Why Do Dogs Like Treats So Much

Like most dogs, my dog goes completely bonkers whenever I give her a treat. She runs after me, head held high, eyes wide, and a very serious and excited expression on her face, as I move over to the shelf holding the bags of treats.

My dog gets so happy for her afternoon reward that I wish I could be as enthusiastic about anything. But why does she react to rewards so much more positively than she does to her regular dog food?

Why are goodies so appealing to dogs? Compared to most dog feeds, dog treats often contain higher levels of fat, oil, and carbs, giving them richer scents and aromas. Treats are a fun addition to your dog’s diet because of their textures, sizes, and variety, but it’s important to choose the correct treats and quantities to give your dog.

Actually, there aren’t many variations between what constitutes “dog food” and “dog treats.” The amount of freedom manufacturers of dog treats and food have in deciding whether to label their goods as food or treats shocked me.

However, in general, dog treats, like human treats, contain more of the ingredients humans enjoy but shouldn’t consume in excess. Treats for dogs are made attractive by ingredients like oils, fats, carbs, and occasionally even sugar.

They find it so alluring that they will go through great lengths just to get a taste. Take a look at these hungry dogs’ tenacity, dedication, poise, and grace:

There are many various kinds of dog treats available, ranging from large to small, crunchy to soft, and natural to heavily processed.

Combining all of these different kinds of goodies can improve your dog’s diet, teach them new skills and tricks, and strengthen your relationship with your furry friend.

In the last two decades, the dog food and treat industries have grown tremendously. The days of just purchasing a bag of kibble from the supermarket without giving your dog’s health a second thought are long gone.

Dog food and treats are now available in so many different sorts, and many of them make outrageous claims about helping your dog’s breath, keeping them entertained for hours on end, encouraging brain growth, and other things.

I’ve done some research on the laws that treat producers must go by in order to better understand how to choose tasty, safe, and nutritious treats for my dog. No matter your dog’s specific diet or stage of life, the following information will be useful to grasp because all dogs have varied nutritional demands that could alter over time.

Why do dogs consistently enjoy treats?

Your dog devours food and then cries out for rewards. You fill the bowl with the necessary amount of food, but it is insufficient. What is happening?

Is there a Problem?

Most of the time, this is a learned behavior, even if some dogs appear to be genetically predisposed to approach every meal with a rabid appetite and as though it could be their last. Rescues may have gone without food before being fostered or adopted, and as a result, they may have a lifetime urge to nag for food and eat it as soon as they can before it runs out. Who doesn’t appreciate watching their pet enthusiastically wag their tail when getting a treat? Even the most spoiled, well-fed pets may have learnt that begging may result in treats! Or maybe you unintentionally overeat when you eat. It must be good if it makes your dog happy, right?

No, not always. While it’s fun to watch our pets eat and enjoy treats, overfeeding them might actually be equivalent to loving them to death. Obesity and a range of other health issues can result from eating too many sweets or too much food at meals. Giving your dog the proper amount of high-quality food, combined with healthy treats and snacks, aids in weight management and overall health.

While many dogs just have a desire for food, an increased appetite can potentially indicate a number of health problems. The following are a few health conditions that could cause polyphagia, or an insatiable appetite:

  • diabetes
  • tumors
  • gastrointestinal problems that impair nutrition absorption
  • Cushing’s syndrome

If your dog’s appetite changes noticeably, consult your veterinarian. You should rule out or take care of any health difficulties.

Uncontrolled eating is not the solution, regardless of whether your dog’s condition is learnt or connected to physical problems. Here are four suggestions for managing your dog’s voracious appetite:

Trim the Treats

It may seem paradoxical to limit rewards while your dog is hungry, but if she has grown accustomed to receiving regular treats, she needs to unlearn that behavior. If you give your dog treats as rewards, try switching them out for playtime, cuddles, or other affectionate treatment as you reduce the amount of goodies you give.

Ensure that any snacks you do serve are produced with fresh, whole ingredients and have a very minimal fat and calorie content. Yes, much like in your diet, calories matter in a dog’s diet.

Offer the Right Amount of Food

Even while your dog will eat a lot of food, that doesn’t mean he should. To determine the appropriate amount of food for your dog’s size and age, discuss his or her needs with your veterinarian and look at the nutrition facts on your dog food.

My Perfect Pet makes feeding recommendations based on your dog’s optimum weight, or what he should weigh, not on his present weight (if overweight) or what he would want to weigh. You can find thorough feeding guidelines for My Perfect Pet blends here.

Meet Older Dogs’ Needs

It’s a common misperception that senior dogs only require “lite or reduced calorie” food. In actuality, dogs’ metabolisms slow down with age. At the same time, some foods are processed by their systems less effectively.

Many senior formulations utilize fillers to bulk out the food, but because these fillers are difficult for dogs to digest, they let them to eat more while also taxing their digestive systems. Older dogs are better able to acquire the nutrition they require by eating slightly less while absorbing more of the nutrients when dog food is easily digestible.

Pack in Nutrition

Not only older dogs but all dogs need proper nourishment. For development, vitality, and overall health, all dogs require a range of high-quality nutrients. High heat processing can destroy nutrients in highly processed meals, and synthetic chemicals are more difficult to digest than naturally occurring ones. Lightly cooked, fresh food provides genuine nutrition in a form that is simple to digest. This means that even if your dog has digestive problems, she will likely be able to get more of what she needs, more readily. Furthermore, freshly prepared food tastes and smells fantastic! It will practically be devoured by your dog.

As a dog parent, you must choose the best foods for your children. This entails discussing potential health problems with your veterinarian and, if you discover one, developing a food plan as part of the treatment strategy. It also entails everyday healthy food decisions, including what you serve your dog for dinner and how many treats you give him throughout the day.

Even if your dog seems adorable as he begs for one more mouthful, it is your responsibility to provide for his needs, not his wants.

Why prefer treats to dog food in dogs?

Dogs appreciate treats mostly because they have been created with their senses of taste and smell in mind. They are frequently heavy in protein, packed with savory ingredients like chicken, lamb, fish, beef, and turkey, all of which cater to your dog’s omnivorous nature.

Although we may not realize it, our dogs find regular dog food to be rather bland, especially after a few bites. Treats can offer a fun and flavorful alternative.

The bulk of dog treats are also very strong in flavor (being made this way by design). As a result, sometimes even before you take the treats out of the container, your dog can smell them from a mile away.

Intriguingly, it’s because of this potent smell that treats are so effective for training. They are practically always carried by dog trainers, who use a combination of orders and treat rewards to train their dogs to be well-behaved and obedient canines.

Additionally, almost all treats differ significantly in texture and flavor from regular dog food, giving dogs a break from their routine dull kibble.

Additionally, the correct treats may keep dogs entertained for a very long time. With the harsh and hard textures of the goodies frequently taking them hours to finish, pig ears, jerky, and chews offer dogs a fun and secure method to develop their chewing abilities.

Similar to people, working dogs always benefit from an additional challenge for their mental health, and rewarding them with treats after they master a skill can go a long way in keeping them content and happy.

Dogs place a high value on unusual tastes, textures, and scents since they use them frequently in their daily lives. For instance, while taking your dog for a stroll, you’ve probably noticed how keen their sense of smell is.

In addition, you have undoubtedly already witnessed his prowess in locating food, whether it be scraps from the kitchen or a discarded hamburger laying in a park corner. Dogs seem to have an insatiable appetite.

Dogs are intelligent animals, and when they are bored, they frequently look for new foods (or at least try to sneak or beg for them).

Finally, every dog appreciates receiving something that is typically off limits. Treats are typically kept concealed in a cabinet or jar and only occasionally brought out.

Similar to human food, rewards are thrilling since they are hard to come by and out of reach of a canine that is starving.

Giving goodies to mischievous or energetic dogs can seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Additionally, our animal friends may learn to correlate treats with good behavior, leading them to show intense excitement when they realize they have been a good dog for their owners.

I’m not sure what else could explain why dogs love goodies so much if those aren’t adequate justifications!

How many treats should you give your dog a day?

Contrary to common assumption, most dog treats are pretty nutritiously sound, containing essential vitamins and elements required for a dog’s health. To keep them healthy, you should adhere to a few guidelines, though.

Dog treats, for instance, should only be given to your dog as a “reward and not as a regular occurrence or substitute for meals, despite the fact that they are nutrient-rich. Many treats have high calorie counts, and when given too frequently on top of meals, they can make dogs gain weight or become fat.

Therefore, whether it’s you, your partner, or your child, you should always try to be mindful of how many goodies they receive each day.

In order for a dog to maintain a healthy weight, most experts advise that treats make up no more than 10% of their diet.

Treats are essential for training, therefore it might be challenging to keep track of how many you are feeding your dog at a time. This should not be an issue, though, as long as you exercise your dog vigorously while training it and do not use too many treats.

The fact that older dogs or those that are unable to exercise should be given fewer goodies should also not come as a big surprise. Instead, give couch-bound dogs healthier choices like carrot sticks, apple slices, and bananas.

Due to the amount of calories they expend each day, rewards can be given out much more frequently to dogs who are very active (such as those who live on farms or engage in physically demanding jobs). Watch the video below to watch my dog trying to grab his favorite goodies!

Can treats be harmful to dogs?

Because dogs enjoy treats, you do need to watch what they eat. Although the majority of dog treats on the market are safe, there are a few that you should avoid at all costs.

For instance, rawhides are a favourite chewable treat among many dog owners but they are also a significant choking hazard for dogs. Rawhides are a robust treat made from the inner layer of cow or horse hides and are intended to last for several hours.

Unfortunately, rawhide chews occasionally contain trace levels of hazardous substances, just like pet toys do. Furthermore, after being broken down, they are easily ingested by dogs and can occasionally result in significant obstructions in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract.

Because these blockages might soon become lethal without prompt treatment, it is preferable to stay away from rawhide chews than to put your dog’s future health at danger.

Always make careful to read the contents listed on the back when selecting packaged snacks. Some dog treats, particularly fake or inexpensive treats purchased abroad, may include substances that are potentially harmful to dogs.

One such instance is the connection between canine cancer and specific food additives used to give dog treats a more appealing and vibrant color.

Similar to how some foods can still be purchased in the US despite severe laws and bans that include traces of poisons, antibiotic residues, and salmonella (although they are unlikely to list these ingredients on the packaging!).

Given all of this, it is crucial to conduct thorough research before buying dog treats. If at all possible, try to stick to treats that are produced in the US as these are put through rigorous testing and must fulfill certain requirements in order to be approved for sale.

Unless you are positive they don’t contain dangerous substances, you should absolutely avoid treats from nations like China. Sometimes, keeping you and your dog happy can be achieved by seeking your veterinarian’s advice on the best dog treats.

Should dogs receive goodies on a daily basis?

Some individuals use treats to discipline a pet or commend appropriate conduct. Others make use of them to express their affection or to fortify their connection with the animal.

As long as you keep rewards to no more than 10% of their daily calories, there is no restriction on how frequently you can provide them. Some proprietors opt to provide one substantial biscuit per day. Others feed their pets a small amount of kibble (maybe 20 or 30 pieces) throughout the day, one or two pieces at a time.

Giving no treats is also acceptable. Keep in mind that other rewards and affectionate gestures, such as more time spent playing with you or kind words, work well for both cats and dogs.