February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! Of course, our canine pals appreciate biscuits every day. Treats are actually very beneficial for Fido. They brighten up his day, strengthen the bond between you, and make great training aids. However, there are a few things to keep in mind here. A Thorold, ON vet offers some ‘pointers’ on giving your pup cookies below.
If you enjoy cooking, you can try your hand at making dog biscuits. There are many different recipes online. You can also experiment, and try your own. Just be sure to stick with ingredients that are safe for your canine buddy. Some good ones are natural peanut butter, sodium-free broth, egg, whole-wheat flour, pureed squash or pumpkin, cooked sweet potatoes, and olive or wheat germ oil. You can also add any type of plain, cooked meat, fish, or poultry, as long as you’ve removed the skin, fat, and bones. Certain fruits and veggies, such as apples, bananas, peas, carrots, and blueberries, are also fine, as are small amounts of tail-waggers like bacon bits, cheese, and liver powder. Avoid chocolate; xylitol; nuts; mushrooms; grapes, raisins, or currants; avocado; pitted fruits; garlic, onions, and chives; and any fatty or sugary foods. Ask your vet for more information on safe and unsafe foods.
Given the option, Fido would probably happily sample every brand available—twice—to determine his favorite. Store-bought treats are fine, and there’s nothing wrong with experimenting. However, we do recommend checking the labels. Stick with products that list meat, fish, and/or poultry first and most often. Avoid the ones that read like chemistry experiments. You may also want to sign up for a few recall alerts.
We really can’t talk about dog biscuits without at least touching on Fido’s penchant for theatrics. Begging may be (irresistibly) cute, but it’s bad manners. It also can be dangerous! Your pooch could end up convincing someone to offer him something unsafe. If you can’t resist that sad look, offer your furry buddy something healthy, like a carrot stick.
As mentioned above, treats are actually beneficial for our canine companions. However, keep it to a dull roar. Keep treats to about 5 percent of Fido’s daily caloric intake.
Do you have questions about giving your canine companion treats? Contact us, your local Thorold, ON veterinary clinic, today.