Does your dog come running towards you at full speed when you say the “T” word? More than just a tasty snack for your dog, treats are also an excellent training tool to reinforce good behaviour. As a dog owner myself, I understand how tempting it is to give in to your dogs’ puppy eyes and indulge them with all the treats they desire. It is important to ensure that while feeding our dogs treats, we are not overfeeding or encouraging bad behaviour.
In general, the most well-known way to know whether you are feeding your dog too many treats is to follow the 10% rule. The 10% rule means your dog’s treats per day should not be more than 10% of their daily calorie intake. For example, a dog that eats 500 calories per day should receive no more than 50 of those calories in the form of treats. You may also take reference from the guideline below:
Find your dog’s weight based on this chart to determine their recommended daily calorie intake, then divide by 10 to determine the maximum number of calories they can receive in the form of treats. Check against the calories of your dog treats and make sure that the amount of treats fed do no exceed more than 10% of your dog’s overall calorie count. This helps to prevent overfeeding and we certainly don’t want them to become greedy either!
There are other factors to consider when figuring out your dog’s daily portion of treats. Is your dog of a healthy weight and in good body condition for their age and breed? If your dog is overweight, it is recommended to cut down on treats so that they are able to lose excess fats and be in a healthy weight range. Obesity leads to health problems such as joint disease, diabetes and pancreatitis. We can reduce the chances of these problems occurring by limiting their treats intake.
The activity level of your dog also makes a difference to how many treats they are allowed. If your dog has high-energy level and enjoys regular exercise, you may feed them up to their 10% treat allowance. If your dog is overweight or prefers to laze at home all day, you should be cautious of how often you are feeding them treats. If your dog is within their ideal weight range, including their allowance of treats, it is the perfect balance of treats!
When you first bring a puppy home, the amount of treats you can feed them is limited. There are treats in the market that are specified for puppies, however it is advised to research on what treats are best and suited for your puppy needs. You don’t want to spoil them as they might become fussy and refuse to eat their staple diet during meal time! There are many nutritious fruits and vegetables that are beneficial for puppies and using them as natural treats can add nutritional value to your puppies’ diet.
When purchasing treats for your dogs, read the packaging. The label is where you’ll find the ingredients that make up your treats. The main things to look out for are fillers, grains, preservatives, sugar and colourings. If you are not sure about what to choose for tasty and healthy dog treats, The Honest Kitchen treats (*hyperlink bone broth bites) are a good place to start. Made with 100% human grade ingredients, you know you are feeding only the good stuff to your dogs!
There are certain dog treats or food that should be avoided such as rawhide and cooked bones. Rawhide contains lots of chemicals and poses a risk of choking or intestinal blockage. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, they can get stuck in the oesophagus or the digestive tract. Cooked bones can easily splinter, causing damage to your dog’s mouth and internal organs. This can potentially lead to dental fractures and intestinal blockages.
The healthiest treat we can ever give our dogs is our full attention, overflowing love, and never ending affection. Playing with them, walking them, bonding with them, just simply spending time with them are things that treats can’t replace. With hectic lifestyles, it can be easy to spoil them with treats to make up for lost time with our pets. Attention, love and affection however, are the best low calorie treats we can give to your dogs.
Any views or opinions communicated on this page belong to the author and do not represent the views or opinions of any other organizations. This article is meant for us to share our own views and opinions in general. Kindly consult a professional if you would like to seek professional advice.
Adopted from sources
– How many treats should you feed your dog? By Ella & Co.
– How many treats per day for a dog? By Catherine Barnette DVM, Pets Radar.
– Images of cats, Pexels and Pixabay.