You just brought your new puppy home and you are dying to give her some treats as rewards for going potty, sitting for you or just behaving. Well there are a few things you should know before you do that.
- First, young puppies have sensitive tummies and any new food should be introduced slowly so you can see how well the puppy tolerates the new treat. If you are changing dog foods from the food your breeder had the puppy on then it should be done over the course of 7-10 days by adding the new food slowly and removing the old food also slowly. A new puppy treat can be introduced at 8 weeks old but it should be single or limited ingredient. As a rule of thumb a treat of no more than 3 ingredients is a good idea to start.
- Look for dog treats that have no additives or preservatives, no coloring and you also don't want to feed your dog fillers like rice, or other simple carbohydrate.
- Dehydrated treats are mostly raw food that has had the water removed. A low temperature slow dehydration process is important to remove the water and not cook the food. Dehydrated treats are safer to handle than raw food that may have bacteria and they keep most of the nutritional value of the food.
- It is also important to rotate the treats you give your puppy after you are sure they can tolerate them well. So that puppies don't become overweight, when you add a treat to their daily calories you have to remove some of their dog food. In general, dog food provides balanced nutrition for your dog and the treat, if one ingredient does not provide that same balance of nutrition. So once you know your puppy can tolerate a variety of different single ingredient treats, it's time to rotate the treats they get to rebalance their nutritional caloric intake.
In Canada, where we are, dog treats are not regulated. It's important to read the ingredient label of any treat you are looking for and choose a limited ingredient treat (single or under 3 ingredients) that is made in Canada or the USA and not imported from overseas.