Many dogs and cats (and their owners!) get into a routine for a treat at a specific time of day – sometimes a mid-morning or late-night snack! It can be hard to break this routine and completely cut out the snack. Instead of cutting out the snack, here are a few tips on making the snack healthier:
1. Use vegetables as low calorie snacks. There are many healthy vegetables that your dog will find a tasty treat! Many people are surprised when their dog loves cucumber. You can also try beans, broccoli, and carrots too. For a dog who likes a good chew, a broccoli stem is often a good replacement.
2. Give a lesser amount of the snack they get. Sometimes the entire treat may be too many calories, so try breaking it into smaller pieces and feeding a smaller total quantity. Instead of 2 large biscuits, they may get ½ of a biscuit broken into 4 pieces.
3. Save a small portion of your pet’s daily portion of kibble for a snack at another time in the day. If your pet normally gets 1 cup total of kibble per day split into 2 meals of ½ cup each, you may try splitting this into 3 meals of 1/3 cup. Your pet will be just as excited for their third portion of kibble at snack time. Some dogs, and even some cats, may prefer that this snack be interactive – use it to do a bit of obedience training, or hide and seek for their snacks. This is an added source of mental stimulation and environmental enrichment for your pet when you are busy.
Other snack options:
You can also use fruits as snacks or training treats. Blueberries, slices of apple, and melon all make good treats. You can even mix small chunks of fruit with water and freeze them for a refreshing ice cube snack in the summer.
Snacks to avoid:
Avoid high fat foods, especially fatty pieces of meat. These can make dogs and cats very sick.
Avoid onions and grapes - these can both cause toxicities.
Avoid large quantities of carbs – bread, donuts, spaghetti. These higher calorie snacks are of no added nutritional value for your pet and they will push them over the amount of calories they require in a day.
Ask your vet for more recommendations for your pet if they have a special diet or medical condition.
Weekends, Holidays and After-hours we are available 24 hours daily 365 days a year at our location for local service by your veterinary team. Please call our office in case of emergency.
Please note - Weekend, Holiday and After-hour service is offered only to current clientele who have not transferred their files to another facility and whose animals are a patient of our practice that has been examined by one of our doctors in the past 24 months.
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Egan Fife Animal Hospital