Every dog likes the occasional treat! Dog treats come in all shapes, sizes, and ingredients, and can be store-bought or homemade. Choosing the right treat for your dog will depend on the reason for giving the treat, your dog’s personal taste palate, and any allergies they may have. Your dog will rarely say no to a treat, and if they do it may be a sign that they are unwell.
When using treats, we need to factor these extra calories into their overall calorie intake for their age and breed to make sure they don’t become overweight. It’s very easy for dogs to gain extra weight and this can affect joint mobility, cardiovascular function, and internal organ health. German Shepherds are known to be predisposed to joint issues such as hip dysplasia, so keeping your German Shepherd at a healthy weight is important.
Treats can be very motivating during training sessions, particularly because German Shepherds are so smart, they notice if there is no treat and can decide to stop listening. If using treats for training, you want to choose small, low-calorie treats that your dog enjoys eating.
Treats can also have health benefits, such as dental chews. Dental treats that are VOHC certified are beneficial in reducing the rate of dental tartar buildup and can be used as part of a healthy diet to maintain good oral hygiene.
Entertainment is another common reason for giving a treat, for example, if you need to go out and your dog will be left alone for a few hours, having a chew can keep your dog busy until you return. We strongly suggest against chews such as raw hides or pig ears as whilst cheap, can cause problems such as blockages in the intestines and tummy upsets. A chew toy smothered in peanut butter (xylitol free) or a thin layer of cream cheese would be a perfect alternative if looking for a homemade chew toy.
Buying from the store offers a lot of conveniences, but homemade treats are easy to make and have the added benefit of no artificial preservatives or flavorings. You can control portion size and use flavors that your dog loves. There are many recipes that are easy to follow and free online with a little searching. Your dog will also enjoy nature’s finest, small portions of fruit and veggies such as blueberries can be seen as a huge reward to dogs, and are often healthier than store-bought treats.
Homemade treats can be as simple as adding water to your dog’s regular kibble to soften and then stuffing it into a Kong toy. After freezing your dog will enjoy a snack that lasts for a few hours whilst you are busy doing other things. Lickimats smeared with a layer of frozen yogurt and berries or other ingredients are another great treat your dog can enjoy at home to keep them entertained whilst you are working or out of the home.
When buying a store-bought treat, look at the ingredient list to make sure your dog isn’t allergic to any of the contents. Food allergies can make your dog quite unwell, so are best avoided if possible. Store-bought treats come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and calories. Try and look for lower calorie treats if you give lots of treats to your dog during the day. If your puppy is still very young, be careful about the size of the treat. Young puppies tend to gulp down treats and if the treat is large, it can be a choking hazard.
Some of our favorite treats are:
There are many treat options available for your German Shepherd Puppy. Choosing low-calorie, yet flavorsome treats will encourage your puppy to respond well to training commands. German Shepherds bond highly to their main handler or trainer so treats are often central to creating this strong bond. All dogs have preferences and if your dog isn’t particularly crazy about one type of treat, try another variety. There will be the perfect dog treat out there for them that they will love!
The best treats are low calorie, small in size, and tasty to your puppy- look for meat-based flavors to really get their enthusiasm up.
Yes, German Shepherd puppies can have treats as part of a balanced diet to help with training, and socialization and to keep them entertained around the home. Remember to reduce their main meal to account for the treat calories.
Royal Canin Educ treats are low calorie, vitamin-packed and tasty and will help with training your German Shepherd.
A German Shepherd is not particularly fussy and will eat most treats offered, both store-bought and homemade. The trick is to find the treat your dog is crazy about which can take a little time to work out.