Too many treats can lead to obesity
We love our pets so much, and sometimes we give in to those ‘puppy eyes’, and without realising we can overfeed them. Don’t fall into that trap – be aware of what you feed your pets. There is nothing wrong with treating your dog or cat, as long as it is in moderation and not compromising his health.
There are various healthy treats that you can offer your dog. Dominique Kuhlmann, General Manager of the Pet Food Industry Association of Southern Africa, shares a few guidelines on healthy treats. She says that we should first consider that every morsel that passes our pets’ lips adds to their daily nutritional intake.
“To calculate your pet’s daily food intake, you must consider it all and ensure that the total meets your pet’s individual energy requirements, which differ based on the food fed, the age of the pet, the breed, life stage and lifestyle.”
She adds that pets’ food intake shouldn’t only consist of treats, but should be part of a healthy diet.
“Just as in people, an increase in food intake will result in an overweight pet, and this includes treats, chews and titbits,” says Dr Patricia Mills, a small animal veterinarian in private practice. “A medium-sized dog having an extra chew as a treat during the course of the day is equivalent to a person eating a chocolate bar. Or the same dog eating a small portion of cheese as a titbit is the same as a person eating a whole hamburger as an extra snack during their day.”
Ideally, treats can be included as part of training, but try not to reward your dog when he is doing behaviours you don’t want, like begging or jumping up. Ask him to sit, for example, and then offer him a treat. Treats low in kilojoules, sodium, phosphorus and fats are preferable, and examples include:
Chocolate is a no-no!
We all know by now that chocolate is poisonous for your dog, so ensure that all your Valentine’s chocolates are out of reach.
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