Pet owners and trainers use dog treats to train dogs or to encourage good behavior. You can use them to express affection or build your pet-owner relationship. We know you care for your dog and adore it, so you might take advantage of every chance to pamper it.
Treats are a great way to train, reward, and pamper your dog. But you’ll need to keep a few things in mind when doling out those treats.
In this article, you’ll learn about the best kinds of treats to give your dog and how many to give.
How Much Is Too Much?
Can dogs eat too many treats? Yes, there is such a thing as too many treats. Don’t give your dog too many goodies! Most, if not all, dog treats come with feeding guide instructions. Before giving your dog any treat, make sure to read and understand them. Follow the guide unless your dog’s vet has other special instructions.
Note: Look at the packaging to discover how many calories are in the goodies. If the calories aren’t indicated, don’t buy the treat.
Calories matter! So, how many dog treats can a dog have a day? As a general rule, treats should not account for more than 10% of a pet’s daily calorie intake. But still, you will need the assistance of a vet to decide the proper amount of treats for your dog. The vet will tell you how many calories your dog needs on a daily basis, then you can calculate 10% of that amount for treats and the remaining 90% for full meals or pet food.
The vet will consider the age, weight, activity level, and medical conditions of your dog. A young, energetic pet will have higher caloric requirements than an elderly sedentary dog.
How many times a day should a dog have treats? There are no restrictions on how often you may give out treats as long as you stick to 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. If you want to give treats on a regular basis, split them up into smaller pieces or use healthy lower-calorie treats. You could also reward your dog with cuddles and praise instead of treats.
Are you a new pet owner? You might wonder, “How many treats is too many for a puppy?” Before starting training, research the treats thoroughly. You don’t want to over-indulge your puppy with high-reward training goodies, as they may reject their full meal! You may use small amounts of your puppy’s food as a reward at first and then add the goodies later. Add nutritional value to your puppy’s diet by using natural or organic snacks.
ALSO READ: 10 Best Natural Treats for Dogs
Consequences of Too Many Treats
We understand that spoiling your dog makes both of you happy! But at this point, you might need to ask, “Can too many treats make my dog sick?“ Yes. Giving your dog too many treats might also be harmful.
You might wonder, “Can too many treats give my dog diarrhea?” Yes, dogs that have too many goodies are more likely to develop an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal problems.
Too many treats can also cause the following health issues:
- Fatty liver
Treats are a leading cause of obesity in dogs. Obesity is a leading hazard to your dog’s health. It causes other health concerns including joint disease and pancreatitis.
ALSO READ: Top 7 Best Meat Treats for Dogs
Feeding Time for Dogs
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), treats are not meant to be your dog’s main source of nourishment. This is because treats are generally heavy in fat, sugar, and calories but with little nutritious benefits.
Follow a routine while feeding your dog. Ensure your dog has a full dish at the same time each day. Serve food and water in separate bowls. As much as possible, serve meals in a room designated only for feeding time.
Dog treats aren’t healthy enough to be a big portion of your pet’s diet. This is because these products don’t have the same balanced nutrients as pet food. Do not give them during regular meal times.
When your dog has earned a reward, give it a treat. But never consider treats as meal substitutes even if they contain dog-friendly ingredients.
When giving meals or treats, make sure you have plenty of fresh, clean water ready for your dog.
How to Lessen Calorie Count?
Make every effort to maintain the 10% rule.
You can break treats into tiny pieces. Look for smaller bite-sized goodies, which usually have a calorie count of less than 10. If you can’t find some, cut a large biscuit into four pieces or break little training treats into half. You can also try low-calorie treats like carrot sticks and sliced apples.
If your pet is already overweight or obese, progressively reduce amounts by no more than 5% every week. Avoid an abrupt significant calorie decrease. It can disrupt your pet’s metabolism and produce nutritional inadequacies. You may also consult the vet for weight-management supplements that are rich in fiber and probiotics.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy Treats For Dogs
Most pet owners enjoy giving their pets special treats. While treats may be a fun and tasty addition to your dog’s diet, too many treats can be unhealthy.
For healthy treats, choose low-calorie snacks such as pumpkin, carrot, apple, green beans, and sweet potato chunks. If your dog refuses to eat even the most basic vegetables, try a purée version of these veggies.
Check the label on any dog treat you buy. Examining the label might help you spot any ingredients that aren’t good for your dog.
Select food items that are fewer in calories but higher in fiber to keep your dog feeling fuller for longer. Seek lean meat with high-quality proteins. Choose foods like beans, oats, and barley that are high in nutrient-dense complex carbohydrates.
Never give garlic, grapes, raisins, onions, animal bones, human food, and desserts sweetened with xylitol because these foods are harmful to dogs.
Treating your dog with human junk food is not a good idea either. If your dog has allergies, also keep an eye out for any ingredients that might cause your pet to have an allergic response. Avoid ingredients like corn and wheat as they might cause your dog to gain weight.
Never give chocolate to your dog! Chocolate may be poisonous to pets, so always make sure to keep it out of reach.
In case your dog has accidentally ingested harmful food, call the vet immediately. The vet might ask you to induce vomiting for your dog to release the toxic food. As a responsible pet owner, you should know the basics of how to get a dog to throw up.
Every pet enjoys receiving a reward and the sense of being pampered. While this is inevitable, make sure to provide your dog with a limited number of nutritious treats.
We hope this article helped you answer, “How many dog treats can a dog have a day?”
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