When travelling with your dog it’s important that they are safely restrained and are also kept busy to help pass the time and reduce any anxiety they may feel. Using dog treats to occupy them on a road trip can really help.
If there are two or more of you, have someone sit in the back with your dog on the longer stints so you can take the time to teach them a new trick, or reinforce an old one, using small pieces of treats so you don’t over load them.
Using dog treats in this way could include teaching your dog to shake hands or, if they are a little nervous about their paws and ears being touched, working on making them more comfortable by creating a positive association through dog treats with the process. These are just two examples of some useful interactions you can have in the car to keep you both occupied using dog treats.
If you have a dog that is happy to idle away the time chewing on a dog treat, treats that last a while, like Vitapet chicken wrapped rawhides, are a great way to help your dog occupied.
Alternatively, you can hide small pieces of treats in an interactive toy or treat ball so that they get the enjoyment of having to work for their reward. If you don’t have a treat ball, feed bite size pieces of a treat like Vitapet salmon sticks throughout the trip.
Using dog treats responsibly
Stopping every two hours for a toilet break, drink and cuddle will keep both of you energised and ready to go.
It is important though to remember that we don’t want to feed our dog too many treats as it isn’t good for their waistline. Treats should only be about 10% of your dog’s total diet, but if in doubt refer to the feeding guide on pack.
It’s also important to make sure that the dog treats have good quality ingredients. Always look at the ingredient list on the back of the pack and look for treats that have meat as the first ingredient.
Look for natural preservatives
Some preservatives must be added to ensure freshness of the product and natural preservatives such as Rosemary and Vitamin E are ideal. Treats like VitaPet Chicken Tenders contain 97% chicken breast, 3% natural preservatives and only 1% fat. Making them a healthy treat option to show your best friend how much you care. You can check out the full VitaPet range here.
There’s plenty of other information about using dog treats in a responsible way and what to look for in our segment and supporting article from Series 2. Click HERE to check that out.
Dr Sue Kelly is a veterinarian interested in nutrition. She has completed further study in small animal medicine and worked in private veterinary practice, Murdoch University Veterinary School and the pet food industry.