Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to train your pets, and what better reward for your furry friends than tasty treats? Dog and pet training requires consistency, structure, and providing your pets with the incentive to work hard and perform well. We’re always here to offer the best pet training tips and advice to pet owners at Bayside Animal Hospital. We love helping them achieve the best results with their pets.

Our mindset is always pet wellness first. We’ve adopted a positive approach to pet training, which aligns with our goals and optimal pet mental health. A well-trained pet makes for a happy pet owner and a happy pet, too. We believe that pet training can be both fun and rewarding for owners and their pets. By choosing the best and healthiest pet training treats, you can ensure that every reward does good for your pet’s mind and body.

What Types of Treats Are Ideal for Puppies?

cute puppy in the grass with a treat in its mouth

Puppies are always on the go and are highly treat-motivated. Rewarding good behavior in puppyhood can prevent many behavioral issues later but can easily lead to unnecessary weight gain if limits aren’t set. Treats should be small and made from natural ingredients. It’s important to steer clear of packaged pet treats high in fat and calories and highly processed. 

Puppies should be given small, bite-sized pieces that are packed with nutrition. Check ingredient lists and labels before purchasing them. Look for training treats made from the main ingredient such as beef, lamb, or chicken. If you’re unsure about the label, call us any time to ask for advice or check out our online store for pet treats.

The Best Pet Training Tips to Prevent Begging

two small puppies looking up at owner

There are few things as frustrating as trying to enjoy a meal when your dog pushes into your personal space or even tries to snatch your food. Teach your dog to remain seated away when it’s mealtime. Teach them to sit or lay in a specific spot that isn’t intrusive. Pair that distance with a “stay” or “away” command and reward with a small treat. While it may feel counterproductive to give your dog treats when you’re teaching them to stop begging, patience is vital. Don’t give treats as a distraction, as this may reinforce begging. Be sure to only use training treats as a reward for the desired behavior instead. 

It may also be helpful to offer distractions in the form of toys in another room or a puppy pen when you’re eating. Avoid feeding pets any table scraps. Not only does this teach them to beg, but certain human foods are toxic for pets and can cause health complications if they eat something their stomachs can’t digest.

Tips for Choosing the Best Pet Training Treats

orange cat looking up at owner

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when you’re shopping for pet training treats. Cats can be trained, too so please keep these same suggestions in mind as you browse for the proper treats for your feline companion.

  • Read the Ingredients List – All pet treats should be made from the highest quality ingredients. A hearty, meat-based recipe that’s low in fat and has little to no additives is always best. Avoid anything with artificial colors, preservatives, and added flavors. Keep in mind that “organic” may be natural, but doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Keep your cat or dog’s caloric intake in mind, as well as the fat and sugar content in the treats.
  • Opt for Jerky Over Biscuits – Bone-shaped biscuits and crunchy morsels among the most popular types of pet treats, but they also tend to be the least healthy. Jerky-style pet training treats, on the other hand, are grain-free and tend to have far fewer additives. Research the company and origin of any jerky pet treats, as several manufacturers have been recalled for causing animal sickness.
  • Keep Pet Treats Small – Dogs need fewer calories than humans each day, so high-fat treats or too many treats in a day can quickly push them over their caloric limit and cause unwanted weight gain. Make sure that you purchase small, bite-sized treats, and if the brand you like has treats that are too big, break them in half or even thirds to get them the size you want  so you can space them out during training sessions.

If you have any additional questions about pet training or healthy pet training treats, our team at Bayside Animal Hospital is always here to help! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any of your questions.