As dog owners, we tend to feed our pets too many dog treats. Who can resist those puppy eyes? We love seeing them enjoy their treats with wagging tails. But did you know that too many treats can cause them harm? Here are a few guidelines to check how many treats are just too many treats for your dog.
Veterinarians say that dog treats are not a healthy source of nutrition for your dogs. Treats are only meant as positive reinforcement or a reward for your dog’s good behavior. They are not a complete source of nutrition due to their high contents in sugar, fats, and calories. This means they are a poor source of nutritional value. Feeding them with dog treats does not guarantee their good health.
What are the different types of dog treats?
Dog treats come in different shapes and sizes:
These dog treats are often hard and dry, usually fed by dog owners to their dogs that are not training. These are fun and tasty treats that may come in different flavors.
2. High-value reward dog treats
These dog treats are used for dogs that need strong reinforcement. For example, when searching for your dog in a crowded area, you need strong stimulants to call your dog’s attention. The most common flavors for high-value rewards are cheese and liver.
Dogs that undergo training are fed with training dog treats. Service, police, and guide dogs are fed with this type of dog treats during training sessions to reinforce the desired behavior.
How many dog treats are too much for your dogs?
The amount of dog treats you give to your dogs actually depends on the type of dog treats and the level of activity. If you have a young and active furkid at home, they may need high calories compared to your senior dog, who lives an inactive life.
Many dog dietary experts say that your dogs should only have 10% of their dietary needs. This means consuming more poses health risks to your furbabies. But how much is 10% of your dog’s diet? Caloric content in human and dog food is different. If you want to calculate your dog’s caloric content on their food, you can use this basic calorie calculator provided by the Veterinary Medical Center, Ohio University.
If you are feeding your dogs with high-value rewards and biscuits, you should try and minimize giving those treats. They are high in sweets, fats, and calories compared to training dog treats. Try giving them once or twice a day to control the intake. Training treats contain fewer calories and can be given more often.
Dog treats high in sweets, fats, and calories should not exceed 2 a day. Training treats can be given more often.PetsReport
How to reduce your dog’s calorie count?
If you are overfeeding your dogs with treats, you might be risking gastrointestinal problems as well as obesity. These are two common diseases encountered by dog owners who overfeed their dogs. To avoid this, you may cut your dog treats into smaller portions. For example, break your dog’s biscuits into 3 or 4 portions, and divide the training treats into two.
As pet owners, you should realize that dog treats are never a primary source of nutrition for your dogs, even the young and active ones. Remember that your dogs are only allowed up to 10% of calories to remain healthy and at their prime. As part of responsible ownership, you must know how to control and how much food to give your furkids.
If you think that giving them a lot of food means you care for them, think again. Remember, too much of anything is not good. Stay aware of the type, amount, and frequency of dog treats your dog is getting. And make sure the dog treats are not getting out of hand. A healthy and active dog has a loving and caring owner.