What Treats Can I Give My Puppy When Training?

Training your new puppy can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging at times. One way to motivate and reward your furry friend during training sessions is by offering treats. However, it’s important to be mindful of what treats you give your puppy as they can have an impact on their health and behavior.

First and foremost, it’s essential to choose treats that are specifically formulated for puppies. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, so it’s important to choose treats that are appropriate for their age and size. You’ll also want to avoid treats that contain artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors as these can be harmful to your puppy’s health.

When it comes to the type of treats to give your puppy during training, there are several options to consider. One option is to use small pieces of your puppy’s regular kibble as treats. This can be a cost-effective option, and it’s also a great way to help your puppy get used to their new food. Just be sure to adjust their regular meals accordingly so you don’t overfeed them.

Another option is to use small, soft treats that are easy for your puppy to chew and swallow. These types of treats are great for training sessions as they can be quickly consumed, allowing you to move on to the next task or command. Some examples of these types of treats include small pieces of cooked chicken, cheese, or deli meat. Just be sure to avoid giving your puppy any treats that are high in fat or that contain bones as they can be harmful to their health.

You can also opt for treats that are specifically formulated for training purposes. These treats are typically small, soft, and highly palatable, making them perfect for rewarding your puppy during training sessions. Just be sure to read the ingredients label carefully to ensure that the treats are appropriate for your puppy’s age and size.

In addition to choosing the right type of treats, it’s also important to consider the number of treats you give your puppy during training. Overfeeding your puppy treats can lead to weight gain, which can increase the risk of health issues such as obesity and diabetes. It’s generally recommended to limit treats to 10% or less of your puppy’s daily calorie intake. So, if your puppy’s daily caloric needs are 500 calories, you should aim to give them 50 calories or less in treats each day.

Finally, it’s essential to be consistent when using treats during training. If you only offer treats for some commands or tasks, your puppy may become confused or frustrated. It’s generally best to offer treats for all correct behaviors and gradually phase them out as your puppy becomes more skilled at the task or command.

In summary, treats can be an effective tool for motivating and rewarding your puppy during training sessions. However, it’s essential to choose treats that are appropriate for your puppy’s age and size and to be mindful of the number of treats you give them. By following these guidelines, you can use treats to help your puppy learn new skills and behaviors while keeping them healthy and happy.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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