How Many Chews Should You Give Your Dog?

Phoebe Cooper · Apr 11, 2024 · All

Author: Natalie Szymiczek

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when walking down the dog chews aisle of your local pet store, or scrolling endlessly online? Picking the right chew can feel harder than teaching an old dog a new trick! However, we believe that old dogs are more than capable of learning new tricks, and that choosing dog chews that are safe and healthy should be as simple as saying “Fetch”! But even after you've picked the perfect chew, another common question arises: How many chews should you give your dog? It’s a common, yet complicated question. As a dog owner, you need to determine not just the best chew for your dog, but also the right quantity.

Determining the Right Quantity of Chews

We know this isn’t the simple answer you’re hoping for, but the answer is: it varies. It’s based on several factors, including your dog’s size, breed, age, health status, and individual chewing habits. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, as a general guideline, treats should constitute no more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake. For instance, if your dog's diet consists of 1,000 calories per day, limit treats to 100 calories in total. Provide chews in moderation to prevent overfeeding and potential health issues.

Dental chews or smaller treats may range from 10 to 50 calories per chew. Larger treats or bones may contain anywhere from 50 to 200 calories or more, depending on their size and composition. However, larger bones typically last longer, so it may be unlikely for a dog to consume the entire chew in one day.

Signs of Overindulgence

Moderation is key. Here are some signs to look for that your dog may be taking in too many calories (whether it’s from food, chews, or other treats):

  • Weight gain or obesity: Providing too many chews can cause weight gain and increase the risk of obesity.
  • Digestive issues: Overindulgence in chews may cause gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation.
  • Loss of interest in regular meals: If your dog is filling up on chews, they may lose interest in their regular meals. This could lead to nutritional deficiencies if not addressed.

Why Dogs Chew

Dogs have a natural instinct to chew. They inherited this instinct from their wild ancestors, wolves. When your dog chews, they are tapping into their inner wolf instincts.

Chewing is crucial to your dog’s well-being. It helps to clean their teeth and gums, reducing plaque and tartar buildup. It also helps with stress relief and relaxation. Just like humans might fidget when stressed, dogs often use chewing to alleviate tension and anxiety. It also offers mental stimulation - chewing is fun for dogs!

Most dogs enjoy chewing on something every single day - especially puppies and younger dogs with lots of energy. Providing your dog with healthy chews allows them to fulfill their instinct to chew while staying away from your shoes or furniture. You just need to make sure that you give them the right chew.

Why Dogs Chew

When picking out a dog chew, there are several factors to consider to ensure it's safe and suitable for your furry friend:

  • Size and breed of your dog: Choose a chew that matches your dog's size and breed. Larger dogs may require more substantial chews to prevent choking hazards, while smaller breeds may prefer smaller or softer options.
  • Ingredients: Look for chews made from natural and high-quality ingredients that are safe for your dog to consume. Avoid chews with artificial additives, preservatives, or ingredients that your dog may be allergic to.
  • Dental health: Some chews are designed to promote dental health by helping to clean teeth and massage gums. Look for chews with ridges, textures, or dental-specific formulas to support your dog's oral hygiene. Check out our Dental Treats line for the perfect dental chew!
  • Safety considerations: While chew products are generally safe for dogs to consume or to gnaw on, it’s important to consider your dog’s individual chewing capacity, age, and dietary restrictions and to monitor your dog as they chew to ensure they’re chewing safely and properly. With that in mind, choose chews that are durable for your dog and unlikely to splinter or break apart, which could pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages if ingested.
  • Your dog's preferences: Some dogs may prefer softer chews, while others may enjoy the challenge of a harder chew or bone. Experiment with different types of chews to see what your dog enjoys the most.

Best Chews for Small Dogs (Under 20 lbs)

Best Chews for Medium Dogs (20 to 50 lbs)

Best Chews for Large Dogs (over 50 lbs)


Nobody knows their dog better than their owner, so it’s up to you to pick the right chew based on all of the factors discussed in this article. Finding the perfect chew is like discovering your pup's own little slice of happiness! Check out Natural Farm’s online store for our selection of premium, all-natural dog bones, chews, and treats.