Dog snacks - are they good for animal health?

Dog snacks - are they good for animal health?

Undoubtedly, snacks can be a very useful element in positive reinforcement. However, we should not forget about the control of dog food. Some of it can be harmful to their health.
Currently, in supermarkets and pet stores we can find numerous snacks for animals. Dog trainers and dog owners have a variety of flavours, aromas, textures, sizes and advantages to choose from. Are all of them good for your dog's health?
Many pet owners wonder if offering treats to dogs is effective and appropriate. Which are good and nourishing, and which ones can threaten the health of pets?
There is no doubt that a moment of crunching a snack is a great pleasure for the dog. In addition, the dog associates it with an expression of favour. Still, remember that the offered delicacies can be more than a pleasure for your dog's palate. In both good and bad contexts. How can treats be beneficial? 

 

Snacks - as a positive reinforcement in dog education
As you know, dog snacks can be used as a positive element in animal education. Positive reinforcement, as an educational methodology, proposes an award for well done tasks and is a part of stimulation of appropriate behaviour.
In other words, by rewarding your pet's good behaviour and recognizing his or her efforts, you do not only encourage him to repeat these actions, but also stimulate his cognitive, emotional and social abilities.
Traditional methodology, which uses punishments and aggressive behaviour, subjects the dog to situations full of humiliation and intense fear. These negative emotions cause enormous stress in animals and can promote the development of many behavioural problems; just to mention aggression, destructiveness, phobias and fears.
The belief that the owner should be "dominant" and the dog must guarantee us his submission and obedience - is extremely old-fashioned and misleading.
Domination is a part of the system of social relations and within a special hierarchy. In other words, it only occurs between animals of the same species. Therefore, man should never try to dominate the dog, and the dog will never be completely submissive to man.
The dog listens to his guardian thanks to the special bond he maintains, based on trust and mutual respect. Not because he is obedient or dominated, and not because he feels fear. First of all, remember to invest in positive reinforcement during your best friend's training. 
 
Good snacks for our dogs
For obese dogs, for example, traditional delicacies will not be the right choice because of their high calorific value. Fortunately, the market offers us low calorie snacks, prepared especially for obese dogs and those fighting with excess weight.
In turn, puppies should eat those snacks that are rich in calcium and protein, enhancing their proper growth. Older dogs, on the other hand, have a tendency to enjoy a softer texture which makes chewing and digestion easier.
In addition, we can find many snacks that help clean the teeth and gums. They are great for fighting bad breath and tartar (mainly in adult dogs).
Of course, moderation is the key word when offering snacks to dogs. Let's not forget that we can use natural delicacies such as fruit and vegetables. 
 
Harmful snacks - what treats to avoid?
Snacks and food dedicated to people. There are foods that can be eaten by humans and dogs such as some meats, fruits and vegetables. However, our method of preparation is not always suitable for animals.
Spicy, salty, sweet and fried foods can be very harmful to your dog's body.
Sweets with dyes and chemical additives. Some dog snacks contain chemical additives such as preservatives, dyes, etc. It is best to choose natural or organic delicacies.
Products that are inadvisable and harmful to dogs. Of course, there are products that we should never include in the diet of animals even in a form of  treats. Among them are: chocolate, avocado, citrus fruit, cookies and industrial products (chips or stuffed biscuits).
Dairy products. Most adult dogs are allergic to lactose. Consuming milk and dairy products may cause hypersensitivity and weakening of the immune system.
I emphasize that snacks should never form the basis of our animals' diets. They are only entertainment or an element enabling education and positive reinforcement.

Animals need full and balanced nutrition to develop their physical and cognitive abilities. We should also remember about visits to the veterinarian, who will surely provide us with a number of useful tips.
In this way, with the help of specialists we will choose the best diet and treats for our pet.

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