foods are not limited by what is on this list and may also include such foods as citrus fruits, avocados, and milk.


When in doubt, it is usually best to avoid feeding your pet anything you aren’t sure of. That being said, there are a few “human foods” that can be safe for your best friend to enjoy. Peanut butter is usually a favorite with dogs and most raw veggies (besides avocado) are safe in small amounts.


Possibly the best idea of all is to simply stick to store-bought dog treats.There are many different kinds available and they should always be perfectly safe. You may get your dog longer lasting treats such as rawhide chews, or other kinds of treats that can include crunchy dog biscuitsand softer treats. There are even special treats available to help keep your dog’s dental healthin good shape. As a pet owner you can try several different varieties to see which one your dog likes best.


Emergency or Not?


Mistakes happen and sometimes there’s nothing you can do to avoid them. If your dog eats something they shouldn’t, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do about it. You might not know whether you need to take your furry friend to the vet or not. There are a few things you can look for as an indication that your dog’s condition may be serious enough to be life-threatening. If your dog’s gums or mouth are irregular colored it can mean that something, possibly whatever they ate, is impeding the blood-flow in their body. If they are throwing up, have diarrhea, and an elevated temperature or heartrate, it can be a serious warning sign that they have been poisoned. If your dog is showing these symptoms you should take them to the vet immediately. When it comes to your pet’s well-being it is better to be safe than sorry.


Treats are a wonderful way to reward your dog for good behavior. As a pet owner, feeding your pet tasty treats is not only a fun way to make your dog happy, but also an effective strategy to reinforce positive behavior. While there are a few human foods that are ok for dogs in small amounts, it is usually a good idea to stick to store-bought doggie snacks. Luckily there are a lot of different varieties and flavors available for your pet to sample and enjoy. 

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This entry was posted by Shauna.

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