Snacks and Treats - What is Right for Your Dog?

Edible rewards are useful in raining puppies, while snacks can be convenient pacifiers and distractions. But do not imagine that your dog necessarily likes your favorite treats. He will accept a piece of candy or a potato chip if he sees you eating one. But he would probably prefer any number of unlikely foods, such as grapes, asparagus, tomatoes, peaches, pears, cherries, onions, and even garlic and walnuts.

Snacks and treats should never be given in excess or in place of a meal. The average owner is seldom aware of the effect of an improper diet on his dog until it has caused a serious health problem. It is usually noticed by your vet during a checkup. When you want to offer your dog a snack, for example let it be:

- A dog biscuit

- Canine vitaminized candy drops

- A raw carrot

- An apple

- Small pieces of whole wheat cookies

- Bits of cheese

- Pieces of cooked liver (used by show dog handlers)

- A suitable bone

Offer treats as rewards for obeying some command, no matter how simple. Without a reason, the "treat" becomes just more food that he will expect in the future. Try to resist giving food to a dog who begs for it, (easier said than done, I know), or at least command him to sit first. Never give him tidbits from the dinner table, (another tough order to follow), as it will only cause him to make a nuisance of himself in the future. The best method is to feed him before you eat, this way he won't be as hungry and he may join you for the pleasure of your company, not your food!