If you are like most dog owners you know exactly how much food you feed your dog. Yet you often lose track of how many treats you feed. Treats contain calories, lots of calories. Some contain over 1000 calories per treat. This has contributed to the epidemic of obesity that plagues our pets. It is estimated that almost 60% of dogs are overweight.
Give your dog treats with very low calorie counts. 1-3 calories per treat is ideal. Avoid dental chews because they typically contain the most calories. Treat manufacturers do not have to declare the number of calories per treat on the label. You will have to check the company website and sometimes they will not disclose. Do not trust the help at the pet stores as they are often the most uninformed about calories.
Don’t forget fruits and vegetables. Raw vegetables are calorie free and cooked are very low in calories. Carrots, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, squash, peppers, tomatoes are all good treats. Fruits contain more calories than vegetables but 1/3 cup per day won’t add too many unwanted calories. Apples, berries, melons, peaches, oranges can all be used as snacks. Avoid grapes and raisins because they are toxic to dogs.