How To Treat Your Pet Without Using Treats

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Treating your pet is a nice thing to do from time to time. If they’ve been super good recently, or you’ve not had much time together because you’ve been so busy, it’s nice to plan something special that’ll make them happy. However, a lot of people default to feeding treats, and that can be bad for a variety of reasons. 

Treats are supposed to be motivators for good behavior, as well as reinforcers of good habits, and it can set a dangerous precedent if they’re given all the time! But from days down at the dog park to buying them a new toy, there’s quite a few ways you can treat them without needing to resort to using treats. 

Initiate a Long Play Time

Does your pet love to play? Maybe they’ve got a favorite toy they always get super excited for when you bring it out? If so, treat them with a long play time session. And by long, we mean at least 15 to 20 minutes. This way you’ll really get their brain going, tire them out, and make them feel loved. You can then reap the reward of a sleepy puppy or kitty, allowing you some time to do your own thing in the evening! 

Cook Them a Nice Meal

Yes, this idea involves food. However, you don’t need to crack the treat packet out here. Instead you can cook up a ‘fancy’ meal for them that involves proper food. A lot of pet owners buy cheap cuts of meat to cook like steaks, serving them up with a couple of veggies or a pet supplement. It’s a form of gourmet cooking for your pet that they’ll love digging into and it won’t cost much for you to make!

Take Them Somewhere They Can Explore

If your pet loves to head outside, pop a harness and a leash on them and take them somewhere they can explore. For dogs this is an easy task; if there’s a park near you, taking them for a walk on a longer leash means they get a sense of independence while still being easy to recall. 

For a cat, this will be harder. You can take them into your garden easily, or walk them along your street which they’re likely to be familiar with, but where else can they go? Pop them in a cat friendly backpack and head for a hike! 

Make Sure Treats are Treats

Just a little note to finish off. Make sure treats are treats, and you’re never just handing them out for the sake of it. You want your pet to recognize them as the privilege they are, rather than just as a normal part of their diet. Sure, they get them once or twice a day, but they shouldn’t have a treat just because you feel like giving them one. This takes away their power! 

Treating your pet is fun. Come up with ideas like these and make some pet memories!

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