How Many Treats per day for a Puppy?
Author: Tosine Kennedy
Tosine Kennedy is a professional writer and editor who loves pets and travel. Tosine has 6+ years of professional writing experience. She is a pet lover and specializes to write articles on Dog and Food Care.View all 4 articles Learn about our editorial process and veterinary review board.
Updated on: 01/12/2021
Are you wondering why you should be considering how many treats per day for a puppy? Well, you should because too much of everything is terrible, yes? That includes the treats you dole out to your puppy. You may think you are showing it love and maybe you can’t resist its puppy face. But, frankly, you are not doing your puppy any good by giving it too many treats. Besides, treats must not always be edibles.
Treats are not entirely bad. They can be useful for reinforcement, encouragement, rewards or establishment of bonds. But overdoing it is counter-productive because puppies need many nutrients to grow and develop. Hence, relying too much on treats will rob them of the essential nutrients they need.
Why too many Treats is bad for your Puppy
- Basically, too many treats will spoil their appetite for proper puppy food when it is time to eat. They specifically need puppy food for a balanced diet. It is like allowing your kids to eat snacks before dinner. By the time you serve that well prepared, nourishing dinner, they have no space for it.
- You would be training your puppy on bad habits. When you feed your puppy with too many treats, it will imbibe the habit. That is an unhealthy habit you definitely don’t want.
- Obesity may result from eating too many treats. Need I reinforce how unhealthy that can be for human beings, puppy, and all?
- Certain treats, especially people-based treats, can lead to stomach upset for your puppy. In severe cases, pancreatitis may occur.
- Treats will make it difficult to balance the calories your puppy needs. This could lead to some health challenges if left unchecked.
How many Treats are too many for a Puppy?
Establishing how many treats are too many for your puppy may be daunting. But here is what experts say – follow the 10% rule. Simply put, give your puppy treats in 10% proportion of their required daily calories. For instance, if your puppy’s daily calorie requirement is 500, the calories from treats should not be higher than 50. The regular puppy food will provide the remaining 450 calories it needs.
Also, you may want to restrict the number of times you give treats to your puppy. Between one and four treats, a day is moderate.
This means you also need to stop feeding your puppy with ‘people food’ and table scraps. ‘People foods’ contain way too many calories for your puppy. Though this may get tricky during your puppy training period when you feel the need to reward it often. However, you can find treats with lower calories that are a healthy option and treat your puppy to those.
When can my Puppy have Treats?
You can begin to give your puppy treats from 6 weeks. By then, their body system is more mature. Alternatively, as soon as they are ready for training, they are ready for treats. That is, when they are mature enough to pay and retain attention.
Accordingly, you can offer a treat to your puppy during training. This will serve as positive reinforcement.
Furthermore, your puppy can have treats when their dentition is in progress. It will work to enhance their dental health as they chew.
As for timing, it is ideal to give your puppy treats in-between meals. Do not give it treats immediately before or after meals, especially when the treat is for training purposes.
Treats can also be merely to entice the puppy into certain actions like going inside its crate.
What are the best Treats to use when training a Puppy?
Make sure you choose puppy treats that are suitable for the age of your puppy. Likewise, be sure to buy what your puppy will like and check the label for the ingredients it contains.
That said, let us look at the best treats you can use when training your puppy.
The best puppy treat is not the best human treat. It may be healthy for you, but not for the puppy. Besides, you may like pizza. But it does not mean your puppy likes it nor does it mean is it healthy for it.
The best type of treats for your puppy includes organic foods – vegetables and fruits. Treat your puppy to watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, mushrooms, bananas, apples, carrots, avocado, spinach, broccoli, green beans, ball peppers and etcetera. Then whole foods that are fresh and of high nutritional value like raw almonds, cheese are good. These treats will give them something to munch on as well as serve as incentives during trainings. You would also be sharing quality time with your puppy as you train it. That in itself is a form of treat because your puppy naturally wants to belong.
READ MORE: Best Rated Puppy Food
Do not forget that the time you spend with your puppy is a treat for it as well as the tricks and rules it learns from you.
If you must use store-bought treats, do be careful and selective. You should avoid highly processed treats. They have a higher probability of causing excessive weight gain while providing lesser nutrients. It is the same as when you feed your kid’s junk/processed foods.
Rawhides are not good for your puppy. They are packed with calories and are highly processed. Besides, the likelihood of your puppy choking on them is high.
Look out for the ingredients on store-bought treats. Human-grade treats are better than those made from the animal by-products. Run away from those containing loads of chemicals, preservatives, artificial color and flavors.
How many Calories are in Dogs Treat?
Calculating amount of calories in dog treats can be tricky even though the information is on the label. Don’t forget that treats can add to the dog’s total calories and unaccounted calories are the sure way to obesity.
What are the best low-calorie Puppy Treats?
The best low-calorie dog treats for your dog will depend on a number of factors –
- Size of your dog
- Nutritional needs of your dog
- Any known food allergies
- The health of your dog
- Reason for the treat
To understand this better, let us look at some examples. If you are offering your dog treats as part of the training, you must avoid treats that will be a distraction. It will take it time and effort to chew all that and swallow. This is unlike a smaller treat like a slice of apple. Similarly, if your dog is big, your treat should be on low calorie treats.
Based on these, we generally recommend organic foods, fruits and vegetables as listed earlier. Others include various types of meat like beef liver, cooked chicken, store-bought treats like turkey and chicken jerky, Alaskan crunch and hearty bites.
Aside these usual treats, your dog can also benefit from supplements like omega fatty acid.
How many treats per day for your puppy involves a lot of issues. The choice is not something you make without due consideration of the factors discussed here. You can also seek the assistance of a professional to guide you in making the right decisions.
Resist the temptation of handing your puppy a treat every time it wags its tail or licks your hand. It is good to reward it but it is of greater importance to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet for your puppy.
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