Dogs and people love snacks, but some snacks are worse than others. If your dog is getting a little thick around the middle or downright pudgy, it could be they are getting more calories that you realize from people sized snacks.
Just like people, overweight dogs are prone to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, arthritis, high blood pressure, and cancer.
While the caloric needs for dogs vary depending upon their size, ideal weight, and activity level, some snacks are worse than others. A good guideline to follow is one you use for yourself, the higher the fat in foods, the more calories. Fried and high carbohydrate foods are the worst offenders at packing on the pounds.
The 10 worst snack foods for dogs include:
- Potato chips: 10 chips = 152 calories
- Blueberry muffins: 1 medium muffin = 426 calories
- Donuts: 1 iced maple bar = 460 calories
- Ice cream: ½ cup vanilla = 230 calories
- Sour dough pretzels: 1 Rolled Gold = 90 calories
- Cheese: 1 small slice = 140 calories
- Hot dogs: 1 beef hot dog = 126 calories
- Peanut Butter: 2 teaspoons = 188
- Microwave popcorn: 1 cup butter flavor = 120 calories
- Bread: 1 slice = 185 calories
To bring calories into perspective, the following is a simple weight chart for dogs. Keep in mind that each dog is different based on their metabolism and resting energy level. This chart is simply a guide and not a substitute for your veterinarian’s recommendations.
Ideal Weight/Calories to Feed
- 10 pounds/207 calories
- 20 pounds/343 calories
- 30 pounds/479 calories
- 40 pounds/615 calories
- 50 pounds/752 calories
- 60 pounds/888 calories
- 70 pounds/1025 calories
- 80 pounds/1161 calories
- 90 pounds/1297 calories
- 100 pounds/1434 calories
- 110 pounds/1570 calories
It’s easy to see how easy it would be for a dog to eat far too many calories in one day. For instance, a 10-pound dog could easily eat an entire days’ worth of calories by eating half of a yummy blueberry muffin. If your pet is at its ideal weight and is healthy, that is wonderful but if not, here are a few healthy snack ideas you can substitute into your dog’s diet:
- Raw carrots
- Raw green beans
- Apple slices
- Popcorn air popped, natural, in limited amounts
- Healthy low-fat protein, such as skinless chicken breast
- A bite of fresh baked or sweet potato
- Frozen berries
Feeding your dog healthy food and snacks will prolong their lives, protect them from disease, and may even reduce your vet bills. Your healthy pet will thank you for improving their quality of life.