Dogs Trust

10 easy treat ideas for dogs from the fridge

Sushi eating cucumber

Food treats are a fantastic way to reward your dog for positive behaviour as part of training and in enrichment activities.

You don’t always have to buy expensive pre-packaged treats to reward your dog – take a look at our 'in the fridge' snacks suggestions.

Easy treat ideas

  1. Cucumber 🥒
  2. Cauliflower
  3. Broccoli
  4. Carrot 🥕
  5. Apple (without the core) 🍏
  6. Strawberries 🍓
  7. Sugarsnap peas 🌿
  8. Plain chicken (cooked, no bones) 🐔
  9. Boiled egg (chopped) 🥚
  10. Fish (cooked) 🐟

Watch some of our dogs enjoying these fridge-to-dog snacks!

Our dogs had a go at the latest video trend, ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response. See if the sounds of their treat-testing brings joy to your ears.


Feeding your dog new treats

We’d only recommend feeding the above in small amounts and in moderation, as new foods may cause a tummy upset and not all these treats will be suitable for all dogs. Just like humans, dogs like different types of food and may have allergies or intolerances. If you are concerned about giving new treats to your dog, speak to your vet first.

Although it can be tempting to share all our food with our beloved pets, there’s a lot of items in the fridge that really aren’t suitable for dogs. These include grapes, left-over take-away meals, anything containing onion or garlic, corn-on-the-cobs and fruits with stones (peaches, plums etc).


Why train your dog with rewards and treats?

Training with rewards is all about teaching your dog that good things happen when they make a good choice. When your dog gets a reward, they will associate this with whatever they have just done, and will be more likely to do that same thing again next time. For example, if you give a treat when your dog raises a paw, they are more likely to do this again the next time they are in the same situation. All dogs are different so they will naturally find different things rewarding, however most dogs enjoy toys, our attention and food!

Remember:

  • Whatever food you choose needs to be safe for your dog - and something they like!
  • If you use food for training, remember to cut down on the amount your dog gets during meals to prevent weight gain.
  • Treats that dogs especially love (something soft and smelly like cheese, sausage or chicken) can be used as the ‘gold star’ reward when your dog gets something spot on. You can also use these to keep your dog’s focus and attention in environments where there are more distractions. These can be chopped into small pea-sized pieces for training.
  • Use treats that are less exciting (such as dry dog biscuits or chopped up veg) to reward your dog at times it is easy for them to get it right, for example when practising something they know in quiet environments.

Find out more about the benefits of positive reinforcement and watch our step-by-step video guide.


Using food as an enrichment activity

Dogs are social, intelligent and active animals so it’s important to provide them with safe and suitable opportunities to exercise their bodies and minds, during every stage of life. Mental and physical activity can prevent boredom, while teaching a variety of skills such as problem solving, searching and agility, as well as building confidence.

Dogs love eating, so they really enjoy food games! If you are worried about your dog gaining weight, you can split their daily food allowance into portions to use in different ways throughout each day.

There are lots of great puzzle-feeders available to buy, including rubber ones that can be pre-filled and chilled to make them last longer. Why not get creative and make your own. Remember to supervise your dog in case they need any help!

Get more enrichment ideas for your dog.