How much is too much? Do you ask yourself that when giving your dog treats? They love treats SO MUCH! How could you refuse that begging face?!
I tend to get on my high horse with the question “How much is too much?” And dang it! I used to be one of “those” people! I’d give my dogs treats till they were about to pop because they had such cute begging faces! But I no longer do that. For a good reason. How much is too much? Let’s talk about the how and why. Keep in mind that I’m not a veterinarian. Please talk to your vet about specific health issues with your dog and their diet.
- How big is your dog? The size of your dog makes a difference in how many treats it can safely eat. Comparing dogs to people, adults can safely eat more than toddlers. Large dogs can usually safely eat more than small dogs.
- What breed is your dog? Some dogs are more prone to certain health issues involving treats than other dogs. Particularly small dogs. Things like pancreatitis. I’ve seen it triggered in smaller dogs who’ve been given too many treats in one sitting. Research your dog’s breed and health issues, see what you find. Mr. Google is your friend.
- How old is your dog? Dogs of any age are prone to dietary issues, but older dogs more so. Whether it’s aging teeth no longer able to gnaw on bones and hard treats, or delicate digestive systems no longer able to process fatty treats, age means slowing down and monitoring your dog’s food and treat regimen.
So how much is too much? I like to compare treats and dogs to cake and toddlers. Go with me here. Say you have a three year old with a cute face. What three year old kid doesn’t have a cute face? And say you have a box full of delicious cupcakes. Granted, you’re going to take a cupcake tax for yourself, since you’re the adult, but that still leaves ten or eleven cupcakes available for the cute kid. Do you give that three year old all the cupcakes? If you’re any kind of reasoning, responsible adult, the answer is NO. Even if you don’t wind up at the doctor’s office, at the least, giving the child ten cupcakes results in some bad times in the bathroom, upset stomach, maybe throwing up, probably no sleep that night from the excess sugar, etc. It’s just a bad idea. So how many cupcakes is enough? One. Maybe even cut in half, depending on the kid.
Now, the dog. Say you have a bag full of Windee Rings (beef trachea slices) and a cute little Maltese.
Do you give that Maltese all of the Windee Rings? You could, but not if you’re a reasoning, responsible adult. And I don’t want to insult anyone, but for some reason that part of our brain doesn’t make the transition from children to dogs when it comes to moderation. Y’all, any more than one Windee Ring for a toy dog and that dog will get sick. Especially if repeated over time. And become obese.
How much is too much for your own dog? That’s going to be up to you. I just want you to think about it is all. For my own 55 pound dogs, I still only give them small bits of treats as reward for good behavior when specifically asked to do something. Their size is no matter. They all get the same thing. Treats about the size of the end of my thumb. I usually stop at three. They just don’t need more than that.
Do you feel sufficiently scolded? It wasn’t my intent. I just don’t want you crying in your soup because your dog got sick and you could have prevented it. RESIST THE CUTE FACE. You can do it. You can also enter the treat giveaway! I promise, it’ll make your dog smile. Naturally. And how’s that for mixed messages? 😉
Until I write again …