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How old is your dog?

Pre-Puppy
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Pre-Puppy

What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
0-2 months preview image

0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
2-3 months preview image

2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
3-6 months preview image

3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
6-12 months preview image

6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
12-18 months preview image

12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
18 months - 3 years preview image

18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
3 - 8 years preview image

3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
8+ years preview image

8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

How many treats should I give my dog?

How many treats should I give my dog?

As we enter new year, many with new four-legged additions to the family, we’re likely to want to spoil them with hugs, kisses and of course treats. I mean who can resist those puppy dog eyes and their cute fuzzy faces.

… It may sound a little dull, but let’s be sure that when treating, that we’re doing it in a responsible manner.

Treating is such a important part in building a relationship with your best Friend. It is often a simple “I love you”, “Thanks” or ‘Well done!” from you to your pet, but it’s not at all uncommon for us to slip into bad habits and forget the true function of these tasty snacks.

Below are some ‘best practices’ when it comes to treating.

Think about the Number of Treats you Feed

Treats shouldn’t exceed 10 to 15% of our pet’s daily caloric intake. Anything more tends to deliver too many calories. Just like for humans with a snacking fetish, if more than 10% of their total daily food is in treat form, we need to step back and think. We don’t want to lead our pets down the slippery slope towards being a rollie polly.

Over treating will lead not only to an energy imbalance, but a nutrient imbalance too. What this means is that treats are made for occasional consumption; they don’t contain all of the nutrients your pet needs to survive every day. If we feed more of the treats and less of a complete-and-balanced diet, their requirements won’t be fulfilled, and nutrient deficiencies will result.

Think Why You're Treating

It is often our very first consideration when it comes to selecting the appropriate type of treat but that reason often gets forgotten with time, as treating becomes a habit for you and your best friend. Stopping and thinking ‘WHY’ is always useful of course.

Realising that these valuable treats aren’t empty calories, but shared moments, and a big relationship-builder for many pet owners.

Some reasons for treating:

Rewarding

Simply saying ‘thanks’ or ‘I love you’. Treats that reward are generally small, delicious and often ‘semi moist’ pieces (or easily divisible), like Pocket Rewards, Milky Sticks or Duck Sticks etc. Low calorie options are a good idea here.

Training

Positive reinforcement is where we give a reward not just once, but consistently as thanks for good behaviour. Your pet will learn that ‘good things come from me doing this’ and as the lesson becomes ingrained, training treats can be reduced and replaced with praise. Easily breakable, divisible treats are great for training sessions too.

Occupying and Entertaining

While leaving our pets for long periods of time isn’t ideal, particularly while they’re puppies and need to feel secure in their environment, sometimes we want a treat to last longer. Whether they be chews which exercise the teeth and gums, rawhide or generally the more dehydrated, tougher treats like rabbit or lambs ears, they can do a great job at enriching their day, and even relieving anxiety. Chewing is a natural behaviour that allows your dog to de-stress. These are the treats that we need to be particularly mindful of when supervising, to ensure they’re consumed in a safe way. Take advice from your vet if you have concerns.

Let’s keep these reasons in mind when buying our treats.

There’s no value in giving a jerky treat which takes minutes to chew while you’re training-on-the-go, nor expecting a soft treat to keep them entertained while you’re cleaning the house.
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