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14th Nov 2023

How many treats should you give a dog a day?

by Burns Team Writer

It can be hard to say no to your dog, especially when they look at you with those puppy dog eyes. However, it is important that you don’t give in every time they want a treat. Giving your dog too many treats can lead to weight gain and health issues, which can impact their quality of life. Instead, it is recommended that you set rules around when you give them treats and how many you give. Setting these rules can help to maintain their overall health, ensuring all of their nutritional needs are met through a balanced diet.

So, next time those eyes melt your heart, remember that saying “no” can also be a way of caring for your canine companion.


What are the different types of dog treats?

Soft Treats

Soft dog treats have a gentle texture and strong aroma that most dogs find irresistible. This makes them a popular choice for dog training treats. The soft consistency ensures easy chewing, so that your dog can quickly refocus on the training session. These treats can also be broken into smaller portions, providing a convenient way to manage your dog’s calorie intake, while still offering a flavourful incentive.

Chewy Treats

Chewy dog treats have a more substantial texture. This makes them a practical solution if you need to keep your dog occupied for a few minutes. These treats can also reduce plaque and tartar buildup, contributing to the dental health of your furry friend.

Hard Treats

Hard treats have a crunchy texture, providing a satisfying snap with every bite. These treats are often very small, making them a portable and practical option for treating your furry friend on the go. This can be particularly beneficial when rewarding your dog in public spaces.

When to give your dog treats?


Treats are often used to improve the training experience for dogs. The repetitive nature of training sessions can sometimes lead to boredom for our canine companions. However, using treats can make training more engaging and exciting, creating a more positive learning environment.


Treats can be used to immediately acknowledge good behaviour, creating a positive association between the action and the treat. This can encourage your dog to repeat the desired behaviour, ultimately turning them into a more obedient and responsive companion.


Treats are a great way of bonding with your dog. Whether given during training sessions or play times, treats can help to establish a positive relationship between dog and owner. In fact, many owners use treats to create an initial bond when they bring a new dog into their home.

What brand of treats to give your dog?

Choosing a brand of dog treats might sound easy enough. However, it is important that you don’t just reach for the closest or cheapest option on the supermarket shelf. Instead, you should choose treats that meet the nutritional needs of your furry friend.

At Burns, we have a wide range of healthy dog treats that are recommended by vets. Our healthy treats are made with quality ingredients, ensuring they are high in fibre and low in fat. Choose from our range of delicious flavours such as Pork, Carrot, Turkey and Fish. We even have low calorie dog treats, which are the perfect option if you are carefully managing your dog’s weight.

How many treats to give your dog?

As a general rule, treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. This rule should help you to avoid accidentally overfeeding your dog, which could impact their weight and health. By keeping an eye on the number of treats your dog is eating, you can ensure they have a happy and healthy life.

What else to consider when giving your dog treats?

While the 10% rule is a good place to start, there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration. These can impact the number of treats and types of treats that you give to your canine companion.


By considering your dog’s age, you can ensure they receive the right nutritional value at every stage of their life. As your dog ages, they may develop specific dietary requirements. This may require you to transition them to a senior dog food that promotes healthy joints. The same considerations may need to be taken when buying your dog’s treats, to ensure all of their nutritional needs are met.


Monitoring your dog’s weight is essential for their wellbeing. If your dog is overweight, fewer treats or low calorie treats may be needed to prevent further weight gain. If your dog is underweight or struggles to maintain a healthy weight, then it may be they need a higher calorie food. Adjusting the treat portions based on your dog’s weight should help you to maintain a balanced approach.

Energy levels

There are several factors that can impact your dog’s energy levels, including their age and breed. By understanding these factors, you can tailor their treat allowances to meet their energy requirements. For example, working breeds may require more calories and so may need specialist food (such as our working dog food) to ensure they are replenishing the calories used during high energy working roles and to support their increased energy needs. This personalised approach means that you can continue to reward your dog with treats, without impacting their overall health.

Need further advice?

If you would like further advice on giving your dog treats, get in touch. Our team of nutritional advisers are here to answer any of your questions.

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