Treat

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A treat is an item of food that can be carried to make your pet follow you more closely, or fed to your pet to increase its apport (which will make it more likely to fetch things for you, including things that belong to someone else).

The best-known treat is the tripe ration for carnivorous pets including cats and dogs, but they also like meat created with the stone to flesh spell. Meatballs are easiest to create and carry around, but meat rings, meat sticks and huge chunks of meat count as treats, too. Herbivorous (i.e. vegan) pets such as horses are fond of apples and carrots.

Omnivorous pets like everything which carnivores and herbivores like. Most humanoid monsters are omnivorous. Bananas are treats for monkeys, apes, and anything represented by a Y. Metallivores (rock moles, rust monsters, and xorns) regard non-rustproofed iron as a treat.

Uses of treats

Carrying a treat in your main inventory (not in a bag or other container) makes your pets follow you more closely.[1] Normally, pets will freely roam up to four squares away from you in open areas like rooms, but if you're carrying a treat, they'll mostly try to stay right next to you.

Another way to use treats is to feed them to your pets as "rewards". Specifically, eating a treat that you've carried before increases the pet's apport,[2] making it more likely to pick up items and bring them to you. This can be useful if you're trying to train your pet to steal from shops.

Treats can also be thrown at hostile domestic animals (cats, dogs and horses) to tame them. However, contrary to a common misconception, treats are not required for this; any food item that the animal can eat will do, unless it splats (egg, melon, cream pie). For example, dogs can be tamed with food rations, pancakes or royal jelly, and horses can be tamed with garlic or vegan corpses. See Diet#Pets for an exhaustive list.

Only domestic animals can be tamed by throwing them food — for example, a unicorn will not like it if you throw it an apple.

Strategy

If you only have one treat, save it for keeping pets close by. Spare treats can be fed to pets to increase their apport. While treats can also be used to tame new pets, avoid wasting your last treat on that, unless you're acutely short of "people food".

If you find a tripe ration or other treat for sale in a shop, and somehow manage to reach it before your pet does, you should pick it up and drop it. You will not be charged for it, but it now counts as having been carried by you, and eating it will therefore increase your pet's apport. Alternatively, if it's the first treat you've found, consider buying it if you can afford it.

A treat and a bag can be very useful for getting you pet to steal from shops, even with low apport. Basically, you hide the treat in the bag while your pet roams in the shop. Once it picks up an item you want, pull the treat out of the bag and wait for the pet to come to you. In a pinch, a large box can be used instead of a bag.

List of treats

Carnivore or omnivore

Herbivore or omnivore

Apelike creature

Ghoul

  • old corpses

Metallivore

  • any non-rustproof iron object

References

  1. dogmove.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 558
  2. dogmove.c in NetHack 3.6.0, line 283