Did you miss me, Sweet Tweets? I’m back from a whirlwind overnight trip to Franklin, Tennessee courtesy of the fine folks at Nutro Pet Food , for a GREENIES Feline Influencer Summit. My heavens-to-murgatroid, these pet lovers know how to treat journalists, and while the focus was on the feline–more details on that on the Feline Friday blog–the Magical-Dawg had to comment on some of the goodies I brought back.
In a word….YUM!
Oh, how we LOVE to treat our pets! Filling up the bowl isn’t enough. Pet lovers want that one-on-one experience of interaction, and “gratitude” behavior from the dog. These days cookie-power training is in vogue, too, so tasty rewards work incredibly well.
But we’re “loving” our pets into couch potato pets with so much table muscle they can barely move. Extra calories from hot dog treats may help bomb-proof the dog’s recall, but it can add pounds he won’t need. Obese pets end up predisposed for diabetes, skin problems, arthritis and–wait for it–can live up two two years LESS than lean pets!
The answer, of course, is to TREAT SMART and treat with a purpose. Dang, I wish I’d come up with it! After all, treats are the ideal delivery system for therapeutic options–helping the medicine go down, just like Mary Poppins might sing. I don’t know about you but pilling pets doesn’t do a lot for the “bond” if you need to put King in a head lock, and adding a boatload of cream cheese or peanut butter can be messy and add calories.
GREENIES Smart Treating Program
There are lots of “treats” out there and many are tasty and some actually have healthy benefits besides promoting the pet-owner bond. What treats do you use with your fur-kids? Here’s a confession–I use dry CAT FOOD for treating Magical-Dawg. Of course, I also reduce his regular ration amount to compensate for the higher protein/calories in kitty kibble.
Note: no matter WHAT treat you use, be sure to adjust the regular food to account for the extra and prevent pudgy-icity to overtake the pooch.
Pill Pockets are one answer–my veterinarian gave me some when Magical-Dawg had his abscess and needed antibiotics for a month. I’ve recommended this product for years especially in my aging dog book since older canines may need more meds and also be more angsty about being treated. This soft tasty “pocket” seals/hides the pill. Kewl beans! Healthy pets may also enjoy them as training treats, if you want to cut them up into teeny pieces.
The original GREENIES were designed for dental care. How many of y’all brush your dog’s teeth? . . . waiting . . . waiting for hands . . . Uh huh, that’s what I figured. Learn how to brush your dog’s teeth here.
Do you offer the dog “dental chews?” Which ones? How effective are they? At the Greenies summit I found out that their dental chews not only are complete and balanced (yep, they could be fed as a regular meal…no, don’t say that aloud too the dog!), they are the only treat to pass stringent VOHC approval (that’s the Veterinary Oral Health Council). There’s also have a relatively new Greenies product that includes ingredients that help arthritic dogs–look for the Joint Care note on the packaging.
The Nutro folks gave me a boatload of samples, but in the past I’ve purchased Greenies dental chews for Magical-Dawg. Honestly–I don’t waste my money on stuff that he won’t eat. Heck, that’s part of the fun of TREATING a pet, to have their enthusiastic response.
When I got home Monday night, Magic not only welcomed me home, he “helped” me unpack. He would have opened the packages himself if I’d let him. Currently they’re out of doggy paw-reach but I suspect he may enlist the help of Seren-Kitty for some cat-burglar second story work to reach them.
So to recap–how do you “treat” your dogs? Anything special for dental care? Do you adjust the regular diet to account for the extra calories? What sorts of treats do your dogs relish? Do tell! And on Friday, stay tuned for more pictures and video of my fun trip.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay tuned for more news about my forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!