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What age is suitable for natural dog treats?

I’m always asked what treats are suitable for your dogs weather that be age or breed big or small, my advice will always be you know your dogs better than anyone else.

For example most treats now come with a “recommended age” but truthfully not every dog will suit every treat even when they are in that age range, just because a treat says suitable for ages 12 weeks it doesn’t mean your dog will automatically know how to chew and digest that treat safely,

While some dogs are more delicate with their treats and will take their time in chewing other dogs will try to gobble that treat up as quick as possible due to excitement, but there are some things to help give your dog a more pleasant experience eating natural treats, if possible from a young age start by holding their treat to get them actively chewing this will also help their jaw muscles strengthen,  and help with mental stimulation, while still young they don’t need to finish the treat so sessions of 5 minutes a few times a day will really help build their confidence and they will start to enjoy the flavour the treat instead of just trying to swallow it as fast as possible.

Some dogs may need a novel protein treat if their sensitive to more common proteins such as chicken or beef,

For example with my own puppy Reigns I started introducing plain rabbit ears at around 10 weeks to help with his teeth and allow him to learn how to chew, I would allow him the rabbit ear for around 5 minutes then take it off him, I would then allow him another 5 minutes later in the day sometimes I needed to hold it other times he was safe to have it by himself under supervision, rabbit ears are a great starting treat as they are a nice softer treat compared to let’s say a bulls pizzle or a chicken foot

Rabbit ears do become a bit soggy when being chewed so make sure you remove these bits so your dog doesn’t choke on them, this is all about learning them to chew safely.

We stuck with rabbits ears for a couple of weeks until I was certain he could progress to a different treat then we done the same routine again if I needed to hold the treat that’s what I did then once I was happy he was chewing safely he was allowed to chew it by himself again under supervision.

Also remember at 12 weeks old your pup still has baby teeth and harder treats may force them out prematurely.

Chewing has so many benefits for our pups from mental stimulation to help them relax, to dental hygiene to keep those teeth nice and clean and healthy, joint care from treats that contain glucosamine, omega 3 from fishy treats plus much more.

Reigns is now nearly 1 and is enjoying some of our bigger treats like Sow ears and because of slowly introducing him to natural treats he is a safe chewer but always under supervision never leave your dog alone with any treats as the best chewers can still get into trouble.

So my advice would be age recommendations on treats are just that recommendations you know your pup best take it slow and start small.

Always make sure your pup has fresh drinking water and always supervise when giving treats.

(This is my own personal opinion)

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