Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with it comes family, friends, good times and of course all that food. Our pets are family and we sometimes break the rules to allow them some of these holiday pleasures as well. You know, just a little! Unlike us, however, your pet cannot make New Year resolutions about dieting and may not take kindly to an involuntary switch from fat to fiber in an attempt to lose weight. So, we need to watch the caloric intake of our little furry friends. Remember that treats and snacks should never exceed ten percent of your pet’s total caloric intake!
First, let’s define our terms. When you see calories abbreviated in pet foods, you see it written as kcals (or 1000 calories). When you see calories abbreviated for human foods, capital C stands for kcal! An average adult man requires 3,000 Calories a day or 3,000 kcal/day. How much does your dog need? Here’s an easy way to figure it out:
Multiply the dog’s body weight (lbs.) x 15-20 kcals/lb. needed per day
So a 15 lb. dog then, requires around 225-300 kcals a day. Let’s see how many calories are found in some holiday treats:
% of daily caloric need for a 15 lb. dog normally consuming 300 kcals/day
A small piece of apple pie 155 kcals 52%
Gizzards 220 kcals 73%
A glazed doughnut 252 kcals 84%
Pound cake (1 slice) 348 kcals 116%
Turkey skin (cooked) 3oz. 540 kcals 180%
If your dog should “inadvertently” get some holiday treats, you should compensate for these extra calories by reducing his regular food intake.
If your pet becomes ill after eating table food, snacks or treats, you should call us for an appointment to have your pet examined and treated appropriately.