You are going to give your pets treats.
I know it. You know it. Your pet DEFINITELY knows it!
So here are some Tasty Tips for treating your pet
1) SIZE DOESN’T MATTER
Want to know a secret?
Your pet doesn’t care how much of a treat they get.
They just want the treat!
When you give your pet a treat, they feel good. And you feel good.
But it doesn’t matter how big that treat is!
No matter whether you are using liver treats, bits of cheese, bits of hot dog or sausage – whatever – If you give a big chunk, it is gone STRAIGHT AWAY, and the good feeling your pet gets is gone STRAIGHT AWAY.
However, if you break that big chunk into 10 little chunks, and give them one at a time, over a longer period, the little chunk is gone straight away still, but your pet gets 10 GOOD FEELINGS instead of one!
2) THINK ABOUT THE SIZE OF YOUR PET
I was cooking at a Sausage sizzle the other day, and someone came to buy a Sausage for their dog (it wasn’t a Sausage Dog though…).
And the dog loved it! And it was gone in about 5 seconds!
This dog was about 12kg. For that dog to get that WHOLE Sausage, would have been like a 60kg human eating 5 Sausages!
FOR A SNACK!
This is WAY TOO MUCH!
The dog would have been just as happy having a small bit of sausage – but broken up into lots of little bits to slow down the eating.
Give your pet an appropriate amount of snack for their size – not what you would like to eat!
3) WHAT CAN I USE?
The classic easy go to snack for dogs, especially when training, is dried liver!
It can be broken into small bits, put into your pockets, and dogs love it!
Want something a little bit more naughty?
Some people like to use Hotdogs, sausages, even kabana – just remember – small amounts and cut into little bits – size doesn’t matter – all they want is the treat and taste.
Cats can really dig on Tuna, or cooked chicken!
4) HEALTHY OPTIONS?
Some pets have problems with weight, or they may have health conditions such as Pancreatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or diseases that require them to only eat certain foods.
Do they miss out? NO!
For dogs with Weight problems, using bits of carrots, or small bits of apple can work too. Sometimes people worry their dogs wont eat these, but in reality, if you’ve got a dog that is overweight, they probably will not be all that picky once they realise it’s all they are going to get!
For dogs that need bland diets, small pieces of cooked chicken can work well.
If your pet is on a specific prescription diet, you can get the wet version of the diet, and cut into thin discs and dry them out in a really low heat oven on some baking paper to dry out to turn into a dry jerky like treat.
5) NOTHING IS FOR FREE
So you are going to give your pet a treat.
When should you give it?
Remember, giving your pet a treat will make them feel good, so what has been happening around that time they will associate with the good feeling.
So only give your pet a treat when they have been good, if they are quiet, if they have followed a command, or if they are displaying a behaviour you want to encourage.
If you give your pet a treat because they are bouncing around like a pogo stick, making heaps of noise and driving you nuts, they will think that behaviour is the best way of getting a treat, because they have been CONDITIONED to think that.
Reward the behaviours you like, ignore the ones you don’t like, and using small amounts of tasty tasty treats will help to make you and your pet happy!
And that is awesome!
If you have any questions about treats for your pet, call us on (03) 9807 9222, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ve got lots of other sneaky treats and ideas to help you treat your pet!
Dr Robbie Anderton