Every person loves to have their treats, isn’t it? Guess what, its no different for dogs.
They simply adore treats, and if allowed they will keep wagging their tail and stand beside you wanting treats every day. That being said, there has to be a limit on the number of treats they are allowed to have in a day.
If you ask your veterinarian, they are likely to say that treats can comprise of a maximum of 10% of the daily diet of the pet.
But, if you start handing out treats to your canine friend for good behavior, how would you keep track of how many treats he had?
In fact, how much is 10 percent of a dog’s daily diet?
Count the Calories
Now, let’s see what happens if we calculate the 10% and stop making any assumptions any more. We can see that calories are the answer.
Since dogs’ breeds and sizes are varying, there cannot be one specific calorie number attributable to them. So, if we can say 2000 daily calorie diet for humans, the same number is not applicable for dogs due to their many differences.
This means that for each dog, we will need to come up with a specific calorie count based on his breed, age and dietary restrictions. You may remember the caloric content present in your dog’s food bag. Though it can easily tell you the calories present in the dogs’ food based on his weight, it may be given in kcal instead of calories. This can be confusing.
Simply put, kcal means a kilocalorie, meaning 1000 calories.
In other words, if the dog food package mentions 375 kcal per cup, it means only 375 calories per cup as these terms of calorie and kcal are often used interchangeably.
Now, with the basics in place, we will need to calculate the number of calories consumed in a day.
As per the dog food bag, if we feed two cups of that dog food, it comes to 1500 calories a day. Calculating 10% of that figure, it comes to 150calories which is pretty much indicative of the calorie count of the treats allowed in a day.
The only thing to note here is that the total daily food should be measured in calories to avoid missing any amount. Then 10% of that figure should be the quantity of treat allowed.
Finally, the food requirements of your canine friend are something which your veterinarian can only recommend. They may advise feeding more to a breed and significantly less to another one, based on their health and dietary requirements.
How to Choose Treats
Let consider cheese as a treat and check out the formula we just spoke about.
Due to its high-calorie content, cheese is not an ideal treat for dogs.
69 calories are contained in one cubic inch of cheddar cheese. If your German shepherd is 80 pounds, that piece of cheese would be 5% of his daily treat intake. But what, if you have a 5-pound Yorkshire Terrier?
How does that work now?
If he has dog food of 182 calories a day, 10% of his diet comes to 18 calories. Now, the cheese cube would be equal to four times the recommended number of treats for him. Maybe, similar to having a big mac for you.
Why not consider giving him healthier treats instead?
Some options can be one small cup of carrots-25 calories, one-half cup of cucumbers-8 calories. Cooked green beans are also a good option.
Alternatively, you can give a low-calorie meat-flavoured training treat or use the dog food and subtract the treats calories from the total diet.
Controlling Dog Obesity
Obesity affects dogs too and can lead to many health issues in your canine friend. Arthritis, diabetes, and pancreatitis are some of the diseases which can occur in case obesity is not controlled.
It is recommended to be a little bit calorie minded and control the diet of your beloved pooch. Adjusting his diet with the recommended calorie count can help him maintain ideal nutrition and weight.
In case your dog is overweight, ask your veterinarian about the best plan to get him back to size in a healthy manner.