Dog training treats are a very strong motivational asset to get your dog to cooperate while crate training; It is way too hard to crate train your dog without treats.
They do a fantastic job of keeping your dog’s attention to whatever you want him to do. However, dogs have feeding schedules, so how many dog training treats you can give your dog per day without disturbing his diet.
Too many treats could easily disturb the dog’s diet and cause health issues and eventually more harm than good. I think we all as dog parents agree that we want healthy dogs more than we’d want a well-trained dog.
So given that training treats may end up hurting your dog, you’re probably wondering should I use them to crate train my dog?
Should you train dogs with treats?
I just can’t give enough examples of how important the dog training treats are for crate training. They are called training treats for a reason.
You can do some basic dog training without treats, but it will take you weeks if not months longer to get your dog to actually like his crate if you’re not using the dog training treats.
Sure treats are not the only way to reward your dog and get his attention, but it sure is the most effective way to do it.
Training a dog without treats really makes it hard especially in the early phase of the training.
Why use food in dog training? simply because dogs love food and what a better way to make the crate a great place to be than associating the crate with something the dog loves.
When used with moderation and if only the best dog training treats are used they can do no harm to your dog.
Is it bad to give your dog too many treats?
Too much of everything even a good thing turns it bad so yes it is bad to give your dog too many training treats.
Adults dogs have to be fed twice a day at the same time every day. they need a certain amount of nutrients. But their diet should not exceed a certain amount of calories per day, so if you increase treats you have to give less food which means fewer nutrients.
Can too many treats make my dog sick?
Too many dog treats cause diarrhea and may disturb your dog’s diet and lead eventually to dog obesity. And as we know obesity can be the source of many other serious diseases.
When your dog is consuming too much treats he is shifting from food filled with what his body needs for energy and growing up to less healthy food no matter the quality of the training treats.
All in all, you want your dog to eat healthily, training treats are good but no matter how good the brand or the quality is it is never a substitute for real food.
Can too many dog treats cause vomiting?
Yes! too many treats can, in fact, cause vomiting, not only that but they do disturb the digestion system as a whole and vomiting and diarrhea are some of the symptoms.
When the digestif system is disturbed you can really expect some vomiting which is a sign that you are doing something wrong with your dog’s diet.
What happens when a dog eats too many treats?
But what happens if my dog has too many treats?
If you do exceed the normal amount of treats your dog is supposed to have per day; you should exercise your dog a bit longer than usual to burn down some calories and forward the usual feeding time by an hour or two to give him time to digest it.
You will most likely if you keep feeding him too many treats at the expense of real food notice that your dog is getting less energetic.
If you continue feeding your dog too many treats over time it may cause some serious obesity issues.
How many times should a dog eat a day?
It is not a matter of how many times a day it is more of how much a day. Experts recommend that the dog training treats should only make about 10% of the total calorie intake of the day.
So you want to start doing some basic maths and controlling how many calories your dog is having per day.
It is not that hard most dog food bags have the number of calories per cup on the box. You may find it in Kcal which is Kilocalories; 1kcal = 1000 calories.
So just divide that by 10 and see on the treats box how much calories there are per cup and just make sure it’s 10 % of the regular food calories.
Meaning if the daily ratio of calories your dog is having is let’s say 3000 calories per day in all feeding sessions. The treats should not surpass 300 calories per day.
This seems a bit complicated however it’s really simple if you take it one step at a time.
5 steps formula
- Check the box of your regular food box for calories and how much there is per cup.
- Don’t forget to convert it to calories if it’s in kcal. (1kcal=1000 calories).
- Check the box of the treats for the calories per cup.
- Calculate the daily intake of calories your dogs have with all his meals ( 2 or 3 per day)
- Now divide that number by 10 and see how much treat that gives you.
Let’s say your dog eats 3 cups of regular food per meal twice a day. That makes 6 cups a day.
Now let us, for instance, say that on the box of the regular food every cup is 1Kcal. Then your dog is eating 6Kcal per day. That makes 6000 calories.
So the daily amount of treats recommended is 10% of the 6000 calories. It makes 600 calories.
Now lets, for example, say that on the treats box every cup of treats is 200 calories. And we want our dog to have only 600 calories per day. So it will be 3 x 200 = 600.
This means that you should give your dog 3 cups of treats per day.
What are good dog treats for training?
The best dog training treats are those that are low in calories and made of natural ingredients. So you can use enough but keep the 10% ratio rule.
There are plenty of good ones out there you can also make yours at home if you are a housewife or have plenty of time on your hand. vegetables are usually fine too.
The high-value ones are great and the most important is to choose something healthy, that’s about it.
I personally prefer these dogs treats; they are made of real chicken dogs just love them, it supports a great cause and they’re made in the USA so the health regulations are genuinely strict.
What dog treats brands are safe?
There are many good established brands of dog treats, you just need to know how to choose the safest one for your dog.
So what exactly you need to look for in dog treats or regular food to make sure your dog is having the best ingredients and nutrition he needs?
America’s vet dogs treats are great they are the ones I recommend; not only do they use real ingredients it’s not that high in calories and pretty safe and I like the fact that they support a great cause. Being made in the USA makes it safe on the term of regulations and laws that control the industry. what’s also great is that dogs just love them.
Beef Bark treats are amazingly good, dogs that have tried them won’t sub them for anything else. They are made with 100% beef no additives nor preservatives; so they are safe for the dog and also made and sourced in the USA. They also donate to dog shelters for every sale made which is great.
Why I chose these brands.
If you check out the 2 brands I recommended as safe, you will notice a few things they have in common; and those are the first things you want to look for in your dog’s training treats.
- Ingredients: They should be made of 100% natural ingredients beef or chicken or whatever ingredient it is. No additives and preservatives.
- Made in countries with very strict health regulations, preferably the USA and avoid those made in China and other suspicious countries. Simply because you can’t be sure what’s you’re feeding your dog. and sadly those are the ones you find in most pet stores.
- Buy from established stores and places where you can find real reviews.
Which dog treats are bad?
The worst treats you can get your dogs are the ones with very high calories that cause a disturbance in the dog diet.
There are also the ones made by shady manufacturers especially those in China and Asia. there is no guarantee for the nature of ingredients.
I also would recommend avoiding rawhide treats as they are not dried meat like most people think they are. These are very common and can be found in all large stores.
Also Jerky Treats, there were safety warnings by the FDA, and I don’t like the way some brands just add the label made in the USA while most ingredients are sourced in China.
How to phase out treats when dog training?
When you are crate training your dog with treats at some point you want to stop using them. So the ideal scenario here is not to just go from giving treats and rewarding heavily to no treats at all.
Why would I stop giving treats you may ask? Well, you don’t want your dog listening to you only because he is getting treats.
He will refuse to go to his crate once he is certain there are no treats in there. The training treats are not the goal, why the dog is supposed to go in the crate. It is a way to get him to like it.
So the option is to phase out treats while crate training. and this can be done in 3 easy steps.
Removing the lures
At first, when you start the training your dog must see the treat in your hand. he knows that if he does what you ask he’ll get it.
What we want to do here is removing it from your hand to your pocket; use your hand to do the action then reward from your pocket.
What this does is; make your dog understand that even if he does not see the treat if he does something good; he will get it.
Reduce the number of treats
Now that your dog is performing well getting in the crate when you ask sitting there not whining. You can move to step two.
You need to raise the bars here. Your dog needs to do better and more to get fewer treats.
Instead of giving a treat for getting in the crate and another for sitting in there and a third for closing the door. He will now get one treat for the whole action.
By doing this your dog is trying constantly to perform better to deserve that treat.
Replacing the treats
Now you want to move to step 3 which is showing your dog that there are other rewards.
Instead of giving your dog a treat you can take him on the couch give him a nice rub and praise.
You can use verbal praise then take him out a bit. And on the way ask him for other commands then continue the walk as a reward.
With time your dog will just be happy that you are happy. so he will perform just to make you happy.
For some more tips, check out this post with 11 crate training tips that actually work.
You can also check out this investigation into the Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy by the FDA.