While treats are a great way to reward your dog and to help when teaching them commands and actions, you’ll want to make sure that they’re healthy and safe as well. While some treats can be made using human food (like peanut butter or bananas), other options are specially designed to meet the needs of dogs. Here are some popular dog treat ingredients that you can use as rewards for training or just because!
Freeze-dried meat treats
Freeze-dried meat treats are a great choice for training your dog. They’re high in protein, low in calories and have a long shelf life. The best part? Freeze-dried treats are extremely affordable.
The trick to finding the best quality freeze-dried treats is to look for freeze-dried meat that’s made in the USA or Canada with no preservatives added. You’ll also want to check the expiration date on any package you buy! The longer you can keep these treats around before they go bad, the better!
Freeze-dried meats come in all shapes and sizes (just like real meats!) but some of our favorites include: beef liver, chicken breast and turkey hearts. We love these three because they’re not only tasty but they also contain various nutrients that may help promote healthy skin and coat health.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are nutritious, healthy treats that can be used in place of regular dog food for training purposes. If your dog has bad breath, try giving them a piece of fruit or vegetable to chew on instead of a treat that is full of sugar. Be cautious however as there is a long list of unacceptable and even deadly fruits (like grapes) that you’ll want to avoid.
The best part about using fresh fruits and vegetables as training treats is the fact that they are usually easy to find at local grocery stores, farmers markets or even community gardens if you have one nearby! Some people like to use their own garden produce but make sure they wash it very well before you give it to your pup.
Regular dog food
Regular dog food is not the only option, but it’s an important one. As with most things, moderation is key: too much and you’ll end up with an overweight dog that lacks proper nutrition; too little and your pooch will be underweight, weak and have a harder time learning new skills. Dog food should also be varied so that your pet gets all the nutrients they need from different sources (meat protein instead of carbs, for example).
Treats that aren’t food!
Consider non-food options as treats as well. Things like toys, balls, and other objects can be used as rewards for good behavior and to reward the dog for good training. Treats that aren’t food are great because they get the dog’s mind off of food and onto something else entirely!
Keep in mind, you should never use food as a reward for bad behavior or as a bribe to get your dog to do what you want them to do. In order for them to work as rewards, treats should be given at the right time and in the right amount. It’s important not only that your dog likes the treat but also that he knows what behavior it’s associated with so that he’ll continue doing it when he needs another one later on—for example, coming when called or sitting nicely when asked by guests who might be afraid of big dogs.
If you have a dog that is difficult to train, try using small treats as rewards during training sessions.