If you are welcoming a new puppy into your home, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure you properly train your puppy! Not only does training help to build a relationship with your dog and strengthen your bond, but it is essential to teach your puppy basic skills so they grow into a well-mannered adult dog. Along with those important skills, it is a great way for them to exercise their brain, providing mental stimulation to prevent boredom.
When training to teach your puppy a new trick or encourage a desired behavior, tasty dog treats can be used as positive reinforcement. By providing a delicious snack when your puppy does something right, your puppy can learn that if they do it again, they’ll get more delicious treats.
Top five things to look for in puppy treats
It is important to choose a training treat that will not only be tasty for your puppy, but provide nutrition you can trust. Here are the top 5 things you should look for in a training treat for your dog:
- Meat should be the main ingredient, and it should be listed first.
- Ensure there are no added artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or fillers.
- A single protein source can be helpful for sensitive pets.
- A treat available in multiple flavors will help you find your puppy’s favorite, keeping them engaged during training.
- Training treats should be low in calories so you can use lots without any worry of excess weight gain.
Our ACANA® Freeze-Dried Treats are a great option for training your dog, as they meet all the above criteria. Freeze drying animal ingredients locks in their delicious raw flavor, making them a treat that dogs crave. Also, quality animal ingredients are the first ingredient in every ACANA recipe, including muscle meat and organs balanced with fruit and vegetables like pears or pumpkin. With no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives added in ACANA kitchens, you can be confident you are providing your puppy a healthy, nutritious treat that they enjoy!
Each freeze-dried dog treat contains only 4 – 5 calories, which means you don’t have to worry about excess weight gain from training sessions. However, treats should be given in moderation and should represent 10% or less of your pet’s daily food intake. The rest should come from a nutritionally complete feeding program. If you need to give treats more frequently during a training session and are worried you may give your dog too much, you can easily break ACANA Freeze-Dried Treats into smaller pieces. Since freeze-dried treats are soft, they are a great option to use during training. Soft treats are quick and easy for your puppy to eat, meaning there’s no waiting around for them to finish chewing a hard treat.
For greater pet parent peace of mind, ACANA Freeze-Dried Treats are made in the United States in our DogStar Kitchens, where every ingredient and bag is monitored and tested for safety and quality.
The power of positive reinforcement
For young puppies first learning behaviors and new tricks, they may need some extra guidance to get it right. This is when tasty training treats come in handy for luring your puppy. Luring is when you encourage your puppy to follow their nose by holding a yummy smelling treat in your hand and guiding your puppy to move to a certain position. An example of this is training your puppy how to sit: simply hold a treat in your hand and move it in front of your puppy’s nose, then up and over their head. Their nose should follow the treat, causing their back end to go to the ground, putting them in a sitting position. When they sit, they earn the treat and lots of praise from you!