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How Many is Too Many: Your Guide to Puppy Treats 

Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by Dogs Vets


How Many is Too Many: Your Guide to Puppy Treats

You might have found yourself getting frustrated with your puppy, and resorting to lots of treats to get them to listen to you so there’s one question that’s bound to pop up sooner or later: How many treats is too many for your puppy? 

Knowing how many treats to feed your pup can be as tricky as teaching an old dog new tricks, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ll explore the dos and don’ts of treats, ensuring your four-legged companion stays happy, healthy, and tail-waggingly satisfied.

🐾 Did you know? Dogs have about 1,700 taste buds, compared to a human’s 4,000? This means choosing the right treats for your puppy is very important! 

Why are treats important for puppies?

Why are treats important for puppies?

A dog taking a treat from a persons hand. Source: A small dog being fed by a person photo – Free Border collie Image on Unsplash

Treats play a very important role beyond just a good snack. They are powerful tools for positive reinforcement and bonding between you and your puppy. Picture it as a currency in the language of doggy communication.

They become tiny tokens of approval, reinforcing good behaviour and facilitating the learning process. Whether it’s mastering a new trick, basic commands, or simply being on their best behaviour, these incentives act as a canine commendation, creating a positive association between desired actions and tasty rewards.

This positive reinforcement strengthens the bond between you and your pup and makes the learning experience enjoyable and engaging.

Along with this, treats can be a helpful aid in the training process, motivating your puppy to stay focused and eager to participate. From socialization to obedience, these flavourful incentives transform routine training sessions into fun. 

How many treats should you give your puppy?

A golden retriever puppy with a blue collar laying on the floor eating a chew.

A golden retriever puppy with a blue collar laying on the floor eating a chew. Source: A puppy with a blue collar laying on the floor photo – Free Thailand Image on Unsplash

Just like us, dogs thrive on a balanced diet, and treats should be approached with mindfulness. The number of treats your puppy can indulge in depends on various factors such as size, age, and overall health.

Treats should make up no more than 10% of your puppy’s daily caloric intake.

says expert from CanDogsEatAi

It’s a golden rule that helps maintain a nutritional equilibrium, preventing the rewards from overshadowing the goodness of their regular meals, whether you’re giving them supermarket own brands or hypoallergenic dog food

Just remember that moderation is key!

Choosing the right treats for your puppy

A dog with its mouth open
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A fluffy dog with its mouth open yawning. Source: Golden retriever puppy photo – Free Dog Image on Unsplash

Choosing the perfect treats for your puppy is so important, and with so many to choose from, making the right choice involves a blend of nutrition, flavour, and your furry friend’s individual preferences.

Consider your puppy’s age, size, and any specific dietary requirements. Puppies, like humans, have evolving nutritional needs, and treats should complement their overall diet. Opt for treats that boast essential nutrients, steering clear of excessive additives or ingredients that might not align with your pup’s well-being.

Texture and size matter, too. Treats that are easy to chew and digest are ideal, especially for younger puppies or those with smaller mouths. The size of the treat should be proportionate to your puppy’s size to prevent overindulgence.

Remember, the joy of treating your puppy lies in the deliciousness and thoughtful consideration of their well-being. 

Other ways to reward your puppy

A dog and puppy looking at each other
Australian sheperd puppy nose to nose with an adult dog. Source: Shallow focus photography of short-coated brown and white puppy photo – Free Dog Image on Unsplash

While treats are a great go-to for rewarding your puppy, positive reinforcement goes so much further. Exploring alternative ways to express your affection and approval adds variety to your pup’s reward repertoire and strengthens your bond. Here are other ways you can reward your puppy: 

  1. Praise and affection

Few things rival the warmth of a cuddle or a well-timed belly rub. Shower your puppy with verbal praise, gentle strokes, and affirming words to convey your joy and approval.

🐾 Did you know? Dogs recognize facial expressions! If you smile at them, they will probably know they’re on the right track!

  1. Playtime

Engage in a spirited play session as a reward for good behaviour. Whether it’s a game of fetch or tug-of-war, the joy of play is an excellent non-edible reward.

  1. Interactive toys

Invest in toys that challenge your puppy’s mind and body. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing gadgets, and interactive games provide mental stimulation and a rewarding challenge for your pup.

  1. Go outdoors

A walk in the park or exploring new scents can be a rewarding experience. The sights and smells of the great outdoors become a treat for their senses. But remember, dogs need to be vaccinated before they can explore outside!

Remember, tailoring your rewards to your puppy’s preferences and personality is key. Find a balance between treats and other rewards to allow your puppy to learn and thrive in their new home. 

🐶 Pro puppy tip: When introducing new treats or rewards to your puppy, watch their reaction and monitor for any potential allergies. Slowly incorporate new things into their diet, and if you notice any adverse effects, consult your vet. 

White shih tzu puppy running on the grass. Source: Shallow focus photography of white shih tzu puppy running on the grass photo – Free Dog Image on Unsplash

Puppy-parenting isn’t always easy, but it is so rewarding. Your puppy will appreciate the love, exercise, and, of course, tasty treats you give them. But remember, it’s all about balance.

If you’ve noticed you’ve been a bit generous with treats one day, maybe take your dog out for a longer walk than usual, or lay off the treats for a few days afterwards. Good luck with your new puppy!


❗Always have fresh water nearby when feeding your pets. This helps with digestion the absorption of nutrients!


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