QWhat should I look for and consider when selecting treats for a dog?

Original Question: "Happy New Year to all. My question is about certain treats that I’ve seen on Facebook, I won’t name the products. They say they can cause weight gain, which I’m very careful about with my pets as well as bad ears, bad skin and excessive water drinking. What do vets think about certain pet treats." - Jeanne

Vet Certified Answer | Answered: February 12, 2018

Hi Jeanne,

Great question.

When selecting a treat for your dog, I think the most important thing is not really the treat itself and its ingredients, but how many calories it contains, and the quantity fed. Treats should be considered as something special and fed in moderation. Often, I find that pet owners over-feed treats to express affection to their dog. They are often unaware of how many extra calories they are feeding. Unfortunately, this leads to too many calories being consumed and ultimately, obesity. Generally, we recommend that no more than 10% of the daily calorie intake should be from treats or “human” foods. The calorie content of a commercially prepared treat should be readily available on the package. Many people do not account for all sources of calories they feed their pets. Feeding lower calorie treats allow you the satisfaction of rewarding your pet without worrying about weight gain. If you need help determining your dog’s daily energy requirements (the number of calories they need each day), your vet can calculate this for you.

I hope this gives you some insight.

Dr. Kim Hester

Disclaimer: and its team of veterinarians does not endorse any products or services mentioned. Advice presented by our veterinarians is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

Join the community!