Using Your Dog’s Meal as Training Treats–and Travel Treats!

Rachael Ray Nutrish has sponsored this post, but all opinions are my own.

Irie and Tiki are nine years old now but, just as when they were puppies, their training goes on. I have them sit before I open our gate, they sit before they’re fed, and I use signals rather than spoken commands with them several times a day to keep them in practice. They’re rewarded with praise and the occasional treat (just like a slot machine, they never know when I’ll pay out!)

But when we travel, the training treats come far more frequently. Whether we’re off for a day trip to the lake, to a patio restaurant for dinner, or to the beach for a long weekend, the training treats come along in my dog walking bag, ready for redirecting any behaviors that might not be ideal or for holding their attention in the face of numerous distractions.

Using a portion of your dog’s meal as training treats has three great benefits when you travel:

  1. It simplifies your packing.
  2. It prevents you from adding calories to your dog’s diet.
  3. It lowers the risk of any tummy upset.

After Irie’s TPLO surgery for a blown ACL (actually a CCL in dogs), we got her weight down to an ideal level to help keep stress off her joints–and now we’re doing the same thing with Tiki as she has developed arthritis in her shoulders. It’s important that we don’t pack on the pounds–which we all know is so easy to do (so many yummy summer treats!)–even when we’re using training treats more frequently.

When we travel, we hold down that calorie count by measuring Irie and Tiki’s food allowance for the day–then using part of that food as training treats. I slip a handful or two of food into my dog walking bag and, a piece at a time, it comes out to lure or refocus the dogs through the day.

It’s super easy to turn part of your dog’s meal into training treats with DISH from Rachael Ray Nutrish super premium food for dogs. With whole ingredients that you can spot in your dog’s bowl, DISH doubles as a meal–and a treat!

DISH is available in two recipes: Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies, Fruit & Chicken or Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit.

Both feature real U.S. farm-raised chicken or beef, always the #1 ingredient! Since we’re keeping a close eye on the calories, I’m especially happy that these formulas don’t include any corn, wheat, soy or gluten (or by-product meal or fillers).

The whole ingredients are easy to spot in the mix and include:

  • slow-roasted chicken
  • flaxseed (a natural source of Omega 3 fatty acids)
  • carrots (great for a tasty crunch and a super source of carotenoids, essential vitamins and minerals to help support immune health)
  • peas (a source of dietary fiber to help support healthy digestion–plus naturally gluten free!)
  • cranberries (a good source of fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C)
  • tree-ripened apples (packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and dietary fiber, which can help support healthy digestion)

A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue.

Through December 2016, Rachael’s Rescue has donated more than $17.5 million dollars to pet charities and other organizations that do good for animals. The funds are used for food, medical supplies, treatments, and more for animals in need!

You can learn more about DISH on the Nutrish website as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — and check the Switch to Nutrish section for coupons and special offers (and the Store Locator to see where to find Nutrish in your area and online)!

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.