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Defining "Treat": What Does That Really Mean?

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We make a lot of treats here at Casa de Kolchak.

Recently, someone suggested I was irresponsible for suggesting people can make jerky treats at home. Why? Because if dogs eat too many, they can get sick.Ummm…duh. 

Take that statement “If they eat too many, they can get sick” and just go ahead and apply it to everything you ever have or ever will feed your pet. Anything can be bad, if you feed it too much.

Seeing how many snacks I make each week, it could be easy to get the idea that my dogs eat fresh baked treats every single day. How could they not? I bake at least once a week, there is always Cooking with Dogs or Cooking with Koly recipes to test and we are so lucky to get lots of fantastic treats to review and giveaway.
Click on any image to get the recipe.

Frankly, I can see how y’all would get the wrong impression.

The truth of the matter is that the dogs at Casa de Kochak only get a taste of the recipes we make. They’re meant to be a treat. Ever since we realized that Felix McFattypants needs to lose five pounds, we’ve been talking a lot about treats at Casa de Kolchak and what the word treat actually means.


Noun: An event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.
Key words: out of the ordinary. Treats are supposed to a treat. You wouldn’t have a chocolate bar after breakfast, a bowl of ice cream with your lunch, a doughnut as an afternoon snack and a big ol’ slice of cake with dinner, would you? I mean, we all want to, but we don’t because we know it wouldn’t be good for us.
Our dogs lack the impulse control to turn away something tasty based on the idea of healthy or not healthy. They can’t, so it’s up to us to make that choice for them. With that in mind, we wanted to look at what is a reasonable “treat” for the Casa de Kolchak dogs and some of our friends.
Mama! Please don’t restrict my treats!
Kolchak weighs 24 lbs and he’s at his ideal weight. He needs about 800 calories per day to maintain his weight (maybe 900 -1000 on a really active day).
Felix weighs 22 lbs, but he should weigh 17 lbs. Based on that, he needs around 620 calories per day to get back to (and maintain) his ideal weight. (He doesn’t get any leeway for activity riight now, since he’s a chub sandwich.)
In order for them to get all the nutrition they need, about 5 – 10% of their diet can be made up of treats, if you make sure to reduce their regular food accordingly.
That’s only 30-80 calories.
Most people don’t know it, but an average large dog bone biscuit from a popular grocery store brand has around 110 calories. Giant cookies are out! At 215 calories, a 6″ bully stick is out too (unless they go “treatless’ for a few days to save up enough calories!)
Here’s some treats that they can realistically have (choose any one from the list):
There’s no cheating either. The Nana thinks if we have two bags of treats and both bags say 1 – 2 per day, then the dogs can have 4 – 8 per day (Two from each bag treats.) Not even close! You’ve only got so many calories to work with. Use them wisely.
It doesn’t add up to much, but it doesn’t take a fool to see that the best every day treats for my Roly Poly boy are Vegetables.
A wide variety of fresh vegetables: carrots, zucchini, sweet peppers, cauliflower squash, green beans. These are the snacks my dogs should be having.
We’ll save the “treats” for a special occasion.
After all, moderation is key! No dog should be eating that many treats. The dog might not thank you now, but they will some day. A fit dog is a healthy dog. Keep your dog healthy.
Want to see how many calories your dog should get? Click here to estimate how many calories your dog needs, then think about what treats you could offer.
Do you have any suggestions I’ve missed for low calorie tasty treats?


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K9 Kamp: Getting Fit With Your Pet When They Are Already In Shape | Kol's Notes

Sunday 9th of June 2013

[...] aren’t getting too many calories. She makes us work to burn off the calories in our treats. She rations the snacks Nana and Daddy can give us. I tell you pups, it’s like living in a Communist [...]

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