Treats are super important for many reasons, but if you give too many, it can have some bad consequences.
After learning this the hard way, I’ve finally realized the importance of giving my pups and adult dogs the correct amount of treats and how to maximise them for easier training.
This article highlights how many treats you can give your Aussie, and how you can give more (without ruining their appetite or weight!).
How Many Treats Can You Give Your Aussie? 🍗
In total, your Aussie’s treat intake should not exceed 10% of their regular daily caloric intake. So how many treats you can give depends on the calorie content of each treat.
- An adult Australian shepherd with moderate activity should receive about 800-1000 calories per day, depending on their exact age and health. This means that 10% of these calories: 80-100, can come from treats or alternative sources.
Based on an Aussie adult consuming 800-1000 calories per day you can give the following:
✅ If you give a treat that has 4 calories, you can give 20-25
❌ If you give a treat that has 80 calories, you can give just 1.25
Some treats might equal the 10% or over (each!) while others contain just 3 or 4 calories a treat! This will drastically change “how many” you can actually give.
This 10% rule applies to puppies and adult, but it’s more important to be strict with growing puppies.
➡️ Related: 4 Best Treats For Australian Shepherds
Problems of Giving Too Many Treats ❌
There’s a few pretty bad adverse of giving your Aussie too many treats.
Aussie’s are prone to a bit of weight gain as it is, so they really don’t need extra help from us by giving too many tasty treats!
If your Australian shepherd exceeds their daily caloric intake by just a little each day it can lead to serious weight gain overtime. So this is why it’s important to use the correct kinds of treats, and avoid giving too many.
Too many treats can cause your Aussie to start refusing their food in the hopes they receive more treats.
Usually, treats are tastier for dogs than their regular food so if you give a little too many, they’re going to start thinking they can hold off on their food, in favor of treats.
And this is only made worse if owners actually give in to this and slip table scraps around their regular mealtimes.
Another big problem of too many treats can be a reduced appetite. It’s important that dogs consume their daily meals, especially puppies that need extra nutrients to support their intensive growth.
A few too many treats throughout the day could be enough to spoil their appetite, and cause them to leave their food.
Guilty as charged: I did this when I got my first dog. It wasn’t until I eased off the treats did she start consuming her real food again.
This is so important because treats do not contain a complete range of nutrients like their actualy dog food does. Your Aussie must always eat their real food.
How To Give More Treats 😋
Treats are crucial for training purposes, and well, to make our Aussies know they’re the best in the world!
So, how can you safely give more treats each and every day?
The simple answer: Low-calorie dog treats.
Yep, low-calorie dog treats are by far the best kind of treats to be giving. And of course we never overlook the quality of the treat and ingredients either.
High quality brands like Zukes make low calorie treats AND they’re made from natural ingredients without the use of bad ingredients (allergens or artificial rubbish!)
By switching to a treat that only contains 3-5 calories per treat, you’re able to give A LOT more each and every day.
These treats are of course very small, which are perfect to serve as little bites of goodness everytime you pup gets something right or successfully follows a command.
Check out the 4 Best Treats for Australian Shepherds here (these are primarily for puppies but they work just as good for adults)