If you’re a dog owner—or just a general dog lover—you’ll want to give your pup a tasty snack every now and then (and let’s be honest, he deserves it). Whether you’re teaching a puppy a new trick, hoping to impress your friends with how smart your dog is, or you want to give your good boy or girl some extra loving and adoration, it’s important to make sure the treats we give are both delicious and nutritious. Whether you need puppy treats for training, treats for your diabetic dog, or just your picky pooch’s favorite flavor, your local pet store or supermarket will have a multitude of options. Check out the below recommendations for the best dog treats so that you won’t have to stand in that aisle sifting through all of the possibilities yourself!
- Best for oral hygiene: Greenies Natural Dental Dog Treats
- Best vegetarian dental treats: Whimzees Brushzees Natural Dog Dental Treat
- Best organic dog treats without meat: Wet Noses Organic Crunchy Dog Treats
- Best organic treats with meat: Evanger’s Jerky Treats
- Best training dog treats: Blue-9 Inspire Training Treats
- Best on a budget: DreamBone Grill Masters T-Bones
What to look for in the best dog treats
It makes sense to want to spoil your dog with the best treats you can find, but there are few important things to keep in mind.
- Portion size: Consider the appropriate amount of treats for your pooch, which correlates to their size and weight. A 5-pound dog shouldn’t get as many as a 50-pound dog. If your dog is on a diet or needs specialty items, like diabetic dog treats, this can determine how much to give them.
- Flavor: If your pooch is picky with their food, they’ll probably be picky with their treats, too. Aim for your dog’s favorite flavors: if Fido loves peanut butter, look for peanut butter dog treats! If she’s more of a pumpkin lover, give her some pumpkin dog treats. If he likes chicken…you get the idea.
- Ingredients: Check out the ingredients of any treat to make sure it aligns with your dog’s nutritional needs. Look for a well-balanced formula that contains minerals, vitamins, and other real ingredients. Human-grade treats are a plus!
- Oral health: Treats can aid in your dog’s oral health and hygiene without visiting the vet or brushing those teeth yourself. Certain dog chews are made for breaking down tartar and plaque, and others focus on improving dog breath. Choose your dog treat accordingly.
- Purpose: Are you teaching your dog a trick? Do you want a treat that will last while you’re out of the house? Are you looking for CBD dog treats for anxiety? Certain treats may work better for one scenario than for the other, so consider the context of why you are rewarding your pup with a treat before buying.
Dog treats should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s overall daily diet—treats should not be a replacement for meals!
If you’re looking to help out those chompers
One of the most typical and useful benefits of giving your dog a dog treat has to do with their teeth. Our dogs’ teeth matter and shouldn’t be overlooked. By taking preventative measures, we can avoid many doggy dental health issues like periodontal disease, which results from a buildup of tartar and plaque in the mouth. By looking after our doggy’s teeth, we can help them avoid unnecessary pain, tooth loss, bad breath, and more.
While of course you’ll want to consult your vet about specific preventative measures that should be handled in his or her office, you can certainly start the prevention process by investing in some of the best dog treats to help oral hygiene. Get started by checking out the two recommended below!
Best dog treats to help oral hygiene: Greenies Natural Dental Dog Treats
These dog treats are uniquely made to bend, not break, in order to reach a deeper clean all the way down to your pup’s gum line. Greenies
Known for fighting tartar and plaque while also freshening smelly dog breath, Greenies dog treats come highly regarded from vets, and have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). These treats are made with natural ingredients and feature a nutritious, well-balanced recipe which is easy to digest and ensures excellent health. A Greenie per day is one of the best dog treats for maximum oral health and happiness!
Best vegetarian dental dog treat: Whimzees Brushzees Natural Dog Dental Treat
Vegetarian and Sustainable
Made with vegetarian ingredients and without artificial colors, preservatives, gluten, and meat, these dog treats are ideal for dogs with certain allergies or food restrictions. Whimzees
The Whimzees Brushzees come in Extra Small, Small, Medium, and Large sizes that are perfect for dogs between 5 and 60 pounds. Give your pooch one of these as part of his daily routine in order to reduce nasty plaque and tartar. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that the Veterinary Oral Health Council-approved company has a large focus on sustainability and produces treats in their energy-efficient facility in the Netherlands.
If you’re looking for organic dog supplies
Organic is certainly a buzzword these days, but what does it really mean? Well, it basically is the process of ensuring that each ingredient is made without artificial chemicals and is sourced from high-quality and trustworthy manufacturers. For treats made in the USA, you can look for a “certified organic” stamp as approved from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which follows the USDA’s National Organic Program standards.
If you’ve always bought organic dog supplies, or are thinking about making the switch to the benefit of your hungry pooch’s health, we’re here to help. Check out the below best organic dog treats.
Best organic dog treats without meat: Wet Noses Organic Crunchy Dog Treats
100% USA Sourced
Your pooch will be begging for more after a taste of these crunchy, nutritious, and human-grade banana and peanut butter dog treats. Wet Noses
Made without corn, dairy, wheat, or soy, these organic dog treats are also USDA organic and non-GMO verified. The Wet Noses brand is committed to providing healthy and organic treats, and offers a robust line of other flavors like quinoa & pumpkin dog treats, apple & ginger snacks, sweet potato, and more. These treats are great for all sizes and ages, and can be easily broken into smaller pieces for the smaller pups, or simply to last longer.
Best organic dog treats with meat: Evanger’s Jerky Treats
All-Natural for the Carnivorous
Evanger’s Jerky Treats are great for giving your pup a healthy dog treat without having to give up his desire for delicious meat—in this case, chicken. Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc.
These high-quality, chewy dog treats are made from a low-fat white game meat and are very rich in vitamins and micronutrients. With ingredients like organic chicken, dried chicory root, skim milk, blueberries, cranberries, and carrots, your dog will be salivating just looking at one. They are rich in protein and moisture and can be torn easily if you want to give your pup just a taste or use them for training purposes.
If you’re looking for the best dog training treats
It’s no secret that dogs will twirl, shake hands, or even play dead when food is on the line. Since dogs are food-motivated creatures, one of the best ways to teach an old (or new) dog new tricks is by positively reinforcing them with rewards like the best dog training treats you can find.
When you are in training mode, you may be giving your more treats than usual, so it’s important to look into what you are feeding them! Buying a product that is specifically designed for dog training is a great idea. Check out the strongly recommended training dog treats below.
Best training dog treats: Blue-9 Inspire Training Treats
Developed by Experts
Developed by dog training professionals, these tasty, no-mess, and nutritious treats were made specifically to be used during doggy training. Blue-9
Each piece is smaller than the size of a quarter, making it easy to hold in your hand while you practice that new trick, and also appropriate for dogs of all sizes. Made with high-quality ingredients sourced all over the world (including coconut oil, chicken liver, and tapioca starch), these are wholesome treats that will complement your pet’s daily meals. And get this: the line won the “best training dog treats of 2020” by Pet Business!
Dog supplies don’t have to break the bank
Want to reward your pet with a nice, economically-sound treat? There are plenty of options for you. While some treats include almost too-fancy ingredients like salmon that will have you splurging, others are very reasonable. That said, you should always look at the ingredients and sourcing information to make sure everything is safe for your furry friend to eat.
Many products come out to be approximately 10 to 15 dollars per pound. The highly recommended one below rings in at less than 12 dollars per pound.
Best on a budget: DreamBone Grill Masters T-Bones
A Tasty T-Bone
The DreamBone Grill Masters T-Bones look, taste, and feel like a real T-Bone and feature a delicious barbeque flavor, but are more digestible and rawhide-free. DreamBone
If you’re looking for a high value treat for your pup, look no further than DreamBone. These will not only get your dog’s attention instantaneously, but they are enriched with nutritional vitamins and minerals, too. Plus, these dog chews are ideal for helping out your dog’s teeth and gums, puppies and seniors included.
Dog products FAQ:
Is peanut butter good for dogs?
Peanut butter can be a really excellent treat for dogs. They generally love the taste, and it can be an awesome mental and physical challenge when frozen and put into a fun dog puzzle. The only thing to watch out for before giving your dog peanut butter is a certain ingredient called xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs. Most peanut butters (especially organic ones) don’t have xylitol, so just take a peek at the ingredient list first.
How many treats should I give my dog a day?
The answer to this will of course depend on the size of your dog, the treat, and instructions on the package. That said, dog treats should make up no more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake, so keep that in mind before laying it. You should also make sure to give high-value treats (the ones that your dog goes goo-goo eyes over) sparingly, with no more than one or two a day, so that your dog continues to appreciate them as much as he currently does.
What treats to train dogs with?
When you are training dogs, you may end up giving out more treats than usual, given the nature of encouraging positive behavioral responses with positive reinforcement measures (like yummy rewards). Easy-to-break, mess-free treats are ideal to work with when training a dog. There are many dog treats that are specifically made with this in mind, like the Blue-9 Inspire Training Treats mentioned earlier.
When in doubt, ask your vet about the best dog treats for your pooch
Our good boys and girls should know they’re doing good every now and then. What better way to show them we appreciate them than with a delicious dog treat? Make sure you have an understanding of the ingredients, especially if your dog has any underlying nutritional issues. When in doubt, ask your vet if a certain dog treat will sit well with your dog or not. And make sure to remember that treats are just that—they should not be used to replace meals, but rather reward your pup once in a blue moon for a job well done. Happy rewarding!