Last Updated on August 1, 2021 by Marco
Trying to figure out how many treats per day for a puppy are ideal? Then you’re in the right place! Read on to learn how puppy calories work.
Did you know dogs are opportunistic scavengers? That means they’re always on the lookout for a meal. It’s also one of the reasons why training your Chihuahua with treats can be highly successful. However, there can be drawbacks to this form of positive reinforcement because there’s a danger of upping your pup’s daily caloric intake.
That may not sound too bad, but if your pet is prone to obesity – too many treats may become a problem. It’s not uncommon for dog parents to wonder how many treats per day for a dog are okay to avoid problems like being overweight. That’s where our puppy calorie feature can help you big time.
What’s The Difference Between Puppy Treats and Puppy Food
We know most of you think that the difference between dog food and treats is pretty obvious – they’re labeled, after all. But, the tricky part is not all dog food or treats (for that matter) are created equal.
Overall, most high-quality dog food brands will contain optimal amounts of all the nutrients your pet’s diet requires. These include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, etc. On the other hand, canine treats are less choosy and critical about the right balance of dietary needs. Treats are created to appeal to your canine’s taste and smell. There are supplemental treats around that offer support for various needs, such as digestive or joint support. However, on the whole, treats are less discerning when it comes to caloric intake.
The two main problems pup owners generally face with a treat-heavy diet are – disinterest in actual food and caloric imbalance. For instance, if you’re giving your pup too many treats during training, it might just put the little guy or gal off regular food. That’s because of the taste factor. Conversely, the calories in dog treats can play havoc with your pup’s daily caloric consumption, leading to issues like being too chubby.
How Many Treats Are Okay Per Day For Pups
Now that you’re aware of why too many treats for dogs can become problematic let’s discuss the optimal treat quotient. The best rule of thumb to follow for canine treats is that they shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake. That’s where a calorie requirement chart can come in handy. You should note that your pup’s daily calorie requirements may vary depending on its breed, weight, and activity.
So, suppose your pup needs to consume around 400 calories (the calories contained in one cup of dry puppy kibble) per day. That would mean that your pet should only get around 40 calories from its treats. The bulk of its calories (no less than 360 calories) should come from its food.
Read more about: Were Chihuahuas Bred For Food: Everything About Chihuahua History
Even though the example above isn’t based on actual calorie requirements – it presents a stark picture. You shouldn’t overlook the food-to-treat ratio for pups and dogs because it’s one of the easiest ways to help your pet put on unhealthy pounds. Having said that, you shouldn’t get over-anxious about feeding your pup treats because, thankfully, pups require more calories per day than their adult counterparts. Puppies have a lot of growing up to do, and they’re very energetic. Which means they burn off the calories they consume pretty quickly.
The best thing to figure out how many treats per day for a puppy is ideal is to consult your vet. They’ll factor in your pup’s weight, age, energy level, and overall health before giving you an answer.
How Can You Tell If You’re Giving Your Pup Too Many Treats Per Day
Several warning signs can help you gauge whether you’ve gone overboard with feeding your canine treats. Although, not every doggo will display all of these signs. And, even if they do show some of these indications, there may be other factors at play. So, you’re going to have to up your observational skills before arriving at a conclusion.
1. No Treat, No Trick
Is your puppy refusing to follow commands without the presence of its favorite treats? If so, then you may be gone overboard with them. This is a common problem among new puppy parents. And, it’s generally what leads to them thinking there may be a problem and figuring out how many treats per day for a puppy are enough.
However, even if your pup refuses to train without treats – you don’t have to worry too much. Just like your puppy got used to the idea of training with treats, it can be made used to the idea of training with fewer treats too. It may take a little time, but you can manage it. Also, if you’re feeling a little guilty about depriving your pet, ask your vet about a low-calorie version. That way, you may not have to reduce the number of treats too drastically.
2. Asking For Treats At Odd Hours
If you used treats to housetrain your pup, it’s likely your furbaby may wake you at odds hours looking for some yummy stuff. However, this isn’t something all canines will do because they know the treat is linked to a type of behavior. In this case, pottying outside the house before bedtime.
3. Getting A Little Too Chubby
The easiest and most sure-shot way of making sure your pup’s been getting way too many treats is unwanted weight gain. Sometimes, the weight gained by your pup is too sudden to miss out. However, at other times, it can be difficult to judge how much weight your pet has put on.
Here’s how you can tell your dog is going on the wrong side of the weight scale. Gently hold on to your pet by its collar, and lightly press down your fingers on its rib cage. If you can feel your canine’s ribs – things aren’t too bad. But, if it’s hard to feel your dog’s rib – your pet may be overweight, and you’ll need to talk to your vet about the development.
Dog parents are always anxious about their pet’s health. That’s possibly why the question – how many treats per day for a puppy – is so popular among them. However, the best and most reliable source of calorie-related information for your puppy is your veterinarian. Daily calorie charts don’t account for your pet’s individual traits like breed, size, age, or even energy level. But, your vet will not only account for such factors but can also help your figure out alternative treating methods and perhaps even a weight-loss regimen – if needed.