Many dog owners offer snacks to their dogs at night just before bed. Is it okay? Should I give my dog a treat before bed? Let’s find out.
Dog owners have a habit of feeding their pets late at night. There are many reasons for it: perhaps you had a tight work schedule, maybe you forgot, or maybe your dog just wasn’t hungry at dinner time.
Setting a proper routine for your dogs like feeding, playtime, walks, and even bedtime is essential. Many dog owners have this question: Should I give my dog a treat before bed? The answer is no.
It is better not to give treats to your dog before bed. This is because it can cause weight gain and further lead to obesity which causes many other health problems.
If you are training your dog to set his bedtime routine, then giving him the treat to let him know that you are happy that he chose to sleep on time is worth a try. Associating their sleeping pattern with a yummy treat will help train them faster.
For your dog’s better health, you should set their mealtimes at specific times during the day. In this article, let us further look at the right time to feed your dog and when to offer him treats.
When Should You Give Your Dog A Treat?
Dogs are loving companions, and as a dog owner, you would never lose an opportunity of spoiling your dog with treats. You can find treats in pet stores, grocery, or online shops, and dog treats are rewarded for good behavior.
Most people give treats to their dogs for good behavior. Let us look at the do’s and don’t while giving treats to your dog.
What You Should Do
- Offering treats to your dog is the best way to reward him while training. Rewarding treats for good behavior is always a great idea to train your dog. Gradually, you can lower the treat you give to your dog for their behavior.
- When offering treats to your dog, it is advisable to read the instructions and ingredients label. Your dog may be allergic to some ingredients, and offering those treats may not be ideal.
- When you feed your dog with a treat, you should look at feeding guide recommendations. Treats add up a lot of calories and can cause unnecessary weight gain in your pup. You can consult your vet to know the right amount of dog treats for your pup. Most of the young and energetic dogs enjoy their treats more than older dogs.
- Let your dog enjoy his treat, and don’t interfere between their mealtimes. Most dogs like having meals and treats in their own space without any disturbance.
What You Should Avoid Doing While Giving Treats
- You should not over-feed your pup with dog treats. Don’t offer treats during mealtime. However, your dog treat will include all the essential nutrients but let their food be the primary source of nutrition. When your dog is hungry, you can give him treats anytime after meals.
- Avoid using human snacks and junk as treats for your dog. It will add up to a lot of calories to your dog and can even harm him. Also, do not give chocolate to your dog and make sure it is not in their reach as well.
- Do not give treats to your dog that is very excited and climbing on things. Provide them treats for good behavior.
Giving treats to your dog is one of the best ways to train him for good behavior. Always look for the right kind of dog treats, the right amount, and the best time to offer dog treats.
How Many Times A Day Can I Give My Dog Treats?
Dog treats do not contain complete nutrition and are primarily used to train and reward pets. Many dog owners feed their dogs with too many treats in a day, and dog treats mostly contain high sugar, calories, and fat content and have low nutrients.
The amount of treats you give your dog in a day depends on the type and your dog’s energy level. Mostly young and energetic dogs can have higher calories than the older ones. It is advisable not to give your dog more than 10% of calorie intake from these treats. You can consult your vet to know the right amount of treats to give your dog.
Can I Feed My Dog Late At Night?
No, you should not. Feeding your dog late at night can lead to unnecessary weight gain and obesity.
Let us look at a few reasons why it is harmful to feed your dog at night.
Making your dog eat late at night can lead to a lot of weight gain. It is believed that eating late at night disrupts the body’s natural pattern and leads to unnecessary weight gain. The dog’s body may not be able to digest food properly during the daytime.
Feeding Your Dog Late At Night Will Make Him Lethargic During Day Time
Most of the dogs are given meals twice a day. So when you feed your dog breakfast, there is a long gap for the next meal before bed. As a result, your dog will feel tired and lethargic the whole day, and it will not have the energy to play and walk.
Your Dog Will Be More Energetic At Night
Usually, dogs burn off all their energy when they walk and run around during the day. When you feed your dog before bed, he will be full of energy. All their calorie intake gets loaded into their system, and they don’t get an opportunity to use it in playing and walking around.
And when your dogs, especially younger ones, do not get proper stimulation, they won’t be tired enough to go to bed and sleep. It is advisable to feed your dog at least 3 hours before bedtime.
Frequent Toilet Breaks
When you feed your dog before bed, they may need to pee and will disturb your sleep as well. If you don’t have a door flap or access to open space for your dog to pee, he is more likely to disturb your sleep.
At What Time Should I Feed My Dog At Night?
Preferably give them their last meal before 6 pm in the evening.
It is essential to set meal times for your dogs. It is better not to feed your dog too late or too early in the morning. Give them their last meal by 6 pm. Just make sure to feed them three hours before their bedtime. This is because your dog needs time to absorb and digest its food.
Can I Give My Dog A Treat Before Bed?
Only for training purposes. You should also wean him off this habit once he is trained.
It is not ideal for giving your dog treats before bed, and this is because it can lead to weight gain and obesity, and it can also cause liver problems, heart, and kidney disorders.
Avoid giving him treats if it is keeping you up and you are tired and want to go to sleep. But if you are using treats as a reward to train your dogs with a bedtime routine, this might help you.
Give treats to your dog for a good reason and at the right time. Do not just give them randomly anytime, and set a proper time to feed them with meals and treats.
Is It Cruel To Feed A Dog Once A Day?
No. Dogs don’t need 3 square meals a day like humans, they can eat enough in one or even two sittings.
It is not so generally. But you should make sure that the dog meal is balanced correctly and appropriate for your dog.
Most vets recommend feeding dogs at least twice a day, and many dog owners feed their dogs only once. But your dog may feel hungry if you feed them just once. It can also cause abdominal pain, vomiting, malnutrition, and even death.
Age is an essential factor to look at when feeding your dog once a day. When we look at puppies, they have small windows and cannot have one meal at once. They require a lot of nutrition. Feeding them with just one meal will just not be enough.
So you should not feed your dog once a day if:
- Your dog is older or has certain health conditions.
- Your dog is a puppy and will need 3 to 4 servings a day.
- You find your dog with certain health issues like vomiting, gut problems, or he becomes lethargic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Feed Your Dog Before Taking Them For A Walk?
Yes, but do it at least an hour before.
You should feed your dog an hour before taking them for a walk. After a walk, let your dog rest and calm down to properly digest their food.
Since there is a risk of bloating and other such issues when you feed them before a walk, I would recommend feeding them after a walk.
Should I Give My Dog A Treat Every Time He Goes Outside?
It’s not a great idea. If you are doing this for training purposes, you should eventually wean him off the habit.
Many dog trainers use treats as rewards to train their dogs. Giving treats to your dog when he goes outside to urinate can create havoc with its digestive system. Just for the treat, your dog will be more likely to go outside.
A Few Final Words
Giving your dog treats is one of the best ways to train your dog. But it is not ideal for giving your dog treats before bed unless you need to train them for the bedtime routine.
Giving them too many treats in a day can cause abnormal weight gain and obesity. So it is essential to look at your dog’s calorie intake before you give them treats.
Thank you for reading, we hope we were able to cover all your doubts. You might also like to read about other common meal-related questions such as: Can You Warm Up Wet Dog Food? And What Food Do Dogs Hate?