Too many dog treats? Your dog will disagree, but it really is a thing. Some dog owners use treats so frequently that their dog waits or does not eat their ‘real’ food. This can lead to some types of health and behavioral issues you’ll want to avoid. If you recognize these behaviors, it may be time to cut back on treat time.
1. Is Your Pup Getting Heavier?
Your dog most likely loves loves loves eating treats. If you notice that he is starting to look like a distant cousin of Jabba the Hutt, it might be time to eliminate or cut back on treats.
Too many treats, also known as in-between meal snacking, is a sure-fire way to add unhealthy weight on your dog. Weight issues will often turn into more serious health issues for them.
2. Potty Breaks?
If treats were used to teach your dog to go to the bathroom outside, you may find he is asking more and more to go outside. He may even be waking you in the middle of the night for a potty break. Cause and effect is not lost on him and he really likes it. If that is the case, consider not providing treats after bathroom trips for a while to break him of the habit.
3. They Won’t Obey Without a Treat
Did you use treats during the training of your dog? If so, you may find that he is now reluctant to sit, or lay down, or stay without a treat in return now.
Treats are great for training. They are also a small form of bribery. Now your pup is expecting treats all the time for accomplishing any of his obedience tasks.
4. Your Pup Becomes Demanding
If you are giving your dog too many treats, she may be demanding them after different activities. For example, you may find that your dog demands a treat when she makes eye contact, or when you’re in the kitchen. You get the idea. When a dog is given too many treats, they find several situations that require a treat. Left unchecked, your dog will train you into receiving the number of treats they want.
5. Is Your Dog Aggressive?
Finally, this warning sign of too many treats is a serious one. If your dog shows any sign of aggression with you, eliminate treats immediately. This also means no treats for other pets, and no treats from other family members. Until this issue is resolved, usually with the help of a professional trainer, do not introduce treats or bones. Aggression, brought on by treats or bones, can lead to biting. Also, it may lead you to be fearful of your pet.
Finally, remember that with treats, a ‘less is better’ approach is preferred by vets. The AKC website provides a helpful article here about calories and choosing treats.
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