Could treats be the culprit to my weight management plan for the Boys?
Treats – how much ? How many?…
A few weeks ago – after getting scolded by the Doodle Doc for a sudden increase in both Harley and Jaxson’s weight I purchased a pet scale…
I willingly made the investment because of my own poor judgment and actions. All by myself – I decided the recommended daily serving of their dog food wasn’t enough. #notaprouddoodlemommoment Convinced they were starving (they were not!) I started increasing their portions (all on my own) which resulted in a few extra pounds for both Doods…
Converted from my evil ways, there’s been no over feeding for more than a month. They’re both eating the correct amount along with certain steamed veggies three times a week with their dinner.
We’re walking faster and on occasion “further” (depending on the weather) but their weight continues to fluctuate.
Early February Harley was down a little over a pound, this weekend he was up one.
Early February Jaxson was up two pounds, this month he was down one…
IT’S NOT JUST THE MEALS –
Like a jolt from two battery cables accidentally touching each other, it hit me – too many treats!
If I needed confirmation, it came on Saturday when Jaxson and Harley pretended to be the “Treat Bandit Bros” in the Vet’s waiting room…
I’ve often heard the 10 percent rule on treats from veterinarians –
Treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s diet.
Have I been practicing that rule?
Some pet parents count calories. I think that’s commendable – but that’s not gonna happen here in Doodleville.
Oh I may start out with great intentions, but I know me! there won’t be any real follow through.
So wants my alternative?
HOW MUCH TO TREAT –
I think I need to concern myself with how “much” they’re getting not how “often” and here’s why –
Harley knows his treat breaks. You would think he’s joined an organized Union group that told him he’s entitled to treats at specific times of the day – regardless to what else is going on in the house.
Sad part is – we humans in the house abide by his rules!
Routine is important to dogs. Treats (like meals and walks) can help them maintain familiarity with every day schedules.
Here’s our treat schedule –
- before I leave in the morning
- mid day
- after dinner
- later in the evening
The treats can also increase by other factors too –
- Doodle Dad – a menace to any of my rules
- training – small pieces can add up
- company – I’m training them to be respectful of other peoples space. #positivereinforcement
Harley also receives additional treats when he’s working at the hospital. Treats are plentiful at the nurses stations.
WHAT KINDS OF TREATS –
- Limited ingredients
- Ingredients I can pronounce and are familiar with
- fresh fruit (apple slices, strawberries, blueberries, mango) is always the evening treat on the days they don’t have steamed veggies for dinner.
Now that I’ve mastered the pawfect amount of dog food to serve, my preference is not to cut back on their caloric intake. I’d much rather reduce the treat amounts throughout the day and see how that works.
So far, Jaxson’s not really happy about it…
We’ll keep you posted on our progress.
What about you? Do you have a treat schedule, measuring system? Do tell….
A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear – put one on today ❤
DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian nor a scientist. I’m a pet parent always interested in understanding more about my dogs. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.