Teaching Your Dogs Healthy Snacking

Just recently I’ve had a healthy reminder about pet life and that is that you can definitely teach an old dog new tricks.  Okay, so my dogs aren’t old.  They are five and four years of age.  However, the thought is the same.

My oldest dog is a black lab, and though I am better with these two babies than I have ever been in terms of giving out treats and such, she gained nine pounds over the course of the last year.  The vet told me she’s still looking good, but she clearly could stand to lose a few.

Another part of my conversation with the vet a while back was about my dogs’ teeth.  Again, both are in acceptable perimeters, but they don’t like toothbrushes, so keeping their teeth healthy as they age is a question mark for me on how to do so.

That’s when the discussion turned to alternative treats, like vegetables and especially carrots.

My dogs have never liked carrots, but getting them to eat the favorite meal of Bugs Bunny’s was important to me.  Per the vet, eating the carrots served a couple of different purposes.

For one thing, chomping on a carrot would help with their teeth.  As long as they didn’t swallow the carrots, the teeth would benefit.  Then there’s the fact that the carrots essentially go right through them.  So, they feel like they’ve had something special and they don’t gain an ounce.

The trick was getting them to love carrots, and I did that by one very effective acting job.  For the first few times, I acted like those carrots were bacon, ham, chicken, and all things unhealthy.  I made a huge fuss over them.

The dogs looked at me like I was crazy, but hey, I’m their mom and they believed me.  Now I say, ‘Let’s go have a carrot’, and you’d think they were getting a beefy bone.

Try it!  It’s good for them, and they can indeed to learn to love the healthy stuff.