According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, people treat pets as their family members and shower them with boundless love. Unfortunately, sometimes that love takes the form of treats. If you’re feeding your pet treats too often, it may cause your pet to become obese and develop other health risks. Let’s check out how often you should give treats to your pets.
- Restrict those treats – Cookies are amazing. They are delicious, sweet, and savory. However, they don’t have enough or the right kind of nutrients to become a big part of your diet. Pet treats are the same and aren’t healthy for your cat or dog. They should never become a major part of your pet’s diet. Unlike regular pet food, which is highly regulated, pet treats don’t have the same balanced nutrition profile. Your pet should not get more than 10 percent of its daily calories from pet treats.
This includes treats that are used for delivering pet medicine, table scraps, and regular packaged pet treats. Feeding too many pet treats would mess up your pet’s diet. However, daily calorie intake can be very different for each pet. Unlike humans that can rely on the standard 2000 calories, your pet’s calorie intake differs drastically from the rest depending on its size, age, breed, and other such factors. Consult your vet to know about your pet’s calorie needs and make a list of pet treats that can be included in that 10 percent limit.
- When to offer treats – People usually offer their pets treats for rewarding good behavior or for adding stimulus to their training routine. Others use treats for strengthening their bond with the animal or for showing love. Fortunately, you don’t need to look at the clock while offering treats to your pets. Just make sure to stick to that 10 percent limit.
You may hit that limit with a handful of kibbles, a large cookie, or a few strips of jerky broken into tiny pieces. With small bits, you have the flexibility to give only a couple of pieces at a time throughout the day. It’s also completely okay to not give any treats. Pets do well with other signs of affection and rewards like playtime or a chew toy or just a few words of praise.
- Table scraps – Some people like to offer their pets a few bites from their own dinner. However, you need to be careful with that since it’s very difficult to count the calories this way. Keep the bites as small as your pinky fingernail so that you don’t give more than a dozen or so calories with each bite.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you use the tips mentioned above to limit the treats to your dog and only use them for special occasions or rewards-based training. When you don’t watch the calories you feed to your dog, it may become obese like half of all pets in the country.