There are so many options, brands and information out there about what treats are best for your dogs, but all treats are most definitely not made equally.
Here is our Quick guide to the treats we recommend, how we use them and links to try them out for yourselves.
Giving treats is a good way to reward your dog during training and encourage the behaviour you want. There are a wide variety of prepared and natural treats on the market which vary hugely in quality. Some commercial treats have lots of sugar, colourings, milk products and fat in them, so always check the ingredients label. Good quality prepared treats have been developed with dogs dietary needs in mind.
However, all treats should be given sparingly, and never comprise more than 15% of your puppy’s total calorie intake. If you use treats regularly, reduce the amount of main meal food your dog is receiving in order to avoid obesity. Some chew treats have proven ability to help prevent dental diseases, but again check the label to ensure you are getting a genuine product.
Human chocolate is poisonous to dogs and can cause liver damage and even be fatal, so never give your dog any chocolate or leave any lying around where it might be found and eaten. Be especially careful at Christmas and Easter time.
Avoid giving your puppy any sweet biscuits or sugary treats which are bad for its teeth as well as its waistline, and can cause sugar ‘highs’ and ‘lows’.
Always remember that table scraps contain calories so they should be taken into account as part of the daily diet. Better still; don’t be tempted to feed table scraps at all.
Not all treats are made equal and we are big advocates of natural chews and treats. An easy method to incorporate as much training and treat work as you like into your day without worrying about the additional calories your dog is taking in is to Ditch The Bowl, this method of training reallocates the calories your dog would already be having from the daily meals into fun and rewarding activities that build up value for the concepts and skills you want and the bond between you and your dog.
None of our dogs have conventional food bowls and instead receive all their meals through games, chews, stuffed bones, stuffed toys and likimats.
An easy way to ensure the nutional value of the treats you give your dog is to ensure that they are complete diets. The treatie tubes we provide in your puppy pack are a brilliant way to turn a complete wet diet into a high value reward.
You can also use small amounts of other kibble diets or other flavours of the diet you use already as added value rewards as they are something different from the food they are “used to” receiving. Some brands we use and recommend are
However, sometimes we want to give our pets something a bit more special, perhaps for a new skill we are trying or a particularly difficult environment or concept. We very often turn to home made recipes and baking to create our own treats that we know exactly what went into them and how they were made. In the ebooks section of this page you can find a Susan Garrett Treats ebook which is packed full of easy and simple recipes that create wholesome and cheap alternatives to your regular off the shelf treats.
But, like everyone, we also do provide our dogs with shop bought treats on occasion and its important to ALWAYS go for the Natural high Protein.
We AVOID anything that is processed or contains less than 60% actual meat. We never buy anything that states on its packaging artificial flavours, “bulking agents” or “meat derivatives”. Instead always choose the product which specifies fresh meat in their recipe.
Salukis are not just momentously fussy eaters (they will turn their nose up at most cheap commercial dog biscuits) but also have very sensitive stomachs, possibly from eating at the tables of kings for generations. However, this does raise the importance of choosing healthy and nutritious treats for your Saluki, as often cheap bulked out treats will not only be spat out but can make them sick and give them diarea. We have learned this the hard way with our own Salukis and don’t want you to make the same mistakes.
Chews are an important part of any dogs diet and enrichment. The act of chewing not only helps your pups through the painful stages of teething but also helps adult dogs to relax and promotes calmness, releasing endorphins and “happy chemicals” in the brain.
HOWEVER, once again not all chews are made equal and it is really important that you NEVER feed your dog Rawhide or Rawhide Products. Rawhide is a commonly available and cheap dog treat and chew and was for many years a go to with our dogs. However, it may surprise you to know that rawhide is actually a by product of the leather industry rather than the meat industry. It is treated with a concoction of harmful and potentially deadly chemicals and is left unregulated as it is not deemed a product of the food industry.
Rawhide is extremely likely to make your pup violently sick or give them severe diarrhoea it is much safer and healthier for your dog to go for the many different available natural options.
Our favourites include:
· Dried Ostrich Twists
· Raw and Dried Bones
· Hairy Rabbits Ears & Skins
· Hairy Cows Ears
· Pigs Ears
· Chicken, Duck or Goose Feet
· Chicken, Duck, or Turkey Necks
· Pig Snouts
· Venison Ears and Legs
· Paddy Wack
· Fish Skins
You can even get lots of stuffable options natural chews as well which work well for ditching the bowl. Our favourites of these include:
Along with the many draw backs of using processed chews and treats, including the chemicals and high sugar and fat contents, there are also many beneficial side effects to using natural chews as well.
There is evidence ot suggest that regular injestion of furrry or hairy chews can aid in keeping your dogs worm free. This works by the hairs tangling round the adult worms in the gut and drawing them out with the feaces. It also helps to remove eggs as the hairs gently brush the worm eggs from the lining of the intestine and once dislodged, are excreted with your doggos poop.
This benefit, whilst great is of course like most natural alternatives and remedies and is not comparable to normal chemical worming treatments and tablets. so, whilst we would never rely upon our hairy chews as our soul source of de-worming protection and treatment, it is however a great added layer of protection on top of their normal treatments.
Our favourite hairy chews include:
Hairy Rabbit Ears
Hairy Cows Ears
Hairy Venison Ears
We like the Fur Box from Natural pet Treats Wholsale, it includes a selection of different hairy chews for your dog to try and see which is their favourite.
A quick but important video exposing the reality of how rawhide chews are made.
A quick how to on creating your own Himalayan Cheese Chews for your dogs.
How to make your own homemade superfood meaty treats for your pups