It is a common occurrence for well-meaning kids or visitors to give in to yearning expressions at a drop of a button. Children especially tend to get carried away with giving treats. For example, during the recent Chinese New Year visiting back in February, one of the toddlers who came over my home went so far grab the my dog’s treat box, refusing to return it till it was empty; much to the delight of my canine.
However, some of our furkids cannot afford to gain the extra pounds. Student, Tabitha Sung, 23 owns a male Labrador Retriever named Titus, who suffers from hip dysplasia and luxating patella, common dispositions found in the breed. Due to his condition, Tabitha has to watch his weight carefully. Getting too heavy will not only stress Titus’s joints, but aggravate his disorders. “Once, I discovered my mother secretly giving Titus more than his usual amount of treats just because he kept begging for more,” she says,
To help you and the soft hearted, here are a couple of tips you can introduce to your family:
- Put a day’s worth of treats in an air-tight container and leave it on the table while hiding the rest away
- Purchase low-calorie alternatives. Old Mother Hubbard Mother’s Solution 5 Calorie Soft and Chewy dog treats (from Silversky) and Zuke’s Mini Naturals (from Starpet) are just some examples.
- Bring out the goodies only after a walk. Exercising is half the battle won!
- Give fruits and vegetables instead. Pears (as opposed to apples which have slightly higher levels of sugar) and carrots. The former has been known to be good for a dog’s heart while the latter is high in vitamins minerals and antioxidants. These two health boosters are also known to help keep those chompers in a healthy state.
- Common ground. Ensure treat-giving is always done in one spot so you can observe how much is being given.