Pet parents understand that dog treats come in handy when you wish to train your pooch a new skill or trick. However, this special pet food market is so saturated that deciding on the best ones to give your pet during training could be mind-numbing.
The secret to finding the best pet foods for dog training is to understand what you’re looking for. You’ll also need to be keen not to be hooked by rogue marketers who won’t mind selling you expired or fake pet snacks.
We have divided this guide into four sections to give you the bigger picture of the best pet treats to use. We are going to explain;
- What are quality pet treats and why are they important
- Tips for choosing quality treats for your pooch
- Types of dog foods used in training and how to use them
- Our top-five pick for the best pet snacks you can use for training your puppy
What are Quality Pet Treats and Why are they Important?
Quality dog foods are specially formulated to motivate the pet to perform specific actions. They’re full of flavor and come with sweet aromas that will instantly tease the pet’s taste buds.
Quality dog foods are also healthy. They aren’t made with artificial sweeteners in most cases, and if the manufacturer used the sweeteners, they’re organic or vegetable-based.
Some of the most common ‘safe’ sweeteners that are mostly used include honey, apple sauce, and molasses. Finally, quality pet foods are not expired and wouldn’t cause a medical condition for your pet, such as cancer and bowel upsets, and others.
It is essential that you always insist on quality pet foods for training because of these reasons;
- You’re assured that the pooch will always like them and get motivated to do something when the goodies are there.
- You’re convinced that the pet’s health is not at stake—no risk of dental problems, stomach upsets, or cancers.
- You’re confident that they aren’t made with artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol, which is very poisonous to dogs.
Tips for Choosing Quality Treats for your Pooch
If you’ve had a pet before, you probably know a few delicacies for pets that worked out well. You also probably know the foods that it liked more than the rest.
Those pointers should guide you when shopping for pet foods. Here are a few more you may need to consider.
- The treat value. If you’re looking for the best foods to use in highly distractive surroundings, we recommend high-value pet treats. Similarly, if you’re going to use the pet foods in a medium distractive environment, we advise that you consider average-value treats. Finally, if you’re looking for dog foods to use in minimal to no distractive environment, go for the low-value pet treats.
Here’s the difference: The value mentioned here refers to how valuable the food is to the dog. You can always perform multiple treat taste tests with different pet foods to find special ones that will fit in each category.
- The age. If you’re going to train a puppy, ensure that you only select soft or moist pet snacks that will be easy on its chompers. They should also be the right size to fit into its mouth. The same applies to senior pets. Go for pet foods that won’t harm their mouths or cause any oral complications.
- Expiry and best before dates. As you probably, already know, expired pet foods could be poisonous. Just avoid them. It would help if you also avoided pet foods that are past their best by dates as the nutrient contents in them will have all degraded.
- Ingredients used and the grade. This is where it all matters. If your dog is huge and struggling to control its weight, it is recommendable that you avoid high-sugar and high-fat foods. On the same note, review the ingredients to see that there are no artificial sweeteners or chemical preservatives such as ethoxyquin that are used in that food.
Types of Pet Treats Used in Training and How to Use Them
Dog treats are marketed in a plethora of types and shapes. The selection is quite huge, but each treat has its specific pros and cons.
Once you know the varied types and the best way you can utilize them, it will be easy for you to make the right decision when searching for the pet treats to use in training.
Here’s a summary of the most common types:
- Doggie Biscuits or Cookies
Doggie biscuits or cookies are, in most cases, bite-sized to fit in the pet’s mouth with ease. They’re usually crunchy and made to be used as routine awards.
Depending on your preference, you can go for diet cookies if you wish to add extra supplements to the dog’s diet. To be safe, it is recommendable that you choose doggie biscuits or cookies that are made with nutrient-dense carbs such as buckwheat, legumes, or oats. They should be corn and soy-free.
- Doggie Chews
Doggie chews, both natural and baked, are an excellent resource for satisfying your canine friend’s instinctual drives. You can also use them to manage anxiety and slow or stop plaque buildup in the pet’s teeth.
- Soft Treats
These types of pet foods are primarily designed to be used in potty training, behavioral training, and scent detection training. They’re soft, full of flavor and aroma/smell.
They’re available in multiple flavors, shapes, and sizes and are mostly used as high value treats since most dogs like them too. When buying these special pet foods, though, it is vital that you ensure that the ones you choose have stronger scents to keep the pet focused throughout the sessions.
Our Top Three Pick for the Best Treats you can use for Training Your Puppy
In this list, we’ve included the dog foods made by Tail Bangers. The choices were influenced by the fact that all these pet foods are manufactured in the US; they’re human-grade, soy, and corn-free, and most importantly, they aren’t made with any chemical additives preservatives.
- Happy Birthday, Caddy & Birthday Bone. Great for celebrating special occasions such as a doggie birthday.
- Original Bangers with Yogurt Coating. Easy to chew and great for mental stimulation, especially if you have a very active pet.
- Tail Waggers. Full of flavor and great for use as a high-value treat.
When you buy special dog foods for use in training, it would be better if you stick to that. Please don’t use them as an alternative to pet food. The dog may begin to view them as food and this would make these treats to lose their values.