When it comes to keeping your dog healthy, you want to make sure they’re eating a balanced diet. All dogs are individuals, so it’s not always easy to understand just what their diet should be on a daily basis.
Like all things in life, balance is key. Feeding your dog fun treats regularly is a great way to engage them in training and bond with your pet, but how much is too much? In this guide, we’ll share how many dog treats you can include in your dog’s diet.
Understanding the 10% Rule
If you ask any veterinarian how many treats dogs should eat, the answer is generally consistent. They’ll urge you to stick to the 10% rule. What is this rule, and what does it mean for your dog’s diet?
The rule is relatively simple: treats shouldn’t be more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
But how do you know how much of their diet is 10%? You’ll need to look closer at your dog’s calorie intake. Like humans, dogs have their own calorie range they need to meet each day. If they go too much over this range, they gain weight and vice versa.
Your dog’s recommended calorie intake is based on his weight. In general, it’s as follows:
- 10 lbs – 200 to 275 calories
- 20 lbs – 325 to 400 calories
- 50 lbs – 700 to 900 calories
- 70 lbs – 900 to 1050 calories
- 90 lbs – 1100 to 1350 calories
You’ll have to make adjustments depending on your pet’s activity level and lifestyle. More active, energetic dogs will need more calories than dogs that sleep away the day. Your vet is the best source of information on just how much your dog should be eating based on their health profile.
Once you know how much your dog should be eating each day, you can calculate their own 10%. For example, if your dog weighs 50 lbs and should consume around 800 calories a day, you’ll want to make sure their treats don’t exceed 80 calories per day.
Of course, it’s okay if you go over or under this number within reason. It’s best to focus on their overall wellness than to focus too much on calorie counting.
Choosing Treats for Your Dog
You don’t have to worry too much about choosing treats for your dog as long as you’re mindful of how much they should be eating. Whether you’re treating your dog to an extra-special cookie like the high-quality treats on Wüfers.com or cheese slices, it’s all about finding the balance that works for your pet.
Use your treats wisely. Including them as part of a training regiment is a great option, and avoid over-treating on a daily basis. Otherwise, you can read the calorie content and serving size on any store-bought treats you purchase for your dog.
Treat Your Dogs with Confidence
There’s no doubt that dogs love to get treats! For food-motivated pets, treats can be an effective part of any training plan. In addition, treats are a way to build trust with your dog.
As long as you’re mindful of your pet’s calorie recommendations and health level, you should feel confident giving them treats within reason. Balance is key with all things, even your pet’s diet. Being careful with how many treats you hand out will just mean your dog is even more excited when they taste their favorite snacks.