When it comes to treats my dogs know immediately what they are. It is like a "treat sense" that dogs have. But today it is hard to know what treats are actually healthy for our dogs. There are so many choices and sometimes the ingredients are questionable. Another concern is our dogs weight. Obesity is the number one health concern for dogs just as it is for humans. Do you think there is a link here? I don't know if it is scientifically proven but I do think pet parents feel guilty when they have a snack and they see the "please give me a treat too" message in their dogs eyes, and they give their dog the treat as well.
Reading ingredients is important. I try to find natural ingredients that are baked. Look for grain free ingredients. I also look for only a few ingredients in the entire treat; I have found great healthy treats with only 2 or three ingredients. These treats are usually the "fun" treats at our house. When I leave the house the dogs may get one of these large treats broken in half. I have found size does matter. In fact it matters a lot. Both Jazz and Jive had gained some weight and I did not want to take away from the nutrients in their actual meals. So when I gave them a treat I gave them each only half of the treat. No matter how big the treat was they only got half each. That did the trick and they lost those few extra pounds easily.
Sometimes the best treats are the home made treats. You know exactly what goes into the treat and they are made with love. I know my dogs love home made treats most of all.
Because we do a lot of training Jazz and Jive get a lot of treats. I make sure these are treats specifically for training. I find natural treats and the smallest size treat available. Or I break up a larger treat into small pieces. These treats are rewards for working in a training situation and they get so many the size being so small is not an issue for them. But I still factor the amount of treats they get into their daily caloric intake.
Overall treats are a good thing. It really comes down to our quality control efforts to make sure the treats are healthy and given in amounts appropriate for our dogs size and activity level. When we employ "treat best practice" it is a win win for our dogs and for us. Woofs & Smiles!
I want to add a link to a website named Pet Consider; here is a link to their article on whether dogs can eat banana's. Banana's and other foods as well as some medications are explored on this website. You will find the information helpful.