As soon as you laid eyes on your pup, you knew he was a special member of your family. And because he’s a special member of your family, you want to find ways to treat him (rightfully so)! I will tell you, I have been through so many phases of dog momhood, it’s not even funny! I have been the “treat your dog too much” dog mom where she expected treats for every little thing, and I have also been the “neglect to treat my dog” dog mom where she doesn’t even ask for a treat for doing something especially good! What I have found in all my years of dog momhood is a really nice midzone where you are not over-treating and you are not under-treating your precious fur child.
Here are our 5 Whys for Treating Your Dog!
Why #1: Treat Your Dog When Training Her
This goes beyond puppyhood! You will want to work with your dog for their entire life, because dogs yearn to please you! Giving your dog a treat for a job well-done is also known as positive reinforcement. I’m sure you have heard all about this whether you watch The Animal Planet or have taken a puppy training class. I have learned that treats help my pups focus WAY more than just a pat on the head!
We recommend: Nulo – Freestyle duck trainers
Why #2: Treat Your Dog to Distract Him
As a work-from-home dog mom, distracting my dogs with treats is a MUST! I have deadlines, phone calls, virtual meetings, and other things that require my utmost attention so I need to divert my dogs’ attention off of me, and onto some treats! I use treats for mental stimulation and distraction while I work or even if it’s just a rainy day and they need something to focus on! We have a great DIY mental stimulation game that you can try with things around your home! Check it out here (3 Ways the Stay-at-Home Dog Mom Gets Things Done).
We recommend: Kona’s Chips – Bully sticks
Why #3: Treat Your Dog to Bond with Her
Our favorite way to bond with our dogs at Gal’s Best Friend, is to make homemade treats and ensure that the entire process is a bonding experience. Yes, go ahead and let her lick the spatula and test the ingredients as you go along! We definitely consider this bonding! We will make any excuse to bond with our dogs more and that means treating her like the princess she is. See what I did there? But seriously, your dog is only part of your life for a short period of time, bond as much as you possibly can!
We recommend: 2-Ingredient Summer Dog Treats
Why #4: Treat Your Dog to Celebrate Him
Do you know how many dog holidays there are every year in the US?! There are so many! (Check them out here!) Said holidays are definitely reasons to celebrate your dog! Some of our favorite holidays to treat our dogs are National Love Your Pet Day, National Purebred Dog Day, Mayday for Mutts, National Pet Week, Be Kind to Animals Week, Dog Party Day, and MORE! Seriously, every month you can find holidays to celebrate your fur baby… Do it!
We recommend: Little L’s – Cluck-Cluck Krak’ems
Why #5: Treat Your Dog Just Because
This Why is the one I struggled with when Abbie was a puppy. I just found any ole excuse to treat her and it gave her the expectation that EVERYthing deserved a treat! It’s no secret that I love to pamper and love on my dogs. So, my advice to you is don’t get carried away with this one! But every now and then, it is totally okay to give your dog a treat right when you get home because you want to surprise him. Every now and then, it is totally okay to set a treat in front of your sleeping pup’s snoot and laugh about how long (or quick) it takes her to notice it’s there!
We recommend: Blooming Culture – CBD turkey treats
Your dog is a very important member of your family and it is more than okay to find ways to treat him. Whatever your cause for treating him, know that we back you 100% in your decision to do so! Find that really nice midzone where you are not over-treating and you are not under-treating your precious fur child.
NOTE: Treats should never make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. While we love cooking up homemade dog treats and reinforcing good behavior, overfeeding your dog treats is a sure way to health issues. Treat responsibly.
INSPIRATION: This blog post is inspired by Dog Mama by Serena Faber-Nelson from Pretty Fluffy.