Treat Truth: How Dog Treats Stack Up and What to Look For | Pupford

June 6th, 2023

Filed under Health + Wellness

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We love our dogs and want what’s best for them, and that includes the treats that we give them!

With over 50% of dogs in America suffering from dog obesity or being overweight, "high-calorie" treats just might be the culprit of our dogs' weight problems.

And when our dogs gain too much weight, they can suffer from a host of health problems like joint issues, heart health problems, and general unpleasantness.

In today’s article we will cover a number of topics including:

  1. How do different kinds of dog treats stack up?
  2. How many calories should make up our dog’s daily treat count?
  3. What should we look for when reading dog treat labels?

So, let’s get started!


Okay, we know. We talk about this a lot, vet’s talk about it, it’s not a secret. But here we go again. Treats should only make up 10-15% of our dog’s daily treat count.

While you know that, do you actually know what that looks like for your dog? The number of treats your dog gets per day will depend on a number of factors. You need to look at your dog’s age, weight, and activity level. Use this calculator to determine your dog’s daily calorie needs. Then take 10-15% of that number to determine the amount of calories in treats they can have per day.

As an example, a 35 pound dog can have about 100 calories a day from treats. So let’s look at how many treats make up 100 calories.


But first, let’s talk about training. When you are training your dog, you are repetitively rewarding your dog during the length of your training session. Because these sessions can last anywhere from 5-15 minutes (and multiple times a day), you need to make sure that treats are small enough and low enough in calories, to NOT overdo it.

We’ll start by comparing 100 calories of different kinds of treats to see how they stack up.

  • Mini Peanut Butter Training Treats: 50 Treats = 100 Cal
  • Beef Bits Treats: 25 Treats = 100 Cal
  • Plain Cheddar Cheese: 1 Oz = 100 Cal
  • Dog Biscuit: 6.5 Biscuits = 100 Cal
  • Bacon Strip Dog Treats: 2.5 Treats = 100 Cal
  • Standard Hot Dog: ⅔ Hot Dog = 100 Cal
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast: 4 Oz = 100 Cal
  • Pupford Freeze Dried Training Treats: 100 Treats = 100 Cal
Dog Treat Calorie Count Chart | Pupford

It’s so important to be aware of how many treats you are giving your dog, because as you can see, calories can add up QUICKLY.

Plus, we don’t only reward our dog with treats when we are training them. When they are an extra good boy or girl we give them a treat, when we want to keep them engaged, we will give them a chew, and so on. We need to take all of these things into consideration when choosing treats for our dogs.


When you have time, go take a look at the labels of the dog treats you have lying around. Or do a quick google search. Most of this information is readily available. What are some of the first ingredients you see? If you have beef treats and beef is pretty far down there on the ingredients list, it might not be your best option. Let’s break it down even more.


  1. Corn Syrup
  2. Xylitol
  3. Nitrates
  4. Animal By-Products
  5. (BHA) Butylated Hydroxyanisole
  6. (BHT) Butylated Hydroxytoluene
  7. Artificial Preservatives and Coloring
  8. Rendered Fat
  9. Propylene Glycol

When choosing a treat, simple, whole ingredients are best. Look at where your products are sourced. Check to see if there are fillers, junk, sugar, or other unhealthy ingredients, and check the moisture content in the treat.

While moisture isn't inherently bad, it has the potential to cause two issues:

  • Added weight makes it seem like you're getting more than you really are
  • Added ingredients. Because if there is more moisture, there can be more mold. So some of the other ingredients are added to mitigate the mold issues

Our training treats are 3 ingredients or less, low calorie (less than 1 kcal per treat), contains a maximum of 8% moisture, freeze-dried to maintain nutrients and taste, perfect for extended training sessions, doesn’t contain any fillers, sugar, or junk, and is a high value dog treat for your pup.

Freeze Dried Beef Liver Training Treats Label | Pupford

With dog obesity on the rise in America, it’s so important to look at one of the MAJOR culprits - TREATS. Keep your dog’s treats to a minimum, know what is in your dog’s treats, and make sure to exercise your pup both mentally and physically.

Any specific questions about your dog’s treats? Let us know in the comments below!

PS- Learn about guaranteed analysis here.


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