4 Ways to Limit Dog Treats and Say No to Pleading Eyes
Do you feel as though your dog is mesmerizing you into feeding dog treats? Are you struggling to say “No” to those pleading puppy dog eyes?
You know the drill… You’ve just opened a food packet and then magically out of nowhere your furred companion materializes by your side!
And on cue you receive “the look”, a hypnotizing stare perfected to melt your heart and set you on treat-feeding autopilot! Voila for the dishing out of tasty tidbits, shared meals and dog treats!
Your dog may have learnt to ramp up the antics a notch or two. Perhaps by placing a paw on your lap, or making an almost inaudible whimper, or for the more outlandish doggy types, some twirling, barking and begging behavior!
There’s no mistaking the message behind these antics. We hear you dogs, loud and clear!!
To keep our dog’s weight and health in check, as pet parents we must learn ways to prevent ourselves feeding too many dog treats. Most dog treats are high in fat, salt and calories and if not accounted for, soon lead to expanding doggy waistlines and dire health consequences.
So how do we resist feeding too many dog treats?
The good news is this is a challenge you can easily overcome! With the following 4 tips you will soon limit the number of dog treats you feed your furred friend and you will be back in charge of your dog’s food intake in no time!
4 Simple Ways to Limit Dog Treats
1. Reduce opportunity for begging
Discourage situations that lead to your dog begging. The most effective way to do this, is to not eat in front of your dog and to keep your dog out of the kitchen whilst preparing meals.
This will significant reduce opportunity for your dog to pressure you into sharing your food and dishing out dog treats.
Once you finish eating or cooking invite your dog back to be with you and dish out plenty of positive attention in the form of pats, cuddles and play or perhaps reward your dog with some of their daily food portion.
If you are able to remain consistent in implementing these two changes it should only take a week or two for your dog to fully accept and adapt to them.
2. Provide attention instead of dog treats
Whenever your dog pleads and begs, get up and play a short game with them, go for a walk around the house or garden or give them a belly rub.
As owners we tend to interpret most dog antics as being food based but most dogs love receiving your attention just as much as they do dog treats!
So substitute food with play or perhaps a short walk or a few tricks. And offer plenty of praise using your voice, pats and cuddles.
3. Say yes and feed dog treats on occasion!
It is okay to say yes, on occasion! Feeding dog treats is fine as long as all the dog treats your dog receives are properly accounted for within your dog’s daily calorie allowance.
Do not fall into the habit of feeding treats on top of your dog’s daily calorie intake otherwise your dog will soon gain weight and any doggy dieting efforts will be wasted. Remember, most dog treats are high in calories so unaccounted treats here and there soon add up!
Diet Tip: Keep extras (dog treats, tidbits and left overs) to less than 10% of your dog’s total daily calorie intake.
Another tip is to cut dog treats in halves or quarters to instantly reduce your dog’s calorie intake. Your dog is more interested in the taste of the treat and the process of receiving the treat (i.e. getting your attention), than the actual size of treat. In most cases a dog’s response to half a treat verses a full treat will be just the same!
4. Offer healthy dog treats
If your pooch is a dog treat begging fiend, forearm yourself with healthy dog treat options. Prepare a small stash of healthy dog treats ready to get you through the day. Apple slices, carrot sticks and green beans are enjoyed by most dogs and come in at a fraction of the calorie count of most other treats.
An added bonus is you can share these snacks with your dog. Which makes them even more enticing for your furred companion! Discover healthy dog treats and their calorie counts here.
By implementing these 4 dog treat feeding hacks, you will be well on your way to feeding dog treats responsibly and preventing any unwanted weight gain for your furred companion.
You now have the tools to deal with those pleading looks and most importantly your best friend can continue to feel loved without you having to feel guilty!
Should you need help managing your dog’s weight and calorie intake, please take a look at our WAGSTA Wellness veterinary-guided diet plan, for all the advice and support needed to achieve your dog’s healthy weight.