How many treats should a dog have?
One of the most common questions we get asked at the handover of a partly trained labradoodle puppy is "How many treats can I give my dog?".
There is, unfortunately, no exact number of treats per day. It depends on the size of the dog, their exercise levels and their overall caloric intake.
Instead, the answer lies in dog owners comparing the intake of snacks and dog treats to how much kibble they feed. The same way as you wouldn't eat as much pudding as dinner, your dog shouldn't eat the same amount of training treats, as his main meals.
You probably eat a maximum of a quarter of your daily calories from dessert. Possibly more like a 1:8 ratio - so you'd be eating pudding every other day, to put it in more straightforward language.
So with this in mind aim to feed your dog, no more than a 1:4 ratio of treats to their main dog food. The easiest way of calculating this is to link your purchase of goodies to your sack of dog food which is usually around 12kg in weight.
Our fish treats from designerdogfoods.co.uk are sold in bulk packs of 1.5kg. For freshness, they are packaged in three separate resealable bags each weighing 500g.
One order is three bags of 500g = 1.5kg bulk purchase.
So if you are buying a 12kg sack of dog food to last you say 30-40 days, then applying a 1 to 4 ratio you should get through no more than 3kg of treats. This means you would order two packs to receive six bags of dog treats.
If you wish to lower the ratio to 1:8, then 1.5kg of treats should last the same period. So order one purchase of three bags. This guide is for general purposes only, and every dog's caloric intake varies during growth periods, so pay attention to their weight and reduce the ratio if they are getting a little rounded.
Our treats are only marginally more calories than our main puppy food (369 kcal/100g versus 363 kcal/100g) and are actually lower in fat (12% fat versus 13%).
If ordered with your dog food, the treats will arrive separately. We use royal mail for postage, who often take a few days to arrive. So please re-order at least a week in advance. Or set up a Subscription, so the treats (and food) are sent automatically. All our foods and treats are available on Subscribe & Save to make the process as easy as possible and to ensure you never run out.
If you opt for less healthy types of canine snacks, particularly those with a higher calorie count or fat percentage. Then I'd suggest reducing the ratio and looking at the snacks being no more than 10% of total energy intake. Obesity in puppies increases their risk of hip and elbow dysplasia will impact on their joints and may necessitate medical advice on their dental care. So if you choose unhealthy snacks or give human food, then you'll need to start counting calories!