Although dogs have long been touted as man’s best friend, only in recent decades has it become fashionable for dogs to live indoors with their owners. A dog’s human companion often views the lovable pooch much like a parent looks on a child; less with ownership than simply love and devotion. And much like indulged children, much-loved dogs are given the best possible shelter, food, medical care, training, and of course, special treats.
While many people dole out dog treats to their canine friends for the dog’s pleasure as well as their own, dog treats are also useful training tools. A pocket full of dog treats can be used while training a dog to heel, sit, stay, or any other such command. Make sure the treats are appetizing to the dog; dried out, bland and crumbly dog treats won’t incite nearly as much enthusiasm in training as a juicy piece of meat or sharp scented cheese.
Dog treats have become a highly successful grocery item found on the shelves of food stores, discount stores, pet stores, and even some specialty stores. From high-priced treats claiming real choice beef to discount bulk products, dog treats are nearly as varied as human treats. There are treats that are hard and chewy, for the express purpose of cleaning a dog’s teeth while some dog treats are designed to aid in digestion and internal health. Veterinarians have even formulated dog treats with various types of medicines including heartworm prevention, antibiotics and pain killers.
Many attentive dog owners take it upon themselves to make their own special dog treats. These homemade dog treats can be made from sliced steak, small bits of cooked hamburger, chunks of cheese, rice balls, or even special recipes, both meat and vegetarian. Intricate recipes involving such ingredients as wheat germ, molasses and couscous will have owners scrambling for the hard-to-find items just to create the perfect treat for their beloved pet. Owners should always check with a veterinarian before distributing homemade treats to their dog; and remember, never feed a dog chocolate or let him chew on chicken bones.
The next time you decide to ‘throw the old dog a bone,’ consider some of the many special dog treats available. You’ll enjoy treating your dog and he will be grateful.