Choosing the right training treats for dogs with gastrointestinal issues can be tricky but it is far from impossible.
With the right treats and rewards you can help your fur baby learn to become the well-behaved pup they were meant to be. Keep reading to discover how.
1. Know your dog’s accurate dietary requirements
To properly train your dog with gastrointestinal issues, it’s essential to know and understand its accurate dietary requirements.
How do you do this? There are a couple of ways
- Keep a close eye on what upsets your dog’s stomach and refrain from using treats that may include these ingredients
- Do a blood panel for allergies and intolerances to help determine what specific ingredients your pup should avoid
2. Establish a routine to decrease stress
If your dog has gastrointestinal issues it is extremely important to establish a routine that your pup can get used to.
This is especially important for dogs that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) since stress and change can often cause a flare-up.
3. Be smart about your treat choices
If you are going to go with over-the-counter treats consider using limited-ingredient treats like these limited-ingredient treats for training with only 5 ingredients.
Alternatives to store-bought pre-made treats are to make your own treats and to use healthy pet-safe fruits and vegetables.
Here are some great limited-ingredient recipes for training treats.
Healthy, dog-friendly natural fruits and vegetables are a good choice for training dogs
5 great natural treats for dogs
Blueberries are like prepackaged mini treat balls for dogs, not only are they delicious to (most) dogs but they are low in fat, sugar, and carbs making them an excellent choice for training dogs. They are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, to read about other fruits that are safe for dogs read our article here.
Apples are another great choice for dogs with gi issues. As they are low in fat.
Broccoli is a great choice, especially when given steamed. Broccoli is high in vitamin C and fiber while being a great low-fat and low-sugar training treat.
If you are making your dog’s treats pumpkin is a great ingredient to add. Making jerky for your dog is also an option. Pumpkin has a large amount of fiber.
5. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato jerky is another great option to use to train dogs with digestive issues.
Try to avoid common treat ingredients like peanut butter and cheese as these can cause some gi upset in dogs with IBD, colitis, and pancreatitis.
4 Great over-the-counter training treats for dogs with gi issues
When choosing an over-the-counter training treat for dogs with gastrointestinal issues look for something that is low in fat, limited or mono-ingredient, and has no sugar or salt added.
Preferably, your choices should be made from high-quality whole-food ingredients and not have any preservatives or fillers. These four are great choices
- 360 Freeze-dried chicken breast: This is a mono-ingredient treat so it is a good choice unless your dog is allergic to chicken
- Pupford Freeze Dried Dog Training Treats: These are limited-ingredient treats with only two ingredients, one of which is chicken so if your dog is allergic you should avoid feeding this
- Bahati Limited Ingredient Training Treats: These are a great choice since they are a limited ingredient treat and only have one source of protein
- Smart Cookie All Natural Soft Dog Treats: These training treats are great for dogs that can’t eat chicken or beef plus they are low in fat
4. Avoid overexertion
When training your pup try to prevent overexerting them and tiring them out which can also cause stress and subsequent gi issues
Too much activity can easily exacerbate GI issues.
Keep in mind that younger dogs may have a much shorter attention span and get mentally overstimulated easier than older dogs.
Give your dog regular breaks to break up training and help them regulate their stress levels and any anxiety that may be building up and could cause GI problems.
5. Use positive reinforcement
Use positive reinforcement techniques like aversion techniques, praise, and petting when your pup gets things right. Remain calm when speaking to your pup but still be firm when needed. Refrain from yelling at them as this can cause stress instead of motivation.
6. Teach your dog no-jump early on
It is extremely important to work on the basic no-jumping command as soon as possible since this can exacerbate or cause some gi upset in some dogs.
7. What to do if treats don’t work?
If treats aren’t working try using pets as some dogs respond better to love and praise than treats. Another alternative is using a head halter or gentle leader which can act as a helpful guide for your pet.