What Treats Can I Give My Puppy?

The Honest Kitchen Beef Jerky Harvest Mini Bars
  • Use code VETERINARIANS30 for 30% off
  • HIGH PROTEIN DOG TREATS: Our Jerky Harvest Mini Bars are loaded with ranch raised beef for a healthy & hearty, high protein snacking option.
  • HEALTHY WHOLE FOODS: These meaty mini bars are made with ranch raised beef, hearty oats, crunchy carrots, crisp apples and a hint of thyme.
  • TENDER & TASTY: These treats include a touch of herbs & spices and are gently slow roasted in small batches to retain whole food nutrition with a soft and hearty texture.

Do Puppy Treats Have Any Nutritional Value?

Yes, some puppy treats have nutritional value.

However, it is not much. Puppy treats are tiny and most often designed for training purposes and mental stimulation. Puppies should be getting nearly all their nutrition through puppy food, so any nutrition a treat may offer will most likely be surplus.

What Are the Benefits of Puppy Treats?

Puppy treats have several benefits. Let’s take a look at each:

  • Training. Treats are an excellent way to reward dogs for a job well done. Teaching puppies manners, behaviors, tricks, and potty training using treats is arguably the best and most effective way of training them.
  • Extra Nutrition. Although puppy treats often do not provide much nutrition, some do. Puppies should be receiving their nutrition from whole food but feeding them treats that are more nutritious than not can help fill in the gaps their regular food might not cover.
  • Mental Stimulation. Things like dog chews, rawhides, and bully sticks provide puppies with something to chew on to curb their instinct to chew. This also increases blood circulation to their jaw muscles and brain, which helps to encourage healthy growth and function of these parts.
  • Rewards. Using treats as a reward for good behavior is the best way to reinforce puppies positively. This can train them to be respectful, confident, and secure dogs.
  • Dental Health. Treats like Greenies and Whimzees are great at reducing plaque and tartar on dog’s teeth. They also provide good mental stimulation for a growing puppy’s brain as they figure out how to chew on the treats.
  • Feeding. Convincing a growing puppy to eat dog food can be tricky, especially if they have been getting treats through consistent training throughout the day. But using training treats as a meal topper can be an effective way to encourage your puppy to eat the proper food to ensure healthy growth and development.

The Best Treats For Puppies Reviewed

From human-grade, gluten-free, meaty treats to peanut butter-flavored, crunchy treats – the pet market offers a range of treats for puppies. To help you find the right treats for your puppy, we reviewed some of the best-selling options.

The Honest Kitchen Beef Jerky Harvest Mini Bars

The Honest Kitchen Beef Jerky Harvest Mini Bars

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Summary: These Harvest Mini Bars by The Honest Kitchen are our top pick as the best puppy treat option. They are made with human-grade and selected ingredients that are carefully mixed into tender and tasty snack bites. The flavor is loved by dogs, and the soft texture makes them suitable for puppies. The main ingredient in the recipe is ranch-raised beef. The treats come in two flavor options and are approved by picky eaters. 

Flavor Options: Beef, Carrots & Apples; Chicken, Apples & Blueberries 

Price: $10.99/4 oz 

Pros

  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • Nutrient-dense and 100% human-grade
  • 80% ranch-raised beef 
  • Fortified with superfoods
  • Tender, tasty, and packed with protein 

Cons

  • Often out of stock on online retailers 

Ingredient Analysis: The ingredients in this recipe include beef, oats, carrots, apples, coconut glycerin, celery juice, beef bone broth, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, mixed tocopherols (a natural preservative), and thyme. Overall, this is an excellent ingredient list. 

Review: Dog owners love these healthy puppy treats and give them 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They say the treats are nutritious, and their puppies are excited when rewarded. They also rave that The Honest Kitchen is the best dog food brand they have used. 

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Natural Grain-Free Training Treats

Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Natural Grain-Free Training Treats

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Summary: These grain-free puppy treats are made with two different types of meat plus added vitamins specifically formulated for puppies. It helps support brain development with DHA and contains superfoods for antioxidants and vitamins. The high-quality ingredients are thoughtfully made into a simple and natural formula that contains no meat by-products or artificial colors, or preservatives. These are bite-sized to be great training tools and to teach your dog a reward system at an early age.

Flavor Options: Lamb & Salmon; Chicken & Carrots

Price: $1.17/oz

Pros

  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • Rich in antioxidants from superfoods
  • Contains no artificial preservatives or flavors
  • Bite-sized pieces make it easy for the puppy to chew
  • Made in soft and crunchy treat version

Cons

  • The label says “all-natural,” but the ingredients include a smoke flavor additive

Ingredient Analysis: Lamb and salmon are the first two ingredients in this formula and provide this treat with high-quality protein. Chickpeas and ground potatoes are included for fiber, while blueberries, flaxseed, and apples supply this treat with vitamins and necessary fats. Mixed tocopherols are used as a preservative, and overall, this is a good ingredients list for a puppy treat.

Review: Dog owners of puppies and small dogs enjoy these puppy treats. They say their dogs love it and have eaten it for years without a problem. Critical reviews often noted the presence of odd material in the treats. One reviewer said it was glass, another said it was uncooked rice, but both agreed it should not have been in the food, to begin with.

Blue Buffalo BLUE Bits Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats

Blue Buffalo BLUE Bits Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats

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Summary: Things like real beef and real chicken are the first ingredient in these puppy training treats. They are rich in DHA for healthy brain development and are the perfect size for training. They only use wholesome ingredients and never use anything like poultry by-products or artificial colors. The soft, semi-moist texture is easy on the teeth and gums, safe to swallow, and easy to digest. It is available in a small handful of flavors as well as a variety pack to keep puppies happy and engaged.

Flavor Options: Beef; Chicken; Salmon; Turkey; Chicken & Beef; Beef, Salmon, Turkey, & Chicken

Price: $0.86/oz

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Available in a large variety of flavors
  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • Does not contain artificial preservatives or colors
  • Real meat is the first ingredient

Cons

  • Cane sugar is pretty high on the ingredients list

Ingredient Analysis: The first ingredient is real chicken and provides this treat with a high protein foundation. Oatmeal and brown rice help to supply carbs and fiber, while pea protein and flaxseed add protein, fiber, and omega-6 fatty acids. An unspecified natural flavor is added, which is potentially concerning as there is no way to know where this flavor comes from.

Review: Most buyers were happy with these puppy treats. Their puppy did well on it, and owners of small breed adult dogs said their dog loved the treats. Critical reviews were sporadic. Some said they found foreign material inside the bag, others said they had received expired treats in the mail, and others said their dogs would not eat it.

Nylabone Healthy Edibles Puppy Long Lasting Dog Chew Treats

Nylabone Healthy Edibles Puppy Long Lasting Dog Chew Treats

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Summary: Rich in DHA for brain and eye development, these dog chews are great for dental health as well. The act of chewing on these bone-shaped treats helps to keep gums strong and healthy while also removing tartar and plaque from teeth. They are made in the USA in a petite size for puppies to be able to wrap their jaws around. They are sold in a three-pack of different flavors to keep puppies from becoming bored with their treats.

Flavor Options: Roast Beef, Turkey, Apple, & Bacon; Turkey & Sweet Potato; Lamb & Apple

Price: $4.42

Pros

  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • Made in the USA
  • Chewing these treats helps to clean teeth
  • Available in a variety pack
  • Made with all-natural ingredients

Cons

  • Meat is pretty far down the ingredients list

Ingredient Analysis: Wheat starch is the first ingredient in these dog treats. This, along with pea protein and powdered cellulose, help to give this treat the high fiber content it has while also providing texture. Dried meat like dried turkey, chicken, and beef are included for flavor and a bit of protein, but it is far down the list and may not contribute much at all to the nutrient profile of these treats.

Review: Most of the 12,000+ reviews touted these puppy treats for being just what people were looking for. Owners of small dogs were also happy to see their pets enjoy these bones, and owners of multiple small dogs were happy that these come in a pack of three. While most reviews praised this treat for being of high quality, the most common complaint was that it gave their dogs diarrhea. The word “explosive” was used numerous times in describing the act.

Milk-Bone Mini’s Flavor Snacks Dog Treats

Milk-Bone Mini's Flavor Snacks Dog Treats

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Summary: Small and bone shaped, these crunchy dog biscuits are formulated with puppies and small dogs in mind. The texture helps to reduce tartar buildup on teeth and freshen breath as well as encourage blood circulation to the gums. They contain 12 vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and only five calories. You can feed your puppy multiple daily treats and keep training exercises going longer and more frequently. Each tub contains three different flavors to keep dogs engaged while training and looking forward to their next treat.

Flavor Options: Beef Flavor; Chicken Flavor; Bacon Flavor 

Price: $0.32/oz

Pros

  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • Only five calories per treat
  • Three different flavors are in each tub
  • Crunchy texture helps keep teeth and gums healthy
  • Small pieces make it easy for puppies to eat

Cons

  • A lot of cheap fillers are used in the ingredients

Ingredient Analysis: Ground whole wheat flour is the first ingredient and gives this product its texture and some of its taste. Meat and bone meal provide minerals and protein, although it is not specified from what animal the meat and bones come from. Micronutrients like calcium and zinc are included to boost the nutrient profile of these treats.

Review: Only 2% of total reviews on Amazon were one or 2-star ratings. Most consumers were happy with these puppy treats and said they were great training tools for their pups. They were pleased it came in a large tub, so it lasted them a long time as well. Negative reviews were unhappy to find foreign material and pests in their treats or said these made their dogs sick.

Crazy Dog Train-Me! Training Reward Mini Dog Treats

Crazy Dog Train-Me! Training Reward Mini Dog Treats

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Summary: These dog training treats contain only 1 1/2 calories per treat. They are made with real meat as the first ingredient and contain no BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin. They are made in the USA to attract, focus, and reward your dog. They come in approximately 200 to a bag for long-term training and are available in one flavor.

Flavor Options: Bacon 

Price: $1.20/oz

Pros

  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • Contain only 1 1/2 calories per treat
  • No corn, soy, or harmful preservatives
  • Comes in packages of approximately 200
  • Pork liver is the first ingredient

Cons

  • Caramel coloring is used to add a more appealing color

Ingredient Analysis: Pork liver is the first ingredient and gives this treat a great source of taste and protein. Pea flour and potatoes provide starchy carbohydrates and fiber, while cane sugar adds taste. Bacon is added but is further down the list, and an unnamed natural flavor and caramel coloring is used to finish the taste and look of these treats.

Review: Dog owners are mostly happy with these treats. Many consumers say their dog “will do anything” for these puppy treats and most others say their dog loves them as training tools. The two biggest complaints about these treats were that they were dusty inside the bag and their dogs didn’t like them.

N-Bone Puppy Teething Treats

N-Bone Puppy Teething Treats

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Summary: These highly palatable teething sticks are made with no artificial colors or preservatives. Its pliable texture is safe for a puppy’s new teeth and helps to soothe sore gums. It is made with calcium for strong bones and teeth and uses real chicken as the main ingredient. These dental dog treats freshen breath, reduce tartar buildup, and offer growing dogs the calcium they need to be strong and healthy.

Flavor Options: Real Chicken Recipe 

Price: $1.14/oz

Pros

  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • Rich in calcium
  • Cleans teeth while they eat
  • Real chicken is the main ingredient
  • No artificial colors or preservatives

Cons

  • Only available in one flavor

Ingredient Analysis: Rice flour is the first ingredient and offers carbohydrates and fiber to this formula. Natural chicken flavor and chicken are used to provide the taste and high-quality protein, while citric acid is used as a preservative.

Review: Reviews on this product were a bit mixed. Most buyers had dogs who loved these puppy treats and said these were great at keeping their teething puppies occupied. Negative reviews made up nearly 10% of total reviews, however. The most common complaint being this treat was a choking hazard, and saying it was so small, they were concerned about giving it to their 2-pound puppy.

Old Mother Hubbard Classic Puppy Biscuits

Old Mother Hubbard Classic Puppy Biscuits

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Summary: The crunchy mini biscuits make a great training tool and are made with wholesome ingredients. All-natural ingredients like chicken, apples, oatmeal, and carrots provide the bulk of the nutrients in these treats. It is made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients. It is only available in one flavor and contains no artificial preservatives.

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $0.26/oz

Pros

  • Contains DHA for brain development
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Made in the USA
  • Made with all-natural ingredients
  • Small dog biscuits can be used for training

Cons

  • Only available in one flavor on Amazon

Ingredient Analysis: Whole wheat flour and oatmeal are the first two ingredients and give this food a good foundation of fiber and carbohydrates. Chicken and chicken fat provide most protein and crude fat content, while ground flaxseed makes these treats rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Micronutrients are heavily supplemented to make these treats more nutritious than many others on the market.

Review: The two most common expressions of satisfaction come from people who use these puppy treats for training purposes and those who own small dogs. They were happy their dogs were excited to receive them and said they still looked forward to getting them after years of use. Complaints mainly stated their dogs threw up after eating these and said they would not recommend people buy these treats for their dogs.

What Should I Look for in Puppy Treats?

When shopping for puppy treats, there are several factors to consider:

  • Real Food. Real ingredients mean real nutrition, and puppies need just that. Things like real meat, pumpkin, oatmeal, organ meat, and meat meals are great sources of nutrition and are easily digestible.
  • Specific Breed Formulas. While this may not be as necessary for treats as it is with regular food, some breeds, especially large breeds, may require some more specific nutrition. Large breed puppies, for instance, require less protein and more glucosamine, so they do not grow faster than their joints and bones can reasonably support.
  • No Cheap Ingredients. Things like corn, wheat, and soy are examples of cheap additives that are commonly found in some budget brands. These are not ideal sources of nutrition for puppies and should be avoided.
  • Limited Salt Content. Salt, in particular, can be dangerous to a puppy as their organs have not developed to process sodium the way adult dogs’ organs have. This can lead to things like sodium ion poisoning in puppies. Avoid salt when you can when looking for puppy treats.

What is the Difference Between Puppy Treats and Dog Treats?

The biggest difference between dog treats and puppy treats is in their texture and size.

Puppy treats are largely the same nutritionally as dog treats, but they tend to be softer and smaller for a new puppy’s teeth to chew and easily swallow.

When Can Puppies Start Eating Treats?

Puppies can start receiving treats around 8 weeks of age.

How Many Treats is Too Many for a Puppy?

It is generally recommended to keep treat intake under 10% of a dog’s total caloric intake for one day. Overfeeding treats can lead to digestive issues, tooth problems, and excessive weight gain in a puppy.