Who has never given their four-legged friend treats or morsels of food between meals? It’s hard to resist those pleading eyes, but we are now going to reveal the reasons for losing certain bad habits. So, let’s see when rewarding a dog with some snacks is OK and when it’s better not to.
First of all, it is essential to start with the rule according to which Dogs should be rewarded when they do something good, meaning when they behave in a way we approve of, like obeying a command. In this way, we give him so-called positive reinforcement: our four-legged friend will associate his action with a pleasant result and will be inspired to repeat that specific behaviour. Therefore, when the treat has educational value and serves to gratify the dog, not only is it OK, it is even recommended. Better still if accompanied by a little petting or pampering!
So, when should we really not give our dog any snacks, treats or titbits?
- When we are eating something, unless we are eating kibble or snacks for dogs! In fact, our food is harmful to Fido for many reasons and we might cause him an intoxication or make him gain too much weight. Furthermore, if you get him used to this, he will expect (quite rightly) to receive a taste every time he sees you eating and you will never be able to eat in peace again.
- When we take him on a journey. If we go on a trip, on holiday or anywhere else with our dog, it is better not to feed him while travelling, because he will risk not digesting his food properly. Instead, it is best to stop every so often, so that he can stretch his legs and drink.
- When a dog is overweight is not advisable to enrich his diet with snacks, treats and tidbits, which would only mean extra calories. Luckily, 0-calorie snacks also exist, like those in Ferplast’s GoodBite Natural range: these snacks are available in various sizes, shapes and tasty flavours and are made of a special natural biopolymer that has no calories, does not develop bacteria or mould and they have no expiry date… the ideal solution for rewarding our pet and helping him to strengthen his teeth without putting on weight. If, however, Fido has no weight problems, he is free to enjoy the snacks for dogs in the GoodBite Fun and GoodBite Bonus range, which are made of cowhide: these will gratify our beloved pet and include bones, sticks, filled balls and even tasty lollipops – just take your pick. The important thing is to avoid the titbits that come from our table!
In short, snacks should be given according to precise rules and reasons, which Fido will learn to recognize: in this way, not only will we have a happy dog, but also a healthy and obedient one.