What owner doesn’t love to treat their dogs from time to time? Those expectant looks at the treat bag and wagging tails on delivery are too much to resist. Sadly, like humans, dogs can soon land on the wrong side of unhealthy if you give them too much of the good stuff. Treats may be an excellent way to reward, distract, or keep pooches happy, but they can also do a fair amount of damage.
The trouble is that, when it comes to how often you should treat your dogs, there’s no hard and fast rule. All treats contain different ingredients, after all, and the best dog treats UK are guaranteed to be better for your pup than value options. Still, too much of even the best quality options is rarely a good thing. So, what’s the answer?
Experts now widely claim that your dog should never consume more than 10% of their daily calorie intake from treats. With top-quality products including calorie information on the packet, this shouldn’t be difficult to work out. But, why should you bother?
What’s wrong with treats, anyway?
To understand why implementing the 10% calorie rule matters, first consider the problem with excessive treats. While the evidence should be apparent, many owners don’t realise just how much damage they can do with too many tasty diet additions. Most notably, over-treated dogs are at significant risk of obesity. This is worrying enough in itself, but it’s far from the only risk.
While quality treats will have nutritional content in them, a treat will never substitute the nutrition found in decent dog food. Yet, excessive treats will stop your pups from needing to rely on their food bowl. The result? Serious digestive issues, nutrient deficiencies, and all-round lousy health.
Make less last longer
Owners who don’t want to leave their dogs without at times when they expect a treat can stick within the 10% rule by simply making less last for longer. Remember, restrictions here are more about calorie intake than treat giving itself. If you have one biscuit that makes up treat intake, you could, therefore, split it into three, four, or more pieces. That way, you’ll be able to treat your dog on various occasions throughout the day, without pushing that boundary into unhealthy territory.
Always consider exercise
Of course, a dog who never gets out could experience health complaints even with the 10% calorie rule in place. As such, any owner who treats their dog at all should be making sure to implement plenty of exercise. Daily walks or even treats based around agility training etc. can help to negate those negative benefits, again meaning that you might be able to treat your dog more often without having to worry.
So, how often should you treat your dogs? Really, that’s up to you. All you need to do is keep the 10% calorie rule in mind, and make sure that your treat times always stick within that, no matter how often they occur!