Caitlin UltimoFood & Treats / Nutrition

Do Dog Treats Have a Place in a Healthy Diet?

Everybody likes a nice treat—dogs most of all! But there are a few rules you have to follow to keep your dog’s diet healthy.

The 10% Rule:

Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. To figure out how much that is, first talk to your veterinarian about how many calories your dog should be ingesting based on her size, weight, level of activity, age and overall health. Then determine how many treats make up 10% of that figure.

To keep your pet on her feeding schedule, give dog treats in between meals, not just before or just after. Treats can also be a useful training tool, so long as they’re given in moderation. So, be sure to account for training treats in your pup’s daily intake, too.

Types of Treats:

Simple vegetables, like a baby carrot or a piece of broccoli, are safe to give pets as a treat. Dogs like apple slices too! But some human foods, including grapes and raisins, can sicken your pet. Before treating your pet to any new human food treats, check with your vet for a list of pet-safe fruit and veggies.

Pet parents should get to know their dogs’ chewing habits and treat preferences to try to help moderate their pets’ consumption. Pets should be given appropriately sized edible chews, as a chew that’s too small could be swallowed whole and become an obstruction. So, always make it a point to supervise your dog when he’s enjoying a bully stick or bone.

Not sure of the best treat option for your dog’s diet? We have a number of treat options for all kinds of particular dietary needs:

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