Even though treats can be quite appropriate for educating your dog by applying positive reinforcement, it is also certain that you should be careful with these foods which can harm the health of dogs.
Today, we can find many dog snacks in the markets and in pet stores. There are a wide variety of treats with different aromas, flavors, textures, formats and benefits.
Many pet owners question whether it is good to give dog treats. They also wonder what snacks are good or bad. We will explain below why treats can be very useful for your dog’s education. We will also tell you about the snacks that are beneficial for the health of dogs and those that are prohibited.
Are snacks good for dogs?
The consumption of snacks can be a moment of pleasure for your dog. In addition, when the owners give treats to their dogs, they consider this gesture as a sign of affection. However, treats can be more than just a treat for the taste buds.
Snacks for positive reinforcement in dog education
Snacks can be very useful in training dogs. Positive reinforcement, a learning methodology, suggests rewarding dogs for stimulating and training them.
In other words, by rewarding your dog for good behavior and by recognizing his efforts, you will not only encourage your dog to repeat these actions, but you will also stimulate his cognitive, emotional and social capacities.
The traditional methodology, which advocates the use of punishments and reprimands, places the dog in situations of humiliation and intense fear . These negative emotions cause a lot of stress. They can also encourage the appearance of many behavioral problems, such as aggressiveness, destructive behavior, phobias and stereotypes.
The belief that the owner must be the “dominant” and that the dog must be completely submissive is false. Domination is part of a system of social relations and intraspecific hierarchy. In other words, it only exists between animals of the same species. Therefore, a man can never dominate a dog and a dog can never be subjected to a man.
A dog obeys his master thanks to the special bond that unites them, a bond based on trust and mutual respect. He therefore does not obey because he is submissive or dominated, and even less because he is afraid. So, don’t forget to use positive reinforcement to educate your best friend.
Snacks suitable for dogs
In principle, all snacks specially developed for dogs are suitable for our best friends. However, it is important to look at the ingredients of each product to be able to choose the best treat for your companion.
For example, for obese dogs, traditional treats are not the best option because they are very high in calories. But there are light snacks (less fatty and less caloric), specially developed for overweight or obese dogs .
In puppies, treats rich in calcium and protein can stimulate their growth. As for older dogs, they generally appreciate snacks with a softer texture that facilitate chewing and digestion.