Monday, September 19, 2011

Calorie Counting, Canine Style

When it comes to counting calories, I'm not a big fan. I start a tally, but I always give it up by the time a few days goes by.

But I AM a fan of knowing about how many calories are in my food, and about how many calories I should consume each day. For example, I thought that multigrain bagel sounded healthy....but do you know it contains about 390 calories? That's without the cream cheese!

The same is true when thinking about my dog's food. I used to just scoop Kelly's food into her bowl, but my veterinarian taught me to measure it to make sure I was scooping the right amount. And I didn't realize how quickly treats add up! (Yup, Kelly gets a treat for just about anything she does during the day!) Many pet parents I talked to mentioned that too many training treats were one of their dog's biggest weight loss challenges.

Here are some calorie counts of some popular dog treats.

Alpo Liv-A Snaps- 13 cals
Purina Beggin' Strips - 30 cals
Pro Plan medium biscuits- 45 cals
large Milkbone Gravy biscuit -  80 cals
Milkbone XL Biscuit- 225 cals
small/medium JumBone- 270 cals
Large Busy Bone Dental Bone- 600 cals

According to quiz results of  Guess How Many Calories Are In These Dog Treats on PetSugar, the average score was only 1.8 out of 10 correct!

As you can see, many people are unaware of the number of calories in their pets' treats.

Choosing the right dog treats is very important. At 37lbs, Kelly needs approximately 752 calories a day. A couple of some of these treats a day would put her over her calorie needs, without even taking into consideration her meals!

The total number of calories your dog needs depends upon age, weight, activity level, whether she is pregnant or nursing, and other factors. You can also check out this How Much to Feed Your Dog chart for some more guidelines.

Good thing Kelly also LOVES baby carrots for a snack!
You can also check out Tasty Tuesday healthy recipes!

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