Important Differences When Choosing Treats for Big and Small Dogs
When facing the variety of dog treats made in the USA, many questions come to mind. You certainly want something that will satisfy your pooch while still being somewhat nutritious. You don’t want treats that are too big or too small but something that will be just right. In seeking the Goldilocks of dog treats, your first consideration should be the size of your dog.
You have likely seen the size of treats out there. Chewy treats that claim to be long-lasting are often gone in 60 seconds. These are treats more often suited for large breeds that could overwhelm a smaller dog just by its size. For sure, dogs love to chew; it is their nature, after all. However, big chunks that break off can become a choking hazard. Nobody wants that.
Making the selection of size-appropriate treats saves the hazards of chunks getting stuck in the mouth or lodged in the stomach. Small teeth may certainly be good at chewing, but those bites will also be small. If the treat is hard or thick, you have to consider if those tiny teeth will be able to break up the treat sufficiently.
While there are soft dogs treats available, do not rule out the hard biscuit-type chew. These are beneficial for breaking down the tartar and maintaining overall good oral health. One good rule of thumb is if you cannot break up the treat in your hands, it is likely your small dog will have trouble breaking it down with their teeth.
Weight Gain Treats for dogs carry the same pitfalls as treats for humans. They are easy to eat, but a few here and there can mount up as will the calories. Consider the fact that the calorie count is not required to be posted on the dog treat packaging. This makes it all the more important to recognize how frequently you are giving your dog treats throughout the day.
For example, a couple of regular-sized bones may not seem like too much, but they could amount to more than a 10-pound dog would get in an entire meal. The weight gain creeps up until the vet is telling you your dog needs to go on a diet. This is another reason why smaller treats are better.
One advantage with smaller or younger breeds is their high metabolic rate that can burn through calories quickly. In fact, there is a requirement for smaller breeds to take in more frequent calories to avoid developing low-blood sugar that may cause weakness, seizures, muscle tremors or lethargy. Treats can be useful between meal supplement of needed caloric intake.
A large dog only needs about half the calories per pound as that of a smaller breed dog. In addition, the size of the stomach in a small breed dog is tiny compared to a large dog. While the small dog fills up faster, they are also more sensitive to rich or fatty food stuffs. If you are using your treats for training, you may discover you have overdone it when your pup has a tummy ache or is too full to perform.
Your pocket-height large breed dog, on the other hand, will have his attention focused directly on your treat pack that is right there at eye level. Try moving the pack to your back where your dog is not likely to notice it. Watch the calories with your large dog because he requires a lower caloric density than smaller breeds. Large dogs do not burn through the fuel as quickly.
This gives you an idea of the differences between small and large dog breeds when it comes to choosing what treats to give them. The greatest concerns are size-appropriate treats and caloric intake. Beyond that, it is up to the owner to be mindful of the number of treats given through the day to avoid overdoing all the fun. Your dog is certainly not going to turn down your offers, which means you must be the watchdog.