How Many Treats Can You Give Your Puppy Per Day?
Most dog owners enjoy giving their pup a yummy treat. But do you ever question how many treats you can give your puppy to keep them happy and healthy and how many treats per day for a dog is too much?
There’s no denying the benefits of dog treats; they’re a tasty training aid, a delicious way to reward good behaviour and they can help nurture the bond between you and your best bud. Yet too much treat-giving can inadvertently teach your pup bad habits and encourage obesity.
To help you get the balance right, we’ve listed some helpful dos & don’ts when it comes to dishing out dog treats. To make sure you don’t go overboard, keep reading!
Dog Treats: The Dos
Do always check the label
Just as you read labels when buying your own food, make sure to check the ingredients in your dog’s treats. This ensures you know exactly what your pup is eating, and you can avoid dog treats that are high in salt and sugar.
Many treats contain meat or grain by-products, additives, wheat or corn fillers, food colouring and other hidden nasties, so look for treats that are as natural as possible, with labels that have a clear, easy-to-follow list of ingredients and allergens highlighted.
At yappy.com, we only stock dog treats that are packed with delicious, natural ingredients to ensure both dogs and their owners are happy with what’s being fed.
Do follow the recommended feeding guide
Though feeding guides are provided as suggestions, as some dog treats are high in calories it’s a good idea to adhere to the guide. This will help keep your pup’s diet balanced and steer them from putting on excess weight.
Generally speaking, age and fitness levels affect how many treats you can give your puppy per day. Young and energetic dogs tend to burn calories quicker, while older pooches may be less active and therefore their food rewards should be less.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) advises that treats should make up 10% or less of your dog’s diet, but if you’re unsure about your dog’s diet and their calorie consumption then it’s worth consulting your vet.
Do use treats for training
It’s no surprise that dogs react well to treat-based training! Having a tasty reward for good behaviour will help your dog become well-behaved and well-mannered.
As your dog learns to behave well, you can start to steadily reduce how many treats you feed your dog per day when training. If all goes well, your pup will continue to exhibit good behaviour without the expectation of a treat.
Do use treats for motivation
Treats are a yummy way to entice your dog to join in with mental and endurance exercises. When used sparingly, low-calorie treats or treats broken into smaller pieces can encourage even bone-idle pups to be more active.
Treats hidden around the house can motivate your dog to stretch their legs, and a treat-concealing toy like our Toothy Treat dog toy is a great way to keep your pup’s mind stimulated.
Do be wary of scraps
While it’s tempting to share the food off your plate with your dog as a treat, there are a few reasons why you should be wary of this.
Many human foods are unhealthy for your pup and they can even be dangerous, for instance, foods such as onion, garlic, nuts and chocolate can be toxic to dogs. For a more extensive list, check out our post on what foods are toxic to dogs.
If you want to safely share a snack with your pup, then our dog-friendly beer and snack bundles are a delicious way to do so!
Dog Treat Don’ts
Don’t let treats replace meals
We all like a snack between meals, right? We’re sure your dog would agree! However, treats should always be seen as a light snack and never as a meal replacement. To avoid this, don’t feed your pup treats while they’re having their breakfast or dinner, as while some treats can be nutritious, your dog’s main source of nutrition should be their food. How many treats you give your puppy per day should be balanced with their main source of food.
Want to make your dog’s mealtimes a real event? They’ll be bowled over with a personalised dog bowl that’s been made especially for them.
Don’t reward begging
The joy of seeing your dog tail-waggingly happy to receive a treat is a wonderful thing. However, it’s important to remember that when you give your pup a treat is often as important as how many treats you give your puppy per day.
Giving a treat to your dog when they’re crying, begging or barking for a treat isn’t a wise move as it can reinforce negative behaviours. It’s important to wait until your canine is calm and patient until you reward them with a treat.
Don’t go overboard
If you’re part of a dog household, it’s likely that treats end up everywhere; your coat pocket, kitchen cupboards, and maybe your pup even has their own special treat tin that’s always fully stocked.
Too many treats can make your dog feel full and less likely to eat their regular food, which should be their main source of nutrition. By controlling the frequency and the number of treats your pup receives, you can keep them happy without putting their health at risk.
Treats aren’t the only way to reward your dog!
It’s worth remembering that food and dog treats are just one way to reward your canine companion and show affection. Giving your pup praise, a fun toy to play with and spending quality time together are key ways to reward your dog and strengthen your amazing bond.
And that’s not all, at Yappy we have lots of personalised dog gifts to spoil your pooch and your dog-loving friends and family, from dog blankets to dog tote bags and even dog aprons for those who like to whip up more than a dog’s dinner.