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Did Someone Say "Treats"?

Calorie content in common pet treats

Puppy begging
From time to time, we all give our pets treats. Whether it's to reward them for good work, or simply to say "I love you," giving our pets snacks is part of pet ownership.

But how many treats are too many? If your pet is fighting the battle of the bulge, too many treats can be the difference between success and failure.

Treat should comprise no more than 10% of your pet's caloric intake*; so, if your pet should be eating 100 Calories (kcal) per day, only 10 Calories should come from treats.

Note: see the Appendix below for common pet food calorie counts

Daily Calorie needs for Average Indoor Pets

Cats
10 lbs 180-200 calories/kcal*
Dogs
10 lbs 200-275 calories/kcal
20 lbs 325-400 calories/kcal
50 lbs 700-900 calories/kcal

The following is a list of common pet treats and their calorie counts:

Treat kcal/treat
Milk-Bone, Medium 40
Beggin' Strips (Purina) 30
Pedigree DentaStix, Medium 188
Greenies, Regular Size 95
Snausages 25
Peanut Butter, 1 tbsp 85
Chicken Breast, 2oz 67
Sirloin Steak, 2oz 115
Zukes Z-Filets, Beef 60
Blue Buffalo Chicken Sausages 34

Alternative Treats

Human Fruits and Vegetables can make a nice alternative to traditional treats. Note that specific treats may not be appropriate for all pets. Please discuss with your veterinarian if your vet has specific health concerns.

Treat kcal
Baby Carrots, 1/2 cup 27
Boiled Green Beans, 1/2 cups 22
Raw Apple, With Skin, 1/4 cup 14-16
Watermelon, 1/2 cup 23
Honeydew Melon Balls, 1/4 cup 16
Strawberry, 1 medium 4
Banana, 1/8 cup 25
Air Popped Popcorn (no salt/butter), 1/2 cup 16


APPENDIX
Common Dog Foods and Their Calorie Counts

Common Dry Pet Foods and their Calories

Food kcal/cup
Kirkland "Super Premium Adult", Lamb & Rice 373
Blue Buffalo, Lamb/Rice, "Life Protection Formula" 379
Pro Plan Select Turkey & Barley Formula 436
Taste of the Wild "Pacific Stream" 360
Orijen Adult Dog Formula 478
Wellness Complete Health Adult, Chicken/Oatmeal 407

Common Wet Pet Foods and their Calories

Food kcal
Kirkland "Super Premium Adult", Lamb & Rice 749/cup
Blue Buffalo "Homestyle," Lamb/Vegetables 515/can
Pro Plan Select Turkey & Sweet Potato Formula 440/can
Taste of the Wild "Pacific Stream" 379/can
Orijen Adult Dog Formula - freeze dried medallions 75/medallion
Wellness Complete Health Adult, Chicken/Oatmeal 472/can