The Treat Cast A Podcast about Treating Your Dog

dog treats

The Treat Cast  A Podcast about Treating Your Dog

Or use this link: The Treat Cast

Hey guys, welcome to my podcast, Sammy the Dog Trainer expounds about life the universe and dogs.  It’s a rather atmospheric afternoon here in the Tampa bay- very fall like…or as fall as it gets here in Florida at least.  My grass is dying yay!  My parents up north are getting sleet and snow, so pick your poison I guess.  Today’s podcast is a sponsored podcast.  Gary from Tampa FL is one of our generous supporters…actually he’s our only supporter at the moment…cough cough.  So as part of the benefits of supporting this podcast you get to pick a topic for me to drone on about each month.  That sounds amazing right? Check out that support this podcast button on or follow the maze through my blog at

So Gary would like me to talk about the importance of nutritious treats and treats in training.  That is an excellent topic, Gary!  Thanks for that! There is a lot of misinformation out there about dog nutrition and because dog foods are not as closely regulated as people foods, there can be stuff out there marketed to dogs that can actually be harmful to your dogs.  Now, I’m not a veterinarian or a doggy nutritionist, so I am not qualified to give you professional nutrition advice, just my opinions from working with dogs for decades.  I always encourage everyone to discuss nutrition with their veterinarians.  That is where I learn a lot of information.  My vet here in Tampa is Dr. Tara Fournier at Sunset Park Animal Hospital, so I go to her with loads of questions.  My aunt, uncle, and cousin up north are all veterinarians too, so they get weird texts from me in the middle of the night about oddly shaped bumps and pictures of puke.  Lucky them.  Yay family!

I can tell you that proper nutrition makes a ton of difference in a dog’s health.  When I first adopted my Whuffo from the local kill shelter, he was emaciated and had hardly any hair.  Now he is glossy, fluffy, and full of energy!  Most of that is due to proper nutrition.  I’ll have to dig out some before and after pics for my blog because it is truly astounding what healthy food can do for animals.

Everyone seems to be in a grain free craze right now, but really the research doesn’t show that grains are necessarily bad for dogs.  They have adapted digestive systems from living with humans for thousands of years and so a portion of their diet is meant to be grains or carbs.  It’s actually a sign of domestication.  Fun fact:  domestic dog is one of the only large carnivores to ever be fully domesticated by man.  Now we’ve actually made headway in domesticating foxes as well with domestication traits showing in 3rd generation pet foxes and full domestication being achieved by the 20th generation.  Although personally I don’t think foxes count as large carnivores.  They’re like schmedium carnivores…omnivores.  Yeah. Anyway, grains aren’t necessarily bad.  I have been told that taurine deficiencies are one of the main things to look out for in foods.  When in doubt about a food, you can always check out   Any food you feed your dog should get four stars or above, in my humble opinion.  Or again, ask your vet.

So that’s food.  Let’s talk about treats.  Treats are really important in dog training.  It is usually one of the go-to motivators for dogs.  But treating your dog or rewarding you dog in training can extend beyond food treats- it can include playing with their favorite toy as well!  A lot of working dogs will work diligently just to get a chance to play with a Kong toy, a rope, or a hose.  My dog will work for an hour for his tennis ball.  But it’s important to have that payment in training.  It gets your dog revved up and ready to do what you want.  It’s motivating.  It’s not fair to expect them to work without payment…speaking of working without payment, check out that support this podcast button on that page… just saying.
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If you are going to use a food treat, usually something stinky and squishy is the best.  Your dog should not have to spend a lot of time crunching on a cookie before moving on to the next command.  I use Trader Joe’s beef dog jerky or dogs also go wild for those food rolls you see at pet stores.  You know, the ones that look like sausage wraps?  Those are kind of cool because they are actually meant to be a meal and not necessarily a treat even though the dogs go wild for them, so if you have a dog that is struggling with obesity, that can be a good option.  Giving them little squishes of food roll.

Let’s see, some of the ingredients I know off hand, and again I’m not a vet or nutritionist, but some things to avoid that I see in treats often are a lot of salt or garlic.  Again wheat isn’t necessarily bad, but crunchy wheat treats take time to ingest and we want something quickly nomnomed for training to keep your dog’s focus and learning curve activated.

Now of course I like to support small business on  I wrote an article a while ago which I will relink in my blog transcript of this podcast for a local company here in Tampa that makes wholesome dog goodies.  If you get a chance check out Doggone Good Goodies.  They usually have a booth set up at the local farmer’s markets.  It is super cute to watch actually.  The dogs who are regulars know the booth and get so excited when they see it.  Man I love dogs.  If you’re out of the area, they have a website and Facebook page.  Check it out.  I bet they would ship to you.
*Not an endorsement of CBD oil.  Check with your veterinarian

So in summary of today’s podcast- feed your dog healthy stuff.  You will see a difference.  Work with experts like your vet or do your research on  Be the scientist.  Experiment with stuff and see what your dog does well on, and what treats really get them excited.  Remember to pay your dogs for doing well.  Now, some ore shameless promotion…if you check out my online courses you will know I endorse paying your dog, not bribing your dog.  For more on how to do that, check out my website or you can also get my courses through the Udemy app.  So get out there and motivate those pooches with nutritious treats!  Pay your dogs…and consider paying your podcaster.  I really have no shame.  Oh my gosh.
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Alright have a good rest of your week everyone!  Cheers!
-Sammy the Dog Trainer


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