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Choosing the Best Dog Treats


Veterinarians get asked this question all the time, “Which treat is best to give my pet?” As a veterinarian who has formulated many diets and treats for dogs and cats, I can tell you that if chosen correctly, treats can supplement your pet’s health as well as be very beneficial to their overall well-being.

Not to mention the training that often accompanies treating, or the mental stimulation of an interactive game.

Because every pet is an individual with their own personality and preferences, some treats may be accepted readily whereas some pets require a little trial and error before you find the treats they love. With pet individuality in mind, let’s explore what sorts of treats are ideal for dogs – treats that are pretty good, treats to avoid, best treats for puppies, and best treats for senior dogs.

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Topics: Dogs, What are Good Training Treats for Dogs, Dog Treats, Safe dog treats, Dog Nutrition

Homemade High-Value Dog Treats


I’ve been spending more time at home lately, so I’ve been using that time to teach my dog, Mary Berry, some new tricks. When trying to teach new behaviors, the treats I’ve been training with haven’t been as effective. I asked Cathy Madson, Preventive Vet’s certified dog trainer why this was happening.

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog, Dog Treats, Dog Nutrition

Homemade Dog Treats – Fluffernutter Kisses


I was excited to get to try out this new recipe for dog treats since I’ve traditionally bought my dog’s treats or stuffed a KONG for my dog. I was able to put my baking skills to use without forcing my husband to eat yet another cookie that I stress baked while social distancing at home. And my dog was excited to finally be the taste tester of a baking session.

Finding low calorie treats that are nutritious, delicious, and have recognizable ingredients can be tough and expensive. Making your own dog treats can be an inexpensive, fun way to make sure your dog is getting healthy, nutritious, and delicious treats that are also good for their weight. 

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Dog, Dog Treats, Dog Nutrition

What Kind of Treats Should You Use to Train Your Dog


The kind of dog treat you use when training your dog can make a big difference in how successful your training sessions are. With so many options available, it can be hard to know what dog treats you should buy.

There is a simple answer to this question. Use whatever training treat your dog enjoys! However, knowing how to "grade" your dog's treats and keeping them varied will benefit you in a few ways:

Read on for tips to figure out what training treats your dog likes best and when to use different treats to bolster your dog's training.

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Topics: What are Good Training Treats for Dogs, Dog, Dog Treats, Puppy treats

How to Make Your Dog a Thanksgiving Themed Stuffed KONG


Want to include your dog in the Thanksgiving feast? Make a Thanksgiving-themed stuffed KONG to give them during dinner (or while guests arrive). Not only is this a fun treat for them, it's a healthier way to include them in the festivities than to sneak them table scraps. Stuffed KONGs are a wonderful training tool to create positive associations with safe spaces, crates, visiting company, and other hustle and bustle.

Watch Cathy and Marissa in this Facebook Live to see 4 easy Thanksgiving stuffed KONG recipes:

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Dog, Pancreatitis, Blog, Dog Treats, Dog Tips, Safe pet treats, Safe dog treats, Pet Hazards at Thanksgiving, Turkey, Stuffing, Thanksgiving Safety

How to Use Dog Training Treats the Right Way


When you begin training your dog, it’s all about finding a reward that your dog is willing to work for. When we go to work, we expect a paycheck, and it’s only fair that we pay our dogs in their preferred currency for a job well done.

I don’t know about you, but I’d probably accept bacon as my preferred currency. Maybe that’s where the saying bringing home the bacon came from … but I don’t think bacon would pay the bills. (And please don't ever give your dog bacon... it's a sure recipe for painful and expensive pancreatitis!) 

Thankfully, almost every dog I’ve met is willing to do things for a piece of kibble, and even more excited to work for a little piece of chicken or cheese. You can take full advantage of your dog's desire for food, if you go about it the right way. Treats are just one tool in our dog training toolkit, and a very powerful one.

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Topics: Puppy Training, What are Good Training Treats for Dogs, Puppy, Dog, Dog Treats, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy treats, Dog treats for training

Be A Slot Machine: How to Fade Out Treats in Training


One of the ultimate goals in training your dog is being able to trust that they will do as asked without needing a food treat reward every time.

What dog owner wants to walk around with a pocketful of turkey everywhere they go, every day, for the rest of their dog's life? That's certainly not very realistic! (Thankfully, it's also not necessary.)

Dog treats are important and useful when first introducing a new behavior when you’re training your dog, and are an integral part of positive reinforcement training. We wouldn’t show up to work every day if we didn’t get a paycheck, and treats are a high-value currency to our dogs.

They deserve to get paid for their work. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons dog owners opt for more punishment-based or ‘balanced’ dog training is the myth that if they start with treats to train their puppy, then they’ll always have to have food treats to make a behavior happen.

Good news is, this simply isn’t true! It’s easy to fade out the use of food rewards while training your dog — and it’s one of the most important steps in teaching a behavior.

Want to learn more about your dog's behavior and get some training tips? We've  got 101 more for you here!

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Topics: Dog Training, Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Dog Treats, new puppy, puppy tips, Puppy treats, Dog treats for training, Schedule of reinforcement

Shopping List: Help Your New Dog or Puppy Settle In Easier


Bringing home a new dog — whether they're a puppy or adult — is an awesome thing, no doubt! But it can also be a bit overwhelming, both for you and your new dog.

Regardless of where your dog came from — shelter, rescue, foster home, breeder, or even your neighbor down the street — joining your family is a change. An awesome change, but a change none-the-less. And change can be stressful for dogs. This is why many dogs will go through an "adjustment period" when they first come into a new home.

You can ease and shorten their adjustment period — and minimize your own stress — by being well prepared with products and aids that can help your new dog settle into their new life.

This article aims to make things easier for you, with some behavior and safety awareness, shopping tips, and recommendations for products that may help you and your pup during this time of transition. I cover everything from calming aids (including pheromones and music), to how to make bedtime "sleeptime," as well as safe toys and crate essentials. 

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Topics: Puppy Training, Puppy, Dog, Chewing, Dog Treats, new puppy, puppy tips, adjustment period, bedtime for puppies

#IfOnlyIKnew: Baking Healthy Killed This Dog!


Like many health-conscious people these days, Melissa Wardrop is eating healthier and watching her and her family’s consumption of sugar. She’s also a very considerate person, both generally and also in terms of taking her friends' sugar-free eating habits into consideration. Sadly, it was the two “thank you” loaves of sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free zucchini bread she baked for her friends that led to the loss of her beloved family dog, Lucy, a beautiful and sweet 5 year old Lab.

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Topics: pet safety, Dogs, Xylitol, Xylitol Products, Dog Treats, #IfOnlyIKnew

Is Peanut Butter Good for Dogs?

 
If you’re looking for a high-value treat, a handy way to sneak some pills into your pooch, or something to stuff into an interactive feeder, you can’t do much better than peanut butter. Not only is peanut butter a great snack to place in interactive feeders for dogs, but the sight of a dog vigorously smacking their chops never gets old. 

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Topics: Emergencies, Dog Health, Calories, Diabetes, Blog, Dog Treats, Safe pet treats, Safe dog treats, Peanut butter, Diet

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.