Can Puppies Eat Dog Treats? Here’s What You Need To Know

A puppy opening his mouth for a small treat.

We all remember the day we brought our sweet pups home for the first time like it was yesterday. This special day, otherwise known as “Gotcha Day”, is one of the happiest days in a dog owner’s life. Upon arrival, your natural instinct as a new parent would be to make your puppy feel as happy and safe as possible. For some, this means endless cuddles. But for most of us, this means tasty T-R-E-A-T-S.

Before introducing edible snacks to your new puppy, it’s important to know, “Can puppies eat dog treats?” The simplified answer is, yes! But there are some precautions to take before purchasing any treat for puppies.

First things first…

When Can I Feed My Puppy Treats?

When bonding with a new puppy, our first instinct may be to buy their affection with tasty treats. But it’s vital to fight the urge to reward their adorable antics with treats in the first two months of life.

So, the question remains, “Can puppies eat dog treats?” Experts suggest that it’s best to wait until your puppy is at least eight weeks old before you start feeding them snacks. It’s best for your puppy to undergo their first set of vaccinations before introducing them to new foods. Once your puppy reaches two months of age, treats are generally acceptable to add into their diet. But when purchasing bite-sized snacks for your mini mutt, it’s important to keep these factors in mind when it comes to treats for puppies:

Treat Size

It goes without saying that a puppy’s tiny features aren’t full-grown, including their mighty meal munchers. Not only do they have small mouths, but their teeth aren’t fully developed. A puppy will start to lose its teeth and grow in its permanent chompers at around 12 weeks. But the younger they are, the greater risk they are for breakage.

When feeding your pup treats, make sure they are on the softer side, and are either bite-sized or can break in half. Our Salmon-Topper Trainer Treats may be the perfect treat for your pooch. These petite snacks can be great for teaching your youngling positive reinforcement.

Calorie Count

While it may seem as though consuming more calories will assist with faster growth, it’s important to remember that treats should only account for 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. Feeding your puppy too many treats at an early age can lead to health issues later in life due to excess weight.

Remember: Cuteness is not an excuse to treat your puppy to more calories than the recommended daily intake. Treats for puppies contain a much higher calorie value with little added benefits.

Nutritional Value

A puppy’s intestinal tract will undergo many changes throughout their first few weeks of life. They will start to become accustomed to new foods and textures. A diet that provides the right nutrients required for proper growth is vital. Introducing treats into their diet at a young age can increase calorie intake and limit their essential vitamin intake.

After the eight-week mark, treats are generally considered safe to incorporate into your pup’s diet… so no more asking if puppies can eat dog treats! But, before purchasing treats for puppies, check food labels to ensure you’re buying quality ingredients, especially if your dog is prone to allergies. At Carolina Prime Pet, there are many treats containing both nutritious and delicious ingredients that are considered safe for most dogs to enjoy. As always, we recommend speaking to your vet about your specific puppy’s needs.

Can Puppies Eat Dog Treats? Here’s What to Avoid

Certain treats may be better than others, especially when it comes to selecting treats for puppies. Here are a couple suggestions you may want to take into consideration:

Freeze-dried treats: Feeding freeze-dried to adult dogs is perfectly safe for most. But it’s important to remember that these savory snacks contain raw, dried-out ingredients. Due to their undeveloped immune systems, freeze-dried treats could put puppies at a greater risk of developing a foodborne illness.

Large Jerky treats: Munching on a large piece of jerky might appear to be the perfect pastime. But, you may want to hold off on letting your new puppy indulge just yet. Some jerky treats contain a toughened texture and can be too tough for puppy chompers. So opt for a smaller jerky treat, like our Salmon Jerky Tiny Bites. Once surpassing the eight-week mark, jerky treats are generally fine, just make sure they’re made with quality, natural ingredients.

Treats For Puppies: What Are The Benefits?

There’s no question that most dogs are highly food-motivated. This can work in our favor as dog owners, especially when training a new puppy. Owners may come to find that dogs will do just about anything to get their chompers on a savory snack.

So, can puppies eat dog food? Yes, when they’re at least 8 weeks old. Once they are of age, treats can be very beneficial for puppies. Treats are great for training and learning through positive reinforcement. Sometimes the best treats for puppies can even be found in the comfort of your own home. Small slices of apples, carrots, or peas can be great for training purposes. But if your dog enjoys something a bit on the tastier side, why not consider our Soft & Chewy Sweet Potato Fries or Cheeze & Sweet Potato Tiny Bites? Our treats are responsibly sourced in the US and always made with top-quality ingredients!

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