Pet Treats - How to Win the Battle of the Bulge

30 Sep 2021

Advertorial: Hill's Pet Nutrition

Pets, Treats and Weight Gain

Too many treats can add a lot of unnecessary calories to our pet’s diets and is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain in Australian dogs and cats.

Did you know that treats should make up less than 10% of the daily calories our pets consume? It can be surprising to many people just  how easy it is to exceed this limit!

How can we give treats to the pets we love without making them fat?

It’s best to “begin as you mean to go on” when it comes to keeping your pet’s weight under control, which means getting into good habits when your pet is just a puppy or kitten.  Listen to the advice from veterinary professionals on the best way to feed your new pet at their puppy and kitten vaccinations and their annual booster appointment. 

Having said that, any time is a good time to start making wise low calorie treat and appropriate food choices for your pet to prevent or reverse weight gain.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Pet treats should be 10% or less of your pet’s daily energy requirement
  • Choose commercial treats that include the calorie content on the pack. There are some great low calorie treat options Ask your vet what they have in stock at their clinic
  • Check out the table below showing the calorie content of some common household treats, as well as the dog/cat treats to human equivalent chart. These can be a real eye opener!

Calories in commonly used treats

Common Treat

Calories Per Treat

Estimated % daily calories 4 kg cat

Estimated % daily calories 10 kg dog

Estimated % daily calories 20 kg dog

1 chicken neck, skin on


53 %

24 %

14 %

28 g cheddar cheese


48 %

18 %

11 %

100 ml whole milk


26 %

10 %

6 %

1 cooked beef sausage


51 %

23 %

14 %


This dog/cat treats to human treat equivalents chart can be a real eye opener!

That piece of toast with butter given to a 7kg Jack Russell Terrier can make up about 30% of her daily energy requirement!

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