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Calorie Content of Foods People Use as Dog Treats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Weight Control
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Let us face it, people like to give their pets treats. This is not all bad. Treats are often helpful as training aids and can be used to distract pets undergoing procedures such as removing mats, trimming nails, etc. Sometimes, we give dogs treats as a health benefit. And sometimes, it is just fun to give pets something special. Unfortunately, the type of treat or amount given can result in our pets receiving too many calories.

The 'average' calorie need of an 'average' twenty-pound dog is 690 kcal. As you can see from the chart below, the calories from giving that twenty-pound dog one large Milk Bone morning and night, a leftover slice of pizza from lunch, and a cookie for dessert at dinner will almost equal the dog's calorie needs for a whole day. Calories from treats pile up pretty fast.

When selecting treats for your pet, be calorie-conscious, aware of the nutritional value of the treat and be sure that treats do not make up more than 10% of your pet's daily intake. Remember, your pet cannot drive up to the take-out window, open the freezer, or scrape the dishes. What your pet eats is determined by you. Choose healthy!

Food Item Kilocalorie Content per Unit
Drs. Foster & Smith Premium Biscuits (Bite-size) 5
Drs. Foster & Smith Premium Biscuits (Biscuit-size) 20
Bonz for Small & Medium Dogs 70
Science Diet Canine Lite Treats 15
Milk Bone Dog Biscuits - Small 20
Milk Bone Dog Biscuits - Medium 40
Milk Bone Dog Biscuits - Large 115
Pounce for cats 3
Whisker Lickin' for cats 3
Carrot (medium baby-sized) 3
Green Beans (canned, drained, 1 cup) 25
Air-popped popcorn (0.5 oz.) 54
Pizza Hut's Hand-tossed Cheese Pizza (1 slice, medium) NR 259
Arby's Cheddar Fries (small order) NR 399
Chocolate Chip Cookie NR 180
Soft Serve Ice Cream (1/2 cup) NR 113
McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese NR 525
NR Not recommended as an appropriate treat for pets


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