Unlike adult dogs, puppies require high quality dog foods to aid their growth and maintain their immune systems at optimum levels. As a concerned pet owner, you could be wondering whether treats could also be right for the puppies.
Just like you’d provide treats to an adult dog, you can also reward your puppy with treats. Note that the puppy’s stomach may not be well developed to digest these treats at a younger age, so you will need to be selective on the types of treats you give.
The type, size, and content of the treats that you give the puppies must also be suited for them. Ideally, you’ll give them the treats in small amounts—a certified vet can help you determine the right amounts.
For the type of treat, you’ll need to place more focus on softer treats. A puppy’s teeth may not easily chew on tough treats. Concerning the content, it will also be essential to ensure that these treats are packed with necessary vitamins and minerals that will aid in the pooch’s development and growth.
When can you start Giving a Puppy Treats?
You shouldn’t give treats to your puppies as food. Instead, it is recommendable that you only give treats as reward or reinforcement for good behavior.
Puppies are ready for training from as early as 5 or 6 weeks, meaning that you can start dishing treats from an early age of just six weeks. You should, however, not separate the puppies from the litter before they’re 8 weeks old.
Your focus at this age should primarily be to shape their behaviors or teach them simple new behaviors. When enforcing behaviors, it would be better if you use just the regular homemade dog foods.
Most commercial treats are made with additives and preserved in chemicals that may be very toxic to the puppy. Alternatively, for convenience, you may also buy all-natural dog treats from reputed brands that add no additives or preservatives to the treats.
How Many Treats to Give a Puppy per Day
Over treating a puppy can come with a lot of unpleasant health complications. One of the primary side effects is nutrient imbalances.
If you give it a lot of treats, you also risk spoiling its appetite for natural meals. You may need to stick to the 10 percent dog treats rule to find the perfect balance between the treats and the actual dog food.
Here’s how the 10 percent rule works:
When giving treats, they should not make up over 10 percent of the pet’s daily calories. If, for example, the dog requires 400 calories each day, they should get treats that are 40 calories or below per day.
The actual food should cover the remaining 360 calories. You should only give these treats between meals, so the puppy doesn’t confuse them with food.
How do I select safe Dog Treats for Puppies?
Note that at the first weeks when giving treats to the puppies, for example, 5 to 8 weeks, they haven’t still adapted to eating big and hard treats that older dogs can eat. You should, therefore, focus on treats that are safe for your puppies. Some of these include:
- Soft All-natural Baked Treats
These types of treats are not only nutritious but also soft, thus right for puppies. The best thing is that they’re also sweet, so your puppy will love them.
The First Responder Badge – 18 Count by TailBangers is a perfect example of treats in this category. It’s not only rich in flavor but also easy on your puppy’s developing dental formula.
- Jerky Treats
The jerky treats are also nice, chewy and the perfect match for a little pup’s small and soft jaws.
- Freeze-dried Treats
These treats are small in size and great for your puppy because of their rich flavor and high nutrient content. They’re also specially formulated to be easy to chew.
Now, selecting the safe dog treats for your little pup can also be a challenge. To ensure that you get the right treats you’ll need to focus on these three core factors;
- Nutritional Content
If you’re buying these treats from a pet store or dog bakery, take some time to review the nutritional content. If you want your puppy to develop strong bones, for example, be sure to check out for treats formulated with special nutrients like calcium to help you achieve this.
Don’t forget to check if the treats also have any additives. They should be free of chemical preservatives and not have any chemical additives, such as artificial coloring.
Since the puppy is still growing, you’ll need to focus on treats that it can comfortably hold on its mouth when chewing. This will ensure that the puppy doesn’t choke on the treats and also doesn’t suffer any mouth injuries.
- Hardness or Softness of the Treat
Finally, the treats are available in varying degrees of softness or hardness. If, for example, you want the pup to have healthier teeth, an assortment of treats with a few bones would be a viable option.
Get Treats for Your Puppies
You can always make these treats at home, and the good thing with homemade dog treats is that you control the entire production process. This means that you’re assured that the end product is 100 percent safe for your pet.
Here’s the catch. It’s fulfilling to give a pup treats that you made for it from scratch, but sometimes mistakes happen. You may fail to mix the nutrients in the right proportions.
The result is that even if you follow the 10 percent rule, you may still miss the mark and give your dog too many calories. Either way, you may also wish that the puppy gets some vital nutrients, but you forget to add the necessary ingredients.
You can avoid all these slight but costly mistakes by only insisting on high quality all-natural dog foods from reputed brands. Keep your pet safe and avoid all the guesswork. Contact us today in case of any inquires.