understanding pet food


Practical information about commercial pet foods and what goes into them.


Treats & Supplements

Puppies and Adult Dogs: Feeding Treats

Feeding treats or snacks is a way for the pet owner and pet to interact and bond. Using treats for puppy training purposes is also common, but excessive treating can potentially lead to the pet becoming overweight.

white and brown dog standing up for a treat

Key Messages

  • Treats must be counted as part of the daily caloric intake, and should be limited to <10% of the pet’s total daily caloric intake. 
  • Edible chew toys, rawhides, dental chews, etc. may contribute a surprising number of calories — check the label for feeding guidelines.  
  • Use small sized treats for training. Cat food kibbles are a good option as they are small in size, and they provide essential nutrients but a limited number of calories per piece.  
  • When feeding a dry food, individual kibbles from the weighed daily amount can be used as treats, whilst managing calorie intake.
conversation starter background image

"Feeding treats is important but remember — all treats count towards the total daily calories. Try to ensure that treats make up no more than 10% of the entire diet."

Additional Resources

Linder, D. E. (2017). Diets for each life stage. Cliniciansbrief.com 

Eirmann, L. A. (2014, March 27-29). The challenge of providing feeding recommendations for puppies after neutering. Proceedings of the Purina Companion Animal Nutrition Summit: Nutrition for life. Austin, TX, United States, 25–31.