Our Recommended Dog Treats
As dog walkers we go through many treats and we have tried lots! Some of our clients have asked what treats we use or what we would recommend. So I thought I would write up explaining some we use, some we have used and what we would recommend.
First of all there are treats for different occasions, we sometimes use high value treats such as cut up ham, chicken or cheese on our walks especially with new dogs or puppies who learning their recall to ensure we have their attention (this works well with dogs who are very food orientated, though can be smelly and sticky for us humans!) but day to day we use training treats, these are usually low calorie or low in fat and means that our dogs can have a higher intake of treats as they are a main focus on our walks.
JR Pet Products - I first came across JR products just over a year ago, I was living with a friend who is a dog trainer and she used these for her training sessions and also for her own dogs who I soon see loved them! They especially loved the Pate which can be cut into cubes which is more convenient for carrying around as its not a pate paste. Now you can find JR products in your local Pets At Home Store or order online and they also have their own training treats range which are 100% pure, grain and gluten free, no additives or preservatives! I am sure your dogs will love them!
Feelwells - When I first started dog walking, I worked for a company who introduced me to Feelwells and in 4 years I have never come across a dog that has not liked them. Whenever I get a bag I usually go for the cheesy ones, though they also have a grain free chicken bag too. These treats are semi-moist, this means they break easily but wont crumble in your pocket, also great on walks for your dog so they wont have such a dry mouth and need more than usual water. They are not very smelly for you to handle outdoors. They also have no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, no wheat or wheat gluten and no rice. The chicken bag is also grain free! I have not yet tried their other ranges other than training treats so if any of you check them out let me know what you think! These can also be found in pets at home or online at £2.29 a pack
Pooch & Mutt - I first come across Pooch & Mutt since having Nala. Nala quickly became a very fussy puppy and we tried everything from kibble to raw food with so many different brands but she would turn her nose up at everything until we found Pooch & Mutt. We said Pooch & Mutt was the last brand we was trying as it was mentally draining researching brands, worrying what we was putting into our dogs body but also she was underweight so was eager to get her weight up with any food. We even bought a new freezer when we had her on raw food but that was only needed for a short time as she started turning her nose up at that too! Anyway we did not have high hopes when we first got Pooch & Mutt but like magic Nala loved it, she even had a bit of a dodgy tummy at the time so we tried the digestion, skin and coat powder supplement that they had with it and she become a new dog. Suddenly our puppy who was underweight was putting on the pounds, becoming much more food orientated, would follow us to the kitchen in hope its dinner time, it was an amazing change she was becoming more dog. Pooch & Mutt call it good mood food and that exactly how I would also describe it too. Having such good things to say about their complete food range, we have since been working our way through the treat range. We are currently on the calm and relaxed mini bone treats, I am not so sure they do calm the dogs down. I am sure that they like the treats but also many dogs as you know will eat anything, they are low in calories and 100% natural ingredients. Though I have great things to say about this brand I am not a fan of taking their treats out on dog walks and I think they are more of a little treat here and there at home. You can also get these at Pets at Home sometimes on offer at around £2 a pack or online where they do them in bulk (you can usually find discount codes for their website)
Yakers - We came across Yakers dog chews this year as a few of my clients dogs had them these are not treats for outdoors but a indoor treat for them to chew on in their own down time. At first I was unsure about giving one to Nala as they are really tough and I had heard some of the dogs chewing on them so hard it sounded like it may break their teeth! But once her puppy teeth fell out and she got her big girl teeth in, I tried her with them as a long lasting treat and she loved it I was soon at ease that she was not going to cause herself any damage. They are very hard and durable, 100% natural, rich in protein and calcium, preservative and gluten free, vegetarian and also helps fight plaque and tartar. I would totally recommend this as a treat for dogs who love to chew on things! If anyone is like me I have a super sensitive nose and smelly dog treats can sometimes make me want to leave the room, these are not smelly so great for those who want to avoid this! They also have a crunchy snack range which I have not yet tried. You can find these at Pets at Home, I have attached the Medium Yakers Chew but you can get them in different sizes.
Hollings Sprats - We first tried Sprats with Nala to try and encourage her to eat her food, hiding them in her wet food did not work so well! She loves them on their own and so did the dogs when we took them out on our walks, they are smelly so I would not use them often and also very salty so it can make the dogs thirsty which is why I would not use them as a training treat. Though I believe that they could work great with scent work and will make it easier to sniff them out and get their noses working as they are super smelly!
Arden Grange - Arden Grange's liver paste is a great treat for training dogs if you want something convenient to carry around and not messy, its great to hold and just let your dog lick out the tube. My dogs go crazy for this stuff, one dog I walk who did not have recall suddenly had recall when this appeared it was very impressive (or was she just ignoring me this whole time?) This may not be the lowest calorie treat but then not all treats are in life so small doses of this will be fine, though it is grain free for those who have allergies and Arden Grange do state they provide nutrition without compromise! These can be bought from their website or on amazon in bulk.
Dental Chews - As for dental chews, I know they can be expensive for brands such as Lilys Kitchen so we personally do not use them often for Nala. Instead we have a stand free toothbrush that we put toothpaste in (I think its beef flavoured) and Nala brushes her own teeth with this. We also provide her with the Yak's which as mentioned previously help with her dental hygiene, Pooch & Mutt also have a fresh breath treat too. We do sometimes then give her a dental chew, I would recommend one such as the Lily's Kitchen Gut Health Chew which is also good for the tummy and I would give weekly instead of daily if your also providing other dental hygiene for your dogs.
There are pros and cons of many treats and I do tend to avoid cheaper brands and ones that appear in Sainsbury's and Tesco's due to them perhaps not having a lot of goodness in them (not all of them) but as we use treats daily we prefer to use treats such as the above so we avoid dodgy tummies and bad health. If you would like to hear more about other treats and what we think of them let us know!