Baking season is in full swing, and if you’re hosting family and friends at your house for the holidays, you probably have your entire menu already planned out with delicious treats that everyone will love. If you want to keep your pooch’s nose off the counter, try including him in the feast with some holiday dog treats.
Holiday Dog Treats Can Keep Your Dog from Stealing Food
A lot of dogs steal food from countertops, storage cupboards, or even out of the hands of slow moving children. Stealing food is just one of the things that dogs are really good at and are driven to do by powerful internal urges. It’s as if they’re always on a seafood diet — see food and eat it, that is.
Actually, “steal” is rather a strong word. It implies some kind of unscrupulous behavior or moral turpitude. However, it’s far less complicated than that where dogs are concerned. They detect some tasty food, it beckons to them by means of its odor, and they seize it and devour it without guilt. Dogs that have been punished for stealing will not usually steal food in their owner’s presence but that’s because they are avoiding punishment, not because they think that what they are doing is wrong. So, if dogs have no conscience about stealing and they enjoy food, what can a poor dog owner do to protect their barbecued offerings or holiday feast? Is punishment and constant policing the only answer? Not really — there are a few other things that can be done to help.
Keep your dog well fed. Powerful motivation is at the root of many commando-style hit-and-run thieving missions by dogs. Motivation is a double-edged sword: There’s the drive from within (hunger) and the lure from outside (the attractiveness of the food). Hunger can be assuaged but good food is always good food. It helps to feed your dog a robust meal before you have friends over for a barbecue if you want him to be less inclined to be mooching vittles. It’s much harder for him to get worked up over a hot dog when he’s got a belly full of kibble.
Feed Your Pup Holiday Dog Treats Over Table Scraps
Winter is the time for holiday parties and large, traditional dinners. But as much as you may want to include your pet in this fun, feeding him a few treats from the table is not the way. Table food is too fatty for the digestive systems of most animals and can lead to severe stomach upsets, occasionally triggering possibly fatal pancreatic inflammation. To keep your pet safe this season, remember the following:
- Chicken and turkey bones are highly dangerous; they can splinter and puncture the stomach or intestines.
- Don’t fill the dog’s bowl with table scraps. Most are too fatty for an animal’s digestive system.
- Don’t give chocolate to your dog; it can be toxic.
- Make sure to put garbage into tightly covered cans to prevent your dog from giving into temptation and making a meal of your discards.
- Call your vet if your pet shows signs of stomach upset – diarrhea or vomiting.
Fill Your Holiday Dog Treats with Good Nutrition
Good nutrition is no accident. It takes time and patience to learn what your dog needs to stay healthy, happy and active. It also takes dedication and perseverance to make sure your dog eats what he should, rather than what he wants.
It’s vital that your dog eats a complete and balanced diet. He needs fresh water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins. The most important nutrient is water, which makes up 60 percent of a dog’s weight. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are necessary for energy; minerals are important for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, among other things; and vitamins are important to help your dog process biochemicals.
Vegetables make good treats for dogs. They are healthy and he can digest them. There are healthy doggie treats available in pet food stores as well. Talk to your veterinarian to find out what treats are best for your dog.
Check out our favorite holiday dog treat recipes and get baking!
Your Dog Will Love These Holiday Dog Treat Recipes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 cups white flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened chunky applesauce
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts