Tieton Drive Animal Clinic

3901 Tieton Drive
Yakima, WA 98902

(509)966-4000

tietondriveanimalclinic.com

Treat Awareness

We love to give our dogs and cats extra treats and snacks through the day.  It is one way for humans to communicate our affection towards our pets.  It is also hugely important when training your pets to provide appropriate treats as rewards.  But with the rising trends of pet obesity in the United States, we need to be conscious of what we are giving our pets and how that may be impacting their overall health.

In order for our pets’ diets to be nutritionally balanced, they should be receiving no more than 10% of their total calories from treats, people food, or any extras.  The bulk of their diet should be a balanced dog or cat food in a measured quantity.

On average, a 10 lb dog that is at a good weight needs 300 calories per day. That comes to about 1 cup of an average low calorie dog food.  Only 30 calories should come from treats.  An average 50 lb dog that is not overweight needs about 1,000 calories daily and only 100 calories should come from treats.  Dogs that need to lose weight will obviously need fewer calories than their healthy-weight counterparts.  When in doubt, talk to your vet about how many calories your dog or cat should be getting.  We can help calculate your pets’ caloric needs as well as how much food that translates to in practical terms.

For your reference, here is a list of common treats and snacks we see given to dogs and cats.  You can see how easy it is to build up extra calories very quickly with just a few well-intentioned treats!

  • 1 slice of apple: 9 calories
  • 1 medium (10g) baby carrot: 4 calories
  • 9 mini-marshmallows: 20 calories
  • 1 large duck and pea flavored Pill Pocket®: 20 calories
  • 1 Lean Treat™: 7 calories
  • 1 medium Milk Bone®: 40 calories
  • 1 small Milk Bone®: 20 calories
  • 1 large Milk Bone®: 115 calories
  • 1 cup canned, drained green beans: 25 calories
  • 1 Beggin’ Strip®: 30 calories
  • 1 small Dentastix®: 49 calories
  • 1 regular Dentastix®: 70 calories
  • 1 Pup-peroni®: 24 calories
  • 1 hot dog: anywhere between 100-200+ calories depending on brand
  • 1 plain scrambled egg: 91 calories
  •  4 oz (1/2 cup) plain low fat yogurt: 71 calories
  • 2 tbsp plain low fat yogurt: 35 calories
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) low fat cottage cheese: 164 calories
  • 2 tbsp low fat cottage cheese: 82 calories
  • 1/4c cooked white rice: 51 calories
  • 1 medium chicken breast: 246 calories
  •  2 tbsp vanilla ice cream: 35 calories
  • 2 tbsp smooth regular peanut butter: 188 calories

Choose your pets’ treats wisely!  That 10 lb dog mentioned in the paragraph above would have her “treat calorie allotment” maxed out by a single medium Milk Bone.  The 50 lb dog is done with extras for the day if you mix a scrambled egg with his breakfast.  Realizing that the treats we give to our pets can be a huge contributing factor to weight gain is a great first step in helping our dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives. 

The world of pet nutrition can be murky and confusing with conflicting opinions bombarding you from all sides.  Make an appointment to discuss your nutrition concerns with your veterinarian and we can help you make the best plan for you and your pet.