How Many Treats Should I Give My Pet Each Day?

When we have a pet in the home, they’re like part of the family. We shower them with love, attention and the occasional treats. But how many treats should you be giving to your pet each day?

When we have pets who beg, it can be especially hard not to “give in” and offer them treats whenever they want. We might even feel bad for denying them goodies! But if you care about your pet’s health, you don’t want to go too hard on the treats.

Photo: Pexels/Claudia Schmalz

So, how many treats is ok, and how many is overkill?

According to the American Kennel Club, treats should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake. For example, if your dog eats 1,500 calories per day, they could receive around 150 calories in treats. It takes a bit of math, but once you have it down, it’s simple! The same is true for most pets, including cats, rats and birds.

Photo: Pexels/Blue Bird

To determine how many calories your pet eats, look on their food bag. If it doesn’t tell you outright, you may need to do a little digging and call the company to ask.

While some pet parents free-feed their pets and allow them access to an unlimited and undetermined amount of food throughout the day, veterinarians generally recommend measuring out a pet’s food. There are several reasons why free feeding isn’t recommended and why you should measure your pet’s food. Once you start that, you can determine how many calories they’re eating and how many treats they can have!

Photo: Pexels/Magda Ehlers

In the end, it’s all about moderation. Treats are a healthy part of a diet, even for pets. But it’s important that our pets are offered nutritious and well-balanced meals first and foremost.

As always, be sure to consult a veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!