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The 12 Best Healthy Dog Treats

We all enjoy giving our dogs treats, but some treats are significantly healthier than others, and others can be downright hazardous to the health of your pet. With so many options and a constantly evolving industry, it can be difficult to find a healthy treat that both you and your dog approve of.

We have selected ten distinct dog treats to review alongside you so that you can determine which treats you prefer. We've also included a buyer's guide that examines dog treats and the manufacturing processes that may affect their quality.

Continue reading for our in-depth reviews of each dog treat brand, in which BestForPets (bestforpets.org) compare ingredients, preservatives, packaging, and flavor to assist you in making an informed purchase for the best healthy dog treats.

Reviews

Blackwood Pet Food

Blackwood Pet Dog Treats are the greatest dog treats in our opinion. This brand is grain-free and the primary component is duck. No hazardous chemicals or preservatives are included in the remaining components, which are completely natural.

We wish the bags were somewhat larger. These come in four-ounce containers, and our dogs consume them rather quickly.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Duck major component
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons

  • Minimal amount

 

Buddy Biscuits

The Buddy Biscuits Teeny Treats are our selection for the best value, and we think you’ll agree that these inexpensive treats are the most cost-effective nutritious dog treats.

Grain-free and created with all-natural ingredients, the goodies are grain-free. These sweets are also cooked in the oven to create unique forms.

We only wish that the primary component was chicken. There are no toxic substances or unusual meat byproducts, although chicken is the least prominent element.

They are also composed primarily of flour, so they are prone to crumbling, and a few of packages included almost nothing but crumbs.

Pros

  • Low priced
  • Grain-free
  • All-natural ingredients

Cons

  • Not chicken as the primary element
  • Crumbles

 

Pupford

The Pupford Freeze-Dried Training Treats are our top-tier selection of nutritious dog treats. Each of these goodies contains fewer than one kilocalorie (kcal) and a minimum number of components.

The only ingredients in the freeze-dried beef are cow liver and beef heart, together with a natural preservative. Each confection comprises about 500 pieces and is available in chicken and sweet potato flavors.

Our canines loved them, however they are expensive and little.

Pros

  • Less than one calorie per snack
  • Few ingredients
  • Over 500 candies each bag
  • Different tastes

Cons

  • Expensive

 

Milk-Bone

Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats are a brand of dog treats that contain 12 vitamins and minerals to promote the health of your pet. Chicken is the first component in this dish. They are chewable and fashioned like little dog bones.

The most disappointing aspect of this confection is the presence of the chemical preservative BHA and the artificial coloring. These snacks also get stale quickly, or at least they do not retain their softness for long.

Pros

  • 12 vitamins and minerals
  • Chicken is the main element
  • Soft

Cons

  • Contains BHA
  • Do not remain fresh

 

Ancient Mother Hubbard

The Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Dog Treats are grain-free and made with all-natural, non-artificial ingredients. This brand also contains spearmint extract to aid with breath freshening. They are available in various flavors and sizes.

We disliked the lack of meat and the high calorie count for a healthy snack. The inner bag of the treat packaging is extremely fragile, is not sealed, and provides little protection from the outdoors.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Organic ingredients
  • Renews the breath

Cons

  • Absence of flesh
  • High caloric content
  • Flimsy inner packaging

 

Zuke

Recently acquired by Purina, the Zuke’s 61055 Superfood Blend Dog Treats are a brand of dog treats. The components of these snacks are all-natural, nutrient-dense greens. No corn or wheat, which might impede digestion.

The presence of molasses is our primary concern with these sweets. High levels of sugar in molasses can cause tooth decay. It does not belong in a nutritious dog treat.

Pros

  • Produced with nutrient-dense greens
  • No corn

Cons

  • Contains sugar molasses

 

Blue Buffalo

The Blue Buffalo 801857 Health Bars Crunchy Dog Treats use natural ingredients and genuine bacon.

These snacks are packed with vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid in brain and eye development, among other benefits. No BHA, BHT, or other chemical preservatives are present.

The packaging is the aspect of this product that we dislike. The bars are too huge for pups and even some medium-sized dogs, and they shatter and crumble in the bag, leaving behind a significant quantity of crumbs.

Pros

  • Real bacon
  • Omega-3
  • No BHA

Cons

  • Bars split
  • Large

 

Hill’s Grain-Free Canine Snacks

The Hill’s Grain-Free Dog Treats are a soft, manageable treat for your pup. There are no hazardous preservatives, nor are wheat, maize, or soy, which can trigger allergic responses in dogs, present.

These snacks include peas, which are known to cause heart problems in dogs. Additionally, there includes molasses, which is heavy in sugar and can cause tooth decay. Additionally, these goodies dry up rapidly and shatter when they do.

Pros

  • Soft
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • Includes peas
  • Contains molasses
  • Rapidly evaporate

 

Nudges Steak Grillers Dog Treats

The primary constituent of the Nudges 014125 Steak Grillers Dog Treats is beef. There are no dangerous additives or meat by-products. The components are 100 percent natural and rich in vitamins and minerals.

While we were offering these treats to our dogs, one of them suffered hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HE).

We cannot be certain that our dog contracted the illness from the snacks, nor do we know what may be in them, but after conducting more research, we discovered that many other dogs also contracted the illness after eating these treats.

Another thing we didn’t like was that they contained chicken. While this is often a positive thing, some individuals may purchase a steak product for their dog if he or she is allergic to chicken.

There is no mention of chicken unless the ingredients are read. These confections also tend to crumble into crumbs.

Pros

  • Beef major component
  • No animal products

Cons

  • Can bring about Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Crumbly
  • Includes chicken

 

ORIJEN Protein Freeze-Dried Dog Treats

The last brand of dog treats on our list is the ORIJEN High-Protein Freeze-Dried Dog Treats. These snacks include only the essential elements necessary for a healthy pet.

The absence of grain. There are several possible tastes, including duck, beef, lamb, and boar.

While feeding these treats to our dogs, we observed that they had a foul odor. The odor was highly pungent and would transfer to your hands.

These likewise come in a compact packet that is easily consumed, especially considering their tendency to crumble into dust.

Pros

  • Scarce ingredients
  • Several tastes
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • Bad scent
  • Minimal amount
  • Crumbles

Conclusion

We hope you have found these reviews and buyer’s guide to be helpful. Again, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would want to recommend you in the direction of our best healthy dog treats. Blackwood Pet Dog Treats are grain-free, made with all-natural ingredients, and the primary component is a duck. The Buddy Biscuits Teeny Treats are a low-cost, high-quality treat that your dog will adore. They are our top selection for the best value.

Buyer's Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Treats

Sweets versus Food

Typically, dog food labels indicate that the product is food and not a treat. It comes in a huge bag and is a balanced and comprehensive meal. Treats often come in tiny containers and are not intended to replace a full meal.

The purpose of treats is intermittent feeding and training. Typically, these meals are rich in protein, carbs, fat, and sugar.

Even though treats are meant to be enjoyable and given seldom, we recommend avoiding sweets wherever possible because dental decay is a leading concern for dogs.

Ingredients

Examining the contents is one of the first steps you should take when purchasing a dog treat. You should not find any meat byproducts, maize, wheat, or soy.

Whole meat does not have to be the first component in a treat, although it is preferable. The greater the quality of the components, the more you may safely offer your pet without causing negative side effects.

Compared to Grain-Free Dog Treats

Grain-free is not as important in a treat as it is in a food, but if you can locate a grain-free treat that your dog appreciates, we recommend selecting that option. Grain may easily lead your dog to gain weight and cause stomach difficulties.

Peas

Including treats, peas are a key element in dog food, particularly grain-free dog food. Peas can cause heart disease in dogs, thus they should be avoided at all costs.

Many brands are still reacting to the news and have not yet reformulated, so you will need to be attentive and read ingredient labels carefully.

Preservatives

We advise avoiding harsh chemical preservatives such as BHT and BHA, as these compounds pose health risks to your pet. These chemicals are also present in our food, and we should avoid consuming them.

Treat Size

If you have a little dog or puppy, treat size is essential. Many dog treats can be fairly huge and frequently pretty rigid. A puppy or tiny dog will have difficulty consuming these goodies.

Large dogs, on the other hand, have little need for puppy treats. Always keep your dog’s size in mind while selecting goodies.

Versus Crunchy

Similar to the issue with treat size. Especially if they have a dental issue, some canines will struggle to consume treats that are quite tough.

We advise keeping a close eye on your pet, and if it appears to be having difficulty, switching to a smaller or softer treat.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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