Dog Treats Feature Image

What’s The Best Dog Treats? Reviews & Buyer’s 2020 Guide

Dog Treats Feature Image

Edible dog treats make your puppies happy. These chewable and fun items are given to dogs during training so they can effectively learn new tricks and habits. On top of that, they also help clean up their teeth and promote digestion. 

Choosing the best dog treat for your puppies depend on a few factors, such as the food they eat and the goals with your pets. These are categorized for training purposes, appeasing their mood with snacks, attracting them to try out healthy diets, and merely a way to add fanciness while taking care of them. 

There are the crunchy jerky ones, the good deals which are budget-friendly, the soft chews who do not like too much of the crunch, and the dental choices. Consider including them with protein, without the additives (such as sodium, artificial additives, and extra sugar).

Our Top 10 Dog Treats (2020 Updated)

PRODUCT / PRODUCT DETAILS

PRODUCT

PRODUCT DETAILS

Editor's Choice Is Zuke's Natural Training Dog Treats; Mini Naturals Recipe

1. Zuke's Natural Training Treats; Mini Naturals Recipe

  • Trail-tested recipes that meet the highest standards
  • Uses high-quality, wholesome food ingredients
  • Formulated for maximizing absorption
  • Contains no corn wheat or soy, and no artificial ingredients
  • Less than three calories per dog treat
Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Dog Treats

2. Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Treats

  • Contains natural, wholesome food ingredients
  • A brand that’s been building food supplies for pets for 90 years
  • Slow oven-baked snacks
  • Perfect as treats and for training
  • Available in three biscuit sizes
Greenies Original Regular Dental Dog Treats

3. Greenies Original Regular Treats

  • Cleans their teeth and gum line
  • Helps your dog fight plaque and tartar
  • Made with natural high-quality ingredients
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals
  • Easy to digest and freshens breath
Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats Made in the USA

4. Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Treats

  • Has real all-American beef, chicken or turkey in the ingredients
  • Chewy, meaty texture easy for dogs to eat
  • Secret family recipe
  • With over three pounds of USDA-inspected meat
  • Slow-roasted to perfection
Wellness Natural Grain Free Puppy Training Treats

5. Wellness Natural Grain Free Puppy Training Treats

  • Soft, chewy treats
  • Made with premium lamb and salmon
  • Best for treating and training pets
  • All-natural ingredients; contains no corn soy, artificial colors and flavoring
  • Ideal for puppies
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Treats

6. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Treats

  • Grain-free
  • An excellent complement to diets with small serving
  • Promotes better digestive health
  • No artificial flavors, coloring, or preservatives
  • Sweet potato and bison formula
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Grain-Free Biscuits Crunchy Dog Treats

7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Grain-Free Biscuits Crunchy Dog Treats

  • Contains real duck ingredient
  • Contains no chicken or poultry by-product
  • Grain-free
  • Crunchy when eaten
  • Soft and chewable
SmartBones Smartsticks Rawhide-Free Dog Chew, Made with Real Ingredients

8. SmartBones Smartsticks Rawhide-Free Dog Chew, Made with Real Ingredients

  • Loaded with real peanut butter, chicken and vegetables
  • Free of rawhides
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Easy to digest
  • Helps maintain healthy teeth
Best Bully Sticks Prime Thick-Cut Cow Ear Dog Chews

9. Best Bully Sticks Prime Thick-Cut Cow Ear Dog Chews

  • Made from high-quality beef ingredients
  • Free of chemicals
  • Not bleached or chemically-treated
  • Natural low fat in the ingredients
  • Best alternative to rawhide; free of additives
HILL'S Dog Treats, Jerky Strips, Healthy Dog Snacks

10. HILL'S Dog Treats, Jerky Strips, Healthy Dog Snacks

  • Made from high-quality, real chicken
  • Ingredients provide delicious flavor
  • Contains no artificial flavoring or colors
  • Top choice of veterinarians
  • Also contains real fruits

1. Zuke’s Natural Training Treats; Mini Naturals Recipe

Zuke's Natural Training Dog Treats; Mini Naturals Recipe

The Zuke’s Natural Training Treats; Mini Naturals Recipe contains three calories per treat. It is one of the healthiest treats and also one of our top picks for the best dog treats today. The brand trail-tested the recipes to make sure they meet the highest standards. Only high-quality, wholesome ingredients are in the package. The food maximizes absorption and bio availability. This treat also contains no corn wheat or soy, and no artificial ingredients that may cause harm to the pet’s health.

Whether they are for training reasons or just a treat for the dog, they are soft and chewy. The ingredients include protein-rich meat, savory herbs, and wholefood berries. Always supervise your dogs when feeding them with these products. This is a favorite from many dog trainers to give their canine friend during obedience training classes.

PROS

  • Ideal for training
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Motivates the dog to learn more during training
  • Contains no corn wheat or soy

CONS

  • Some reviews claimed that the treats have caused their dogs to have diarrhea

2. Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Dog Treats

Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Dog Treats

The Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Treats contain natural and wholesome ingredients made from home-style recipes. Despite not using toffee for their ingredients, the texture and consistency of the treats feel like toffee bars. It uses quality ingredients that are slow oven-baked to perfection – thus, preserving the natural flavors that your puppies will love to chew and eat them. This brand is also one of top picks that your dogs will enjoy.

The brand, Old Mother Hubbard, utilizes the same methods used to create these treats since 1926 and are perfect treats to have during training sessions with your dogs.

PROS

  • Uses the most exceptional quality of fruits, vegetables, and proteins
  • Available in three biscuit sizes (mini, small, and large)
  • All-natural ingredients

CONS

  • Some packages may not come in resealable bags
  • Some reviews claimed that they found bugs inside the bag of treats

3. Greenies Original Regular Dental Dog Treats

Greenies Original Regular Dental Dog Treats

The Greenies Original Treats are the recommended option for treats, that help your dog for their dental needs. These help fight problems like tartar and plaque by cleaning your dogs’ teeth and gums while satisfying their tummy’s demands. Aside from freshening their breath, they are made from natural ingredients, and also contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Greenies are very popular in all pet supermarkets and is definitely one of our top picks as one of the best dog treats.

Dentists and veterinarians recommend the Greenies for happier creatures as it functions as oral care at home and a tasty treat for training. The ingredients are highly-soluble, and also very safe to digest.

PROS

  • Healthiest ingredients
  • Reduce stains on their teeth
  • Addictive for most dogs

CONS

  • Some reviews claimed that the treats have caused their dogs to have diarrhea

4. Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Dog Treats

Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats Made in the USA

Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Treats are made from all-natural ingredients that contain no artificial flavoring, fillers, corn, gluten, wheat or soy products, and are very healthy for your little fluff. The recipe has the highest-quality of all-American beef – smoked for a full 10 hours for the soft, chewy texture that dogs love. 

This animal-packed meat meal comes in the form of a jerky stick, and do not produce a stinky, greasy smell, or leave residue in your hands

PROS

  • Very affordable price point
  • Contains no soy, wheat corn, or gluten
  • Smells great

CONS

  • May not be suitable for all breed as some reviews claimed that it causes their dog to have diarrhea or vomiting

5. Wellness Natural Grain Free Puppy Training Treats

Wellness Natural Grain Free Puppy Training Treats

The Wellness Natural Grain Free Puppy Training Treats are made from a family-owned company that uses only the most natural ingredients processed in quality standards. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites for training; the brand strives to bring nutrition that does not compromise with its natural source of DHA for healthier development of the brain. 

You can also check out the product to find antioxidants – ingredients like blueberries, omega-rich flaxseed, and tasty veggies which are superfoods. The size of the training treats is excellent for puppies in training.

PROS

  • Made with superfoods
  • Promotes brain development for pets
  • With delicious lamb and salmon flavor options

CONS

  • Some customers reported gastritis and diarrhea in their pet after consuming this product

6. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Treats

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Treats

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Treats uses sweet potato and bison formula as their healthier recipe for little pups. Not only is it a loaded dog treat with all-natural flavors, but it is also packed with carbohydrate sources and premium protein – Fulfilling the daily required nutrient intake for these pups. 

It is also grain-free, made to promote digestive health. It has a crunchy texture with a delicious taste, without artificial flavors, preservatives, or coloring. And, it supports healthier skin and coat.

PROS

  • Nine safety tests were done on every batch of the food supplies
  • Premium quality ingredients
  • Well established brand since 1989

CONS

  • A customer reported having to receive treats that were already crushed; not in a good condition

7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats (Grain-Free Biscuits Crunchy Treats)

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Grain-Free Biscuits Crunchy Dog Treats 2

These Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats (Grain-Free Biscuit Crunchy Treats) are a dog treat made grain-free, crunchy, and baked for an enjoyable recipe that your pet will crave for more. Since different breeds have different preferences, the brand ensures there are several options around. For breeds that prefer softer chews, the product is also available in soft-moist flavors. We also consider this one as one of our lower end top picks for the best dog treats.

Fun fact: The brand is inspired by an Airedale named Blue. Since the time Blue encountered health issues, his owners created dog food made with natural, healthy, human-grade ingredients.

PROS

  • Can be adjusted based on the breed
  • Comes from an established brand with a story
  • From the finest natural ingredients

CONS

  • Some reviews claimed that it causes stomach upset in their dog

8. SmartBones Smartsticks Rawhide-Free Dog Chew, Made with Real Ingredients

SmartBones Smartsticks Rawhide-Free Dog Chew, Made with Real Ingredients

To satisfy your dog’s chewing needs most safely, try SmartBones Smartsticks Rawhide-Free Dog Chew, Made with Real Ingredients. The highlighted quality of this product is, it is entirely rawhide free. It does not cause stomach upset or produce loose stool in your pups. What’s even more fascinating is, it improves the digestibility level of other food sources while having this. 

Going with a rawhide alternative like this will lessen your visits to the veterinary clinic out of digestive issues – thus, reducing your nerve-racking experiences. It has real chicken and the healthiest of vegetables, including peas, carrots, and sweet potatoes. 

Note: Rawhide is filled with harmful chemicals that cause digestive problems for the pet.

PROS

  • Comes in various flavors, shapes, and sizes
  • Made with real vegetables
  • Rawhide alternative

CONS

  • Not suitable for all breeds

9. Best Bully Sticks Prime Thick-Cut Cow Ear Dog Chews

Best Bully Sticks Prime Thick-Cut Cow Ear Dog Chews

The Best Bully Sticks Prime Thick-Cut Cow Ear Dog Chews is an all-natural, easy to digest protein-rich snack for your furry friends. They contain no hormones, additives, preservatives, or unhealthy chemicals harmful to them. Since it is all-natural, they are your flavorful alternative to the usual chemically-induced treats with rawhide. These snacks are also low in fat and do not have gluten or grains.

As a rawhide alternative, you get a single-ingredient chew product for the dog’s health and wellness. Aside from these, the cow ears also support good dental hygiene, scraping out plaque and tartar as they chew. 

PROS

  • Very easy to digest
  • Rawhide alternative
  • Improves dental health

CONS

  • Some reviews stated that the quality had gone down and claimed that the product inspections are questionable

10. HILL’S Dog Treats, Jerky Strips, Healthy Dog Snacks

 HILL'S Dog Treats, Jerky Strips, Healthy Dog Snacks

The HILL’S Natural Jerky Strips, these healthy dog treats that are also some of the best jerky strips available are not only very nutritious, but they are also backed with science. The treat is developed by certified doctors and nutritionists made with real fruits, meats, and more. 

You can pair these up with canned foods to satisfy their daily nutrition needs. This brand also provides some of the best Jerky Strips, Flexi-Stix, Jerky Mini-Strips, Grain-Free Biscuits, Crunchy Fruity Snacks, Soft Savories, Training Treats, Jerky Sticks, and Baked Light dog biscuits.

PROS

  • Veterinarian-recommended
  • Includes real, flavorful chicken
  • Contains no artificial flavors and colors

CONS

  • Some reviews claimed that it releases a foul odor
  • May cause diarrhea and vomiting

2 Reasons For Giving Dog Treats

Pup Looking At Cookies On The Table

The purpose of giving a dog a treat, is mainly for training rewards or improving dental health. Many dog treat brands include a protein when manufacturing these snacks and are usually stronger in taste and smell – to attract dogs. They often include a good protein source like fish, chicken, and lamb as their ingredient. 

1. Dog Training

While training your dogs, the animals need a motivational “tool” to keep them going. These “tool” often comes in the form of treats. For training, they usually come in smaller sizes. They are very aromatic and flavorful – thus, attracting your pooch. Such characteristics make them a great reward when training them.

Since you can find such products in low calories, they make it a very healthy snack to give your dog while avoiding excessive weight gain and unnecessary health conditions. 

2. Dental Health

Many of the treats also hold a particular purpose for maintaining the pet’s good dental health. While being chewed, they clean the teeth, reduce tartar build, and manage plaques. Choose the ones that are softer and crunchier for these particular purposes.

How Should I Give Dog Treats?

Before you give your dog a treat, consider the amount based on the type of snack you want to give, and their activity levels in a day. For instance, younger and more active breeds need those with higher calorie content than older, more sedentary pet breeds. 

They should not receive any more than 10 percent of their daily caloric intake from these items. You can utilize online calculators to determine the requirement. Also be sure to read the ingredient labels or the ingredients list to see what you are giving you’re giving your dog.

Some of the best dog treats like biscuits should only be given one to two times per treat a day. Those for training should be given at a maximum of five calories daily. 

Do take into consideration that by giving them too many treats, it may also spoil their appetite for regular meals, and potentially make them a little unhealthy and overweight.

Dog reaching for dog treats

Important Features To Consider

Nutritional Value In Dog’s Treats

It’s important that when deciding on the best dog treats for your dog that you check the nutritional value in the treat by checking the website of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Although the information is limited (unlike those for human food), it shouldn’t be hard to determine the calorie count in a dog treat with the directives that you can also find in the labels of pet food.

Ensure that the dog treat should not exceed more than 10 percent in your dog’s daily calorie intake. Such calculation may also depend on the weight of the pet. Alternatively, for a more precise calculation, you may also consult your veterinarian for advice. 

Texture 

  • Natural Chews – These are made from real animal protein and animal bones, meats, and other ingredients that mimic actual beef, pork, and chicken. They are usually simmered in the juices of the flavors or smoked for added craving. The sub-types include shapes of antlers, bully sticks, cow ears, pig ears, cow hooves, or rib bones.
  • Rawhide – Known as a canine classic, these come in various textures and shapes. They help exercise their jaws and clean their teeth. Textures include braided hides, rolls, compressed rawhide, knotted rawhide bones, and more. For smaller creatures, knots, rolls, and chips are ideal selections.
  • Edible Chews – These are starch-based and easy to digest. Most of them are grain-free to prevent digestive health problems and various allergies.
  • Biscuits And Cookies – The crunchiest of these treats, dogs love a treat that uses cookies mix or biscuits and you can find dog cookies in various sizes.
  • Homemade – You can characterize them with the ingredients they are made. Their texture comes from mixing whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, green beans, liver, honey, and chicken broth.

White dog eating treat given by owner

Taste 

For beginners, dogs aren’t picky when it comes to the aroma, flavor, and taste of these treats. However, if they have consumed them for a long period of time, they may be accustomed to a specific flavor and take a long time to adjust to another taste, when they are already used to how the treats come and also with the flavor to their taste buds. 

Many of them have savory ingredients and protein-loaded composition, which include beef, fish, lamb, and chicken. The most common tastes are:

  • Chicken Meat
  • Chicken Liver
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Sweet potato

Size 

  • The small-sized ones are great for Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, King Charles Spaniel, Cavalier, DachshundPoodlele, and other smaller breeds.
  • The medium-sized ones are recommended for Standard Schnauzer, English Springer Spaniel, Bulldog, Boxer, Pointer, Siberian Husky, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, and more others.
  • The large-sized ones are good for St. Bernard, Great Dane, German Shepherd, English Mastiff, Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, and more.

Dog’s Age

As some products aren’t safe for puppies under six months, consider your treats for your dog’s life stage carefully. Similarly, for senior dogs or older ones, as their dietary change, it should not affect the presence and absence of these items for them as well.

Some brands make treats specially formulated for older dog ages to support their health – especially for those who may experience arthritis, eye issues, hip dysplasia, and other age-related conditions. The best options are those that go well with their maintenance medicines, vitamins like vitamin c and vitamin e, and supplements.

Dog’s Allergy Symptoms

Consider allergy symptoms such as itchiness, swelling of the face, ears, eyelids, ear flaps, and lips; inflamed and reddened skin; hives; vomiting; diarrhea; sneezing; and itchy ears when choosing a treat for them. Other conditions that tell signs of an allergy are chronic ear infections, continuous licking, and itchy, runny eyes.

Just like humans, animals react to foreign substances that topple their immune system too. These may be categorized as skin and food allergies, as well as environmental allergens.

  • Skin allergies – Also known as allergic dermatitis, are common allergic reactions amongst pets. They are either caused by food intake, environmental allergens, and flea allergy dermatitis.
  • Environmental Allergens – These include dust, mold, and pollen, causing atopic allergic reactions or dermatitis. Many of these ecological causes are seasonal, so you may only notice the itching at specific parts of the year.

    The affected areas are their ears, paws, wrists, ankles, muzzle, groin, areas around the eyes, in-between the toes, and underarms.
  • Food Allergies – Content of food may trigger immune responses in these creatures, which may cause itchiness, hives, swelling in the face, and more. In such cases, they may also cause diarrhea and vomiting.

    Take note of the ingredients that your dog may be allergic to – such as peanut, which is often found in some treats.
  • Acute Allergies – This type is the most alarming. Some of your pets may enter into an anaphylactic shock due to a reaction with an allergen. If not treated in time, they can often be fatal.

While your veterinarian would probably recommend antihistamine for treatment, you must also be extra careful when buying pet treats that may be causalities for such conditions.

Light brown puppy eating treats

3 Ingredients To Avoid In Dog’s Treats

Before buying these snacks, it is essential to check the label of the product you are buying. Look for the first ingredient that is the main one and then check the list of ingredients – which are usually labeled based on weight.

The first few items on the list are the most significant ones as it means they comprise most of the food rewards. While checking the ingredients, it is essential to check that the following ingredients are not listed inside:

1. Artificial Preservatives

These artificial preservatives include BHA (beta hydroxy acid), BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene), calcium propionate, potassium sorbate, and sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate is used both as a preservative and color.

2. Artificial Colors

Treats that add artificial coloring in them aren’t considered healthy dog treats. The coloring is usually made from the unhealthiest of chemicals. Your option should go to the all-natural products.

3. Rawhides

Rawhide-containing food supplies have toxic chemicals that may cause allergies, sensitivities, digestive upsets, and more. If your pets swallow them in more significant amounts, it may block their intestines and choke them. Rubber-made objects may also be found in rawhides. 

Other Ingredients To Avoid Also Includes:

  • Corn and wheat gluten
  • Meat by-products
  • Grain meal by-products
  • Rendered fat

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the healthiest treats for dogs?

The healthiest treats for dogs are natural selections such as potatoes, popsicles, apples, blueberries, carrots, and commercial treats. You’ll also want to look for healthy dog treats that have a good ingredient list that mainly contains organic ingredients. Our reviews above will help you decide on the right healthy dog treats for your pet.

What is the best dog treat for training?

Some of the best dog training treats are Zuke’s Natural Training; Mini Naturals Recipe, Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Treats, and Wellness Natural Grain Free dog training treats. The best dog treats like these come with some the best organic ingredients and can be great for your dogs joint health condition.

What treats are not suitable for dogs?

Treats not suitable for dogs include those with artificial colors, artificial preservatives, chemical humectants, rawhides, corn wheat or soy, and meat by-products. Additionally, avoid feeding them with grapes, onions, chocolates, raisins, and pieces with caffeine as they can be toxic for their health.

Is cheese bad for dogs?

No, cheese is not bad for your dogs. You’ll want to make sure that your pet is not lactose intolerant and if they are, only give them in smaller pieces. Aside from this, monitor their reaction.

To be safe, choose low-fat and reduced-fat cheese treats and make sure to check the ingredient list. Do not overfeed them with cheese as they often contain high levels of fat too.

Is peanut butter bad for dogs?

No, peanut butter flavor is not bad for dogs. Without chocolate or xylitol in the content will be fine for your cute creatures. It’s an excellent protein and a healthy fat source for their diet. Everything should be done in moderation. Always check the labels and consult with the veterinarian.

What fruit can dogs eat?

Fruits that dogs can eat include apples, bananas, blueberries, mango, oranges, peaches, and pears. 

What bones can my dog eat?

Your dogs can eat raw bones (or those that aren’t cooked). Raw chicken breast, turkey, beef, and lamb are also considered safe and edible for your pets since they are soft to chew, eat, and digest.

However, do be careful while feeding them as bones such as a ground bone that can cause choking. Thus, it is crucial to prepare them well before giving it to them.

Conclusion

As there are various options in the market for the best dog treats, it is important to understand as dog owners, the composition of a dog’s diet and how to include different food products in their system for better purposes. 

Unless your vet tells you otherwise, treats that are high in protein are preferable. Select packs with high vitamin content and those with beta-carotene. This nutrient promotes eye and skin health. 

The ideal pet treat should be chewable, soft, and helpful for their dental health. Calcium is one of the ingredients to spot. The dog owner may also opt for fiber-rich snacks to improve their digestive health and those with low cholesterol. Avoid items with additives, humectants, and recipes cooked in too much grease. 

You may also differentiate between products made with real, authentic meat and artificial flavors. Always read the labels to see terms like low in fat, salt, sugar, and gluten-free. Dog owners are also advised to look at warnings and disclaimers to get the right user experience. 

Consider reading serving sizes and notes from the manufacturers. You may also want to check if the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee on the treats like these. Then you’ll want to prepare the treats well after considering their breed, size, weight, and activity levels. They may be for training, dental cleaning, or only a fun way to bond with the pet as pet owners. 

As they consume the snack, observe their reactions to it. See if they turn energetic, become sluggish, or upbeat. Go down the line and observe their stool, whether it becomes more robust or more watery. More than these, in the long run, they should be excited to receive the treats, and crave for it – especially if you have them for training.

Editor's Choice Is Zuke's Natural Training Dog Treats; Mini Naturals Recipe

Editor's Choice

Zuke's Natural Training Dog Treats; Mini Naturals Recipe

  • Trail-tested recipes that meet the highest standards
  • Uses high-quality, wholesome ingredients
  • Formulated for maximizing absorption
  • Contains no corn soy, wheat, or artificial flavors
  • Less than three calories per treat