dog treats

The Best 11 Dog Treats: According to a Veterinarian

Charles Grisham
By Charles Grisham
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What are The Best Treats To Give Your Dog?

The Honest Kitchen Beef Bone Broth Bites
  • NUTRIENT-RICH DOG TREATS: Our Bone Broth Bites are savory high-protein treats that combine nutrient-rich bone broth with vitamin-rich pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and a touch of parsley into one healthy bite.
  • IRRESISTIBLY TASTY: Slow baked in small batches, these crunchy cookies are full of flavor and protein, so your pup can snack smarter.
  • NATURAL & MADE IN THE USA: This natural dog treat is made with ingredients you’d recognize from your own kitchen with uncompromising quality & safety standards.

Is It Safe To Give My Dog Treats?

Yes, it is safe to give your dog treats.

Treats often contain nutrients necessary for a dog’s health, but there are some things to be wary of when buying dog chews. They can sometimes be riddled with processed ingredients and fillers.

To make sure the treats you are feeding your dog are safe, look for whole food ingredients and real nutrients instead of supplements and cheap grains or additives.

Do Dog Treats Have Any Nutritional Value?

Yes, some dog treats have nutritional value.

One of the benefits of feeding dogs treats is boosting the nutrition they receive on a regular basis. It is important to remember treats contain calories, and it does not take many treats to put a dog over their daily intake of calories, which can cause obesity.

However, many treats contain nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamin E, and taurine. All of which are necessary for the health and vitality of dogs.

What Are the Benefits of Giving Your Dog Treats?

There are several benefits of giving your dog treats. Here is an in-depth look at those benefits:

  • Gets your Dog Excited. Giving your dog treats will give them something to look forward to, especially when given at the same time every day. This can increase their overall quality of life and make them more excited to see you.
  • Enriches Mealtime. Many treats can be used as meal toppers as well. This can convince picky dogs to eat their food, stimulate their appetite, and give them something to be excited about when dinner comes around.
  • Offers more Nutrients. Many dog treats are great sources of nutrition; some even provide all of the nutrients a dog needs making them a healthy source of complete nutrition. If a sick or senior dog has trouble eating, they may be more inclined to consume treats as they are made to be tasty and enticing.
  • Higher Calorie Intake. For dogs who don’t eat enough of their regular food, it may be difficult to convince them to stop undereating. Some dogs who are malnourished may require more calories than they can consume from regular dog food, and offering treats can convince them to eat a little more and get those calories in.
  • Dental Cleaning. Dental dog treats, like Greenies and other dental chews, are a great way for your dog to get a few more calories but also a great way to clean their teeth. These treats are often stiff and require chewing. This chewing removes tartar and plaque from their teeth and helps stimulate blood circulation to the gums.
  • Dog Training. Possibly the most common reason people offer dogs treats is when they are training their dogs. Using treats as positive reinforcement is a very effective way to teach them desired behavior and gives you the opportunity to bond with the dog.

The Best Dog Treats Formulas Reviewed

Many pet food brands offer treats. With so many options, it can be challenging for owners to find the right product for their pets. To make the search easier, we have reviewed some of the best dog treats on the market. Take a look before clicking checkout.

The Honest Kitchen Beef Bone Broth Bites

The Honest Kitchen Beef Bone Broth Bites

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Summary: These treats are made with selected and nutrient-dense ingredients to provide a healthy and delicious experience to dogs of all ages. They are packed with protein and flavor and have a dog-friendly crunchy texture. The recipe is free from fillers and artificial additives, and the cookies are baked. The cookies are made in the USA and approved by picky eaters. 

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef Broth & Carrots; Chicken Broth & Carrots; Turkey Broth & Pumpkin 

Price: $9.99/8 oz 

Pros

  • Grain-free and savory cookies
  • Packed with protein and micronutrients
  • Picky dog-approved flavor
  • No fillers, GMOs, and additives
  • Small-sized and nicely textured 

Cons

  • No significant cons 

Ingredient Analysis: The treats feature beef bone broth and chickpeas as the main ingredients. They are fortified with tapioca, carrots, organic coconut oil, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and parsley. The ingredients are preserved with mixed tocopherols, which is a natural preservative. 

Review: Pet owners are in love with these treats and give them 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They describe them as “high-value treats” and say their dogs love them because they are always fresh and crunchy. Customers are also pleased with the quality of the ingredients used in the formula. 

Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats

Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats

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Summary: The crunchy outside texture and soft inside texture of these dog treats is made to keep dogs engaged and excited while eating them. They contain real bone marrow for nutrients and a more natural taste. These treats help to support strong bones with calcium and contain no artificial preservatives or colors. It is available in two flavors and a large variety of sizes to fit the needs of any adult dog.

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Beef; Bacon

Price: $0.27/oz

Pros

  • Crunchy outside and chewy inside
  • Contains real bone marrow filling
  • Made with calcium for bone support
  • No artificial colors & preservatives
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Contain unspecified meat meal

Ingredient Analysis: Wheat flour is the first ingredient and gives this treat texture and carbohydrates, while meat and bone meal is the second. This supplies the treats with protein, but it is not specified from what animal the meat and bone come. Sugar is high on the list for a sweetener, and red 40 is used as a colorant.

Review: Pet parents were largely impressed with these treats. Their dogs love them, even their picky eaters, and they were happy with the price. Dissatisfied consumers were disappointed by the fillers used and said their dogs would not eat the treats.

Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats

Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats

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Summary: The soft and chewy texture of this food is great for dogs who have a hard time chewing. Whether it’s puppies or senior dogs who might be missing teeth, these treats are formulated to be easy to chew and digest. They are fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals to provide nutritional support, and the real filet mignon in the recipe adds a healthy dose of protein. Available in a handful of flavors, these treats provide nutritional balance to dogs of any life stage.

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Wholesome Chicken Recipe

Price: $0.49/oz

Pros

  • Made with real chuck roast
  • Soft-textured for dogs that have trouble chewing
  • Fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals
  • High fiber content for a dog teat
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Sugar is high on the ingredients list

Ingredient Analysis: Real beef and chicken are the first two ingredients that give this treat a great foundation of protein. Sugar is very high on the ingredients list, which is not ideal for dogs, but filet mignon and chuck roast are relatively high on the list as well, and we like this. Vitamins and minerals are supplemented, making these treats more nutritious and delicious.

Review: Satisfied customers were happy that their dogs enjoyed these treats so much. Their dogs with tooth issues and older dogs were able to chew and enjoy these treats. Unimpressed customers noted the use of BHA and said it is a known carcinogen for dogs. Others stated they made their dogs hyperactive, and they did not like it.

Good’N’Fun Triple Flavored Rawhide Kabobs

Good'N'Fun Triple Flavored Rawhide Kabobs

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Summary: The formula in these dog treats gives this snack 55% protein content, making it a very high protein source, especially for a treat. They are made from rawhide and real meat to offer a variety of textures and flavors. The triple taste features chicken, duck, and chicken liver to provide high-quality protein and amino acids in the form of a dog treat. The rawhide stick in the middle is made to be chewed, not swallowed whole, so it may be necessary to supervise your dog while they eat it.

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Triple Flavor Kabobs

Price: $0.56/oz

Pros

  • Very high in protein
  • Real meat is high on the ingredients list
  • Triple flavor chunks offer tons of flavors
  • Helps clean teeth as dogs chew
  • Available in an array of package sizes

Cons

  • Contains artificial colors
  • Chunks can be easily swallowed whole

Ingredient Analysis: Beef hide, chicken, and pork hide are the first three ingredients and give these treats plenty of flavor and texture. Garlic powder is included for taste, and chicken liver helps to boost protein and mineral content. The use of artificial colors is less than ideal, however.

Review: Most consumers were thrilled their dogs enjoyed these treats so much. Multiple claimed these were their dog’s favorite treats and said they wouldn’t bother buying anything else. Others, however, were not at all impressed with the use of artificial colors in these treats. They claimed it had made their dogs sick, and they suspect the colorants to be the cause.

Buddy Biscuits Oven Baked Dog Treats

Buddy Biscuits Oven Baked Dog Treats

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Summary: Made with just four ingredients, the limited ingredient formula in these dog treats is made to be easily digestible and to avoid any allergy irritations. These contain no soy, corn, or wheat and are made in the USA to ensure the highest quality. The crunchy texture helps to clean teeth while they chew, and the simple recipe is sure to fit the requirements of almost any dog. They come in a small selection of flavors and are available in various packs for more picky eaters.

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken; Bacon & Cheese; Peanut Butter; Assorted Flavors

Price: $0.24/oz

Pros

  • Limited ingredients for sensitive stomachs
  • High protein and fiber content for a dog treat
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Available in a variety pack for picky eaters
  • Made in the USA with selected ingredients

Cons

  • Relatively high in calories

Ingredient Analysis: Whole wheat flour, peanut butter, canola oil, and preservatives are the only ingredients in these treats. All of these are perfectly healthy for dogs to consume and make for a great dog treat.

Review: Happy consumers called this “canine crack” and were happy with the value. Critical reviewers were quick to point out the high caloric content of these treats, noting that each treat contains 39 calories. Others were upset to have only received one package when they thought they ordered six and complained the cookies appeared overcooked.

Milk-Bone Original Dog Biscuits for Large Dogs

Milk-Bone Original Dog Biscuits for Large Dogs

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Summary: These Milkbone treats contain an even more meaty taste than Milkbone’s original dog treats. They feature a crunchy texture that helps to clean teeth while they eat. It is fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals to help fill the nutritional gaps they may have from their regular dog food. It is sold in boxes for up to 10-pounds, so you don’t have to worry about running out any time soon.

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Original

Price:  $1.50/lb

Pros

  • Available in sizes for small dogs to medium dogs to giant breeds
  • Crunchy texture helps to clean teeth
  • Comes in a massive 10 lbs box
  • Fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals
  • Comes with specific feeding guidelines on the back of the box

Cons

  • Unspecified meat and bone meal
  • High in calories

Ingredient Analysis: Wheat flour is the first ingredient and gives this food its carb content. Meat and bone meal is the second, and it is not specified from where this meat and bone comes. This is not generally sought after in pet treats as it may contain allergens.

Review: Thousands of buyers are happy with this product. They tell stories about the goofy grins their dogs get when they see the treats and talk about how they only feed their dogs these treats because they trust what is inside them. Most of the complaints actually revolved around the size of the box. They stated the treats became stale before they could finish the whole box, or pests had gotten into it.

Pur Luv Jerky Dog Treats

Pur Luv Jerky Dog Treats

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Summary: This chicken jerky dog treat is made to help satisfy a dog’s natural urge to chew. It features 100% real chicken as the primary ingredient and only contains two ingredients aside from that. It is a healthy snack that can add tons of high-quality protein to a dog’s diet. It is made with dehydrated chicken breast and sold in 1-pound packages to be a great option for dogs who may require a bit more protein.

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $0.71/oz

Pros

  • Dog chews encourage blood flow to a dog’s jaw and gums
  • Chicken is the main ingredient
  • Contains only three ingredients
  • Mostly protein
  • Contains a lot of moisture for a dog treat

Cons

  • May cause upset stomachs in dogs who have sensitivity issues

Ingredient Analysis: There are only three ingredients, and all of them are great for dogs when used in moderation. It contains chicken and salt with vegetable glycerin for texture.

Review: Happy customers were thrilled to see their dogs enjoy this treat so much. Many were also happy to see this is available on Amazon autoship feature for Prime members. Others were not so impressed, saying they would not purchase it because it is made in China.

Blue Dog Bakery Natural Dog Treats

Blue Dog Bakery Natural Dog Treats

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Summary: These inexpensive treats are perfect for training treats. They are soft, chewy, and easy to digest, which makes them great for older dogs as well as puppies. The natural ingredients include real peanut butter and contain no artificial flavors or colors. They are made in the USA and contain human-grade ingredients from American farms.

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Peanut Butter Flavor

Price: $0.21/oz

Pros

  • Soft-baked with a chewy center
  • Easy to chew and easily digestible
  • Contains all-natural ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons

  • Molasses is the second and third ingredient

Ingredient Analysis: All of the ingredients in these treats are plant-based. Unbleached wheat flour, cane molasses, and blackstrap molasses are the first three ingredients that give these treats their taste and texture. Peanut butter and natural peanut butter flavor are included to make it closer to peanut butter in terms of flavor, and sodium bicarbonate and brewer’s dried yeast give it its shape and texture.

Review: Dog owners were satisfied with these treats, with some saying after oral surgery, they helped their furry friend eat again. The soft texture allowed them to chew even with sensitive teeth and gums. Critical reviews, however, made up nearly 10% of total reviews, with some complaining about a change in the formula that significantly reduced the size of the treat.

Milk-Bone Mini’s Flavor Snacks Dog Treats

Milk-Bone Mini's Flavor Snacks Dog Treats

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Summary: These treats only contain five calories a piece and are fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals. The crunchy texture helps to freshen breath and clean teeth as they chew. The formula contains no artificial preservatives, and the bone-shaped treats are made in small sizes so small breed dogs can better enjoy them. They are available in three flavors and come in an array of package sizes.

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Bacon

Price: $0.32/oz

Pros

  • Available in a variety of package sizes
  • Tub contains three different flavors
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Only 5 calories per treat
  • Fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals

Cons

  • Contains artificial flavors

Ingredient Analysis: Ground whole wheat and wheat flour are the first ingredients and supply this food with carbohydrates and taste. Meat and bone meal is next, but it is not specified what animal this comes from. Beef fat preserved with tocopherols adds more flavor and fat content, while chicken meal provides more protein. Vitamins and minerals are supplemented, but poultry by-product meal is in the middle of the ingredients list, and this is less than ideal as it may contain allergens and is not specified.

Review: Numerous buyers say they “must have put something addictive in these” and tell stories about how their dogs will “stop at nothing” to get to them. They are happy their dog enjoys them so much because they use them as dog training treats. Negative reviews were a bit all over the place, with some people complaining about foreign material in the treats, pests in the treats, and saying their dog will not eat the treats they had ordered from Amazon.

Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats

Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats

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Summary: These very affordable treats are made with real meat to provide flavor and nutrients in a delicious package. They are made in the USA and contain high levels of moisture, so your dog will be better hydrated after eating. They contain a relatively high amount of fiber for a dog treat and modest fat content for energy. The wide variety of flavors is offered in four different-sized boxes for dogs of any size.

Best for: Dogs of all life stages

Flavor Options: Sausage Links; Bacon; Beef; Beef & Bacon; Chicken; Hot Dog Minis; Steak Bites; Bacon & Cheese; Burger Minis; Beef & Cheese

Price: $0.18/oz

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Available in a wide variety of flavors
  • Sold in a giant 4-lbs bag
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Relatively high fiber for a dog treat

Cons

  • Corn syrup is the second ingredient

Ingredient Analysis: Real chicken is the first ingredient and gives these treats a fantastic source of protein. Corn syrup and soy flour are next, and these are generally used because of their affordability and not because of their nutritional value. This product also contains animal digest, and while this is not necessarily bad, it is an ingredient commonly found in cheap dog foods.

Review: Dog owners were happy their dogs loved these treats. Some people said their pooch generally eats only high-end dog food, but they would give it all up for these. Negative reviews only made up 2% of total reviews but were adamant the package they had received was counterfeit or said their dog did not enjoy all of the flavors.

Blue Buffalo Health Bars Natural Crunchy Dog Treats Biscuits

Blue Buffalo Health Bars Natural Crunchy Dog Treats Biscuits

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Summary: Using apples as a healthy source of fiber and vitamins, these treats are made without the use of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Other ingredients like oatmeal and yogurt, these treats provide energy and probiotics as well for digestive support and healthy body function. There is no bone meal or wheat in any of the flavors of this formula. While these are meant for intermittent feeding only, they come in a large 55-ounce box to last a long time.

Best for: Adult dogs

Flavor Options: Apple & Yogurt; Bacon, Egg, & Cheese; Pumpkin & Cinnamon; Oats & Apples; Beef; Chicken Liver

Price: $0.26/oz

Pros

  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Contains no artificial flavors or colors
  • Crunchy texture cleans teeth while they eat
  • High protein content
  • Available in a wide variety of sizes

Cons

  • May cause digestive distress in some dogs

Ingredient Analysis: Oatmeal, oat flour, and barley rye are the first three ingredients and make this treat easily digestible and full of fiber. Chicken meal provides a great source of protein and minerals, while real foods like apples and yogurt help to boost the micronutrient profile. Overall, this is a great ingredients list for a dog treat recipe.

Review: Most customers were happy with this product, and so were their dogs. While they were satisfied with the quality and taste, others were upset they seemed to have found chicken by-product meal in the ingredients and found foreign objects in the treats.

 

 

What Ingredients Should I Look for in Dog Treats?

When shopping for dog treats, pet owners need to look for several features:

  • Real Meat. Real meat provides the best source of protein. The amino acid complexes are the most complete when compared to supplemented protein or by-product meals, and dogs love the taste.
  • Vegetables. Veggies are great for dogs, just like they are for humans. Pumpkin, in particular, is a great and common additive in dog treats that provides fiber and vitamins and is an often recommended dietary aid.
  • Natural Preservatives. Things like vitamin C and vitamin E are natural preservatives, with the latter often being labeled as “mixed tocopherols.”
  • Limited Ingredients. Treats are supposed to be simple and are not required to provide all of the necessary nutrients a dog needs. A limited ingredient treat is often a great choice because they will likely be made of just one or a few ingredients, like dehydrated organ meat, which is great for dogs.

What Dog Treats Should I Avoid?

Also, when searching for dog treats, owners need to avoid certain ingredients such as:

  • Xylitol. This is an artificial sweetener and is toxic to dogs. This is often used in things like peanut butter that go into dog treats and should be avoided.
  • Artificial Colors. Artificial colors like red 40 and yellow five have been linked to behavioral problems and cancer in animals.
  • Vegetable Oil. While not necessarily bad for dogs, it is a cheap ingredient containing tons of low-quality fats. There are much better alternatives like flaxseed oil and coconut oil.
  • Propylene Glycol. This is used to make antifreeze.

How Can I Make Homemade Dog Treats?

Making homemade dog treats can eliminate the concern of what is in the treats you are giving your dog because you are the only one in charge of what is going into them.

You do not have to worry about sugars, preservatives, oils, artificial colors or flavors, or soy. You can make gluten-free dog treats, high protein, and healthy dog treats in most of the same ways you would make treats for humans.

One big benefit of making treats at home is you can, and most likely will, use human-grade ingredients, so you will know that your dog is eating a nutritious and wholesome treat. This will also allow you to make any flavor dog treats you wish if your dog is a picky eater and refuses standard flavors of treats.

To make dog treats at home, you will need a few things. Dog treats are most often baked, so you will need things like a mixing bowl, rolling pin, oven, and measuring cups and spoons. You may use things like coconut oil, eggs, peanut butter, sweet potato, and honey.

Real meat may be used if you want your treat to have a higher protein content.

Can I Give My Dog Treats Every Day?

Yes, you can give your dog treats every day.

In fact, giving them treats every day at a specific time can give them something to look forward to and enrich their lives. Be sure the calories given to them in treats do not exceed 10% of their total caloric intake, as anything more than this may cause undesired effects.

What Are the Side Effects of Giving My Dog Too Many Treats?

Feeding your dog too many treats can cause a host of issues.

These can include toothaches, stomach aches, messy stools, lethargy, and obesity. All of these can and should be avoided by offering treats to your dog in moderation. Remember, many treats are the dog equivalent of human junk food.

Even if that weren’t the case, however, they still contain calories, and consuming more calories than your dog burns will lead to weight gain and potentially obesity-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.