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What Kind of Treats are Best for my Dog?

What Kind of Treats are Best for my Dog?

Dangerous or Healthy Treats

Many times every day, we discuss weight management for our canine patients. First, we discuss their main diet, (see our blog post on choosing a pet food, then we have to tackle the treat issue. Treats should not be dangerous to our pets nor provide more than 10% of their daily calorie needs. 

Dangerous Foods for Dogs:

  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Onions (larger quantities)
  • Garlic (larger quantities)
  • Chocolate
  • Any food containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener.
  • Bones

Good Treats:

  • Pet treats made in the United States by reliable manufacturers
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Zucchini (some cats really like this)

That Pesky Calorie Issue:

Your dog, like you, would probably prefer to skip the calorie talk. Treats should account for no more than 10% of your pet’s total calorie intake a day. We will use Dr. Nix’s dog, Stella, as an example. Stella weighs 9 pounds and her estimated daily calorie count should be about 280 calories a day. Her food is 352 calories per cup, so to get 90% of her calorie needs from her food, she should eat about 2/3 of a cup per day. That leaves her with 28 splurge calories. Listed below are some common dog treats and the calorie counts.

  • Beggin Strips- 49 calories per strip                                   
  • Greenie Dental Chew, Teenie size, – 26 calories
  • Palm-size rawhide – 100 calories
  • Bully Stick, 6 inches, (if you can get over the ick factor of a dehydrated steer penis which often contains bacteria- 100 calories

Unfortunately, most of the common treats will result in poor Stella gaining weight. She can eat the above listed raw vegetables or some of the tiny dog training treats available.

Great Source for Nutrition Advice: Tufts Veterinary School pet food newsletter.

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