The concern about how many treats you should give your dog every day is real. Canine-loving humans everywhere scan the nutritional labels on bags of dog food or take to the internet to try to find an exact number for how many goodies your dog can healthily indulge in daily. Unfortunately, there is no exact reason, given a number of variables. Your dog’s size, health issues, and the quality and calorie (kcals) content of the treats will all influence the answer. Still, veterinarians often state that treats shouldn’t make up any more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily diet.
After calculating the amount of kcals your dog needs per day by consulting both your vet and bag of dog food, you’ll have an idea of your dog’s nutritional needs. The key, of course, is also to factor in your dog’s exercise level. A Pit Bull accompanying you on a daily six-mile run will burn far more food energy than, say, a Rottweiler enjoying couch time for 18+ hours a day. With that in mind, let’s look at the various categories of Bark treats in order to better understand how much is too much.
Soft Baked Treats
Some of Bark’s most-loved treats lie in this category. Soft-baked dog treats are like soft-baked cookies: the texture is deeply satisfying. Yet, like cookies, these savory bites can pack on the pounds when given in excess. Luckily, Bark’s soft-baked goods not only come in small servings, but they’re also made from all-natural ingredients. No fillers, additives, or dyes means that your dog is consuming far healthier treats, as well as less kcals.
In order to calculate how many soft-baked treats your dog can enjoy each day without gaining weight, take a look at the nutritional label located both on Bark’s website, and on each product bag. These fan favorite “Bonfire Bites Dog Treats,” for example, contain 17 kcals per treat. If your best friend is a 10 pound Pomeranian, then these vegetable-based treats flavored with bacon and pork stock will add up quicker on the scale. On the other hand, these mini “Pork Avenue Snacks” only weigh in at 5 kcals per piece, so think small when you’ve got a petite pup.
Despite the savory deliciousness of Bark’s jerky treats, there are actually less kcals per piece than you may think. Jerky treats are generally less indulgent than soft-baked treats, meaning they are drier and more crumbly in texture. The ingredients and process behind making them means fewer calories than, say, a super high-reward (aka higher fat) training treat.
Again, taking the time to do the math will pay off and prevent obesity. Despite the low kcal count of Bark’s jerky bites, small dogs will still feel the effects of one too many rewards. For larger dogs, more treats can be given daily, obviously. Yet, watch that you don’t veer over the line. Despite the healthiness of Bark’s products, once treats become substitutes for dog food, your pup may be denied the vitamins and overall nutrition she needs each day.
The amazing thing about Bark’s freeze dried treats is that there’s only ONE food listed on the ingredient list. These treats are made from pieces of an animal, such as beef lung or liver, and are then (you guessed it) put through a freeze-drying process. This preserves the raw nutrients, aroma, flavor, freshness, and texture of meat, meaning they’re a huge hit with most dogs. They’re also generally lower in kcals and high in protein. Like all treats, these all-natural goodies still need to be doled out in moderation. They are a great choice for a picky eater who is used to super savory treats though.
Having trouble keeping treats on hand? Don’t let all this talk of kcals and obesity scare you—your dog deserves good things in moderation. Luckily, humans that have signed up for a BarkBox subscription will receive two different bags of dog treats each month. The treats vary across categories, meaning your pup might indulge in a chicken-flavored soft-baked treat one month, and in pork-based jerky the next.
This amount and variation is a great way to monitor your dog’s intake. It’s also the perfect way to discover what treats your dog really loves, as well as compare calories and ingredients to past products. Overall, a subscription box can help you achieve the goal of keeping your dog fit and healthy. Just remember to track your individual pup’s intake, and not just their deeply happy satisfaction.