Dog treats can be used as food for your dog to supply him with the necessary nutrients he needs to get him through the day. On top of this, there are many other reasons why you should consider buying good dog treats for your furry friend.
Choosing the right treats for your dog can be a hard task owing to the many varieties that are there in the market. You should strive to get the ones that are natural and healthy. When your dog consumes unhealthy treats, he is bound to give in to health-related problems.
It is reported that over 90% of dogs are motivated by good food. For this reason, you can moderately use dog treats for training sessions to grab his attention. To maximize the results of the training, you can use attractive and tasty flavored treats which dogs find irresistible.
However, just like any other pet food, you should be cautious not to overindulge your dog with treats. Too much of these tasty pieces might make your dog overweight, making him vulnerable to other health conditions.
Always give your dog treats that are made from natural ingredients with nutritive values to your dog. Avoid such with too many artificial ingredients, colorings, salt sodium, sugar, etc.
We did our extensive research on this subject and came up with this buying guide that showcases the 14 best dog treats in 2021. Be sure to read through our pre-products blog because there’s a lot that you need to know before making the purchase decision.
Benefits of Dog Treats
As a pet parent, you already know that giving your dog some treats is a way of providing him with food. Aside from that, there are other benefits that are accrued to both you and the dog when you have ready treats to give him.
1. Used during training
You can use treats both for habit training and physical training of your dog. For habit training, this can be applied for instance when you are potty training your puppy. Have some tasty treats ready to give your furry sibling every time he shows an improvement in the training.
The other category is physical training which can also be categorized as regular exercises for your dog. Here, you can use delicious treats to entice your dog to follow you to the training field. Once there, you can also reward him in the form of treats every time he makes the right moves.
Have a look at the video below from McCann Dog Training that shares some useful tips on treat training your puppy.
It is widely acknowledged that dogs are man’s best friends. But this relationship has to be built by constantly spending some time with your dog e.g., after you come home from a long day of work.
During this time, you can spice up the bonding by giving your dog his favorite treats. This will increase the bonding between you and your furry sibling, making him look forward to your home returns every evening.
3. Used as a food topper
Dog treats are also used to supplement your dog’s diet by adding some extra nutrients and minerals. You can do this by topping up his food with some tasty treats.
This way your dog will be motivated to eat his required food and he also gets some supplemental diet on course.
4. Dental treats provide oral care
Among the treat varieties in the market, we have dental treats which have the double advantage of cleaning up your dog’s teeth while supplying his needed nutrients.
These treats are good for dogs who like hunting because it works to restore his dental health and keep him in good shape. They remove plaque, tartar on teeth and keep your dog’s gums strong and healthy.
These treat sticks can also be used as dog treats for bad breath because they act to reduce the bacterial count on teeth which brings bad breath to dogs.
Dog treats offer convenience when it comes to feeding your dog at the right time. If your dog remains lonely at home for most of the day, then you need to have an automatic dog feeder which dispenses treats to your furry child at specific times.
This also promotes a good eating pattern which is critical in maintaining your dog’s health.
Common Types of Treats
Dog treats are available in many different types, shapes, and flavors. Each type of these tasty pieces can be used for specific occasions and reasons.
You need to pay close attention to your dog’s eating pattern and determine which treats appeal most to him. This might require you to buy different types for him at first before coming up with a guided conclusion.
1. Dental treats
The build-up of tartar and plaque on your dog’s teeth can cause him periodontal disease which can lead to many other infections, most dominantly gum diseases, bone infections, and weight loss.
A good way to prevent the build-up is by giving your dog dental treats that are meant for oral care. This should however be done alongside regular vet visits for a dental checkup.
2. Crunchy dog treats
These dog treats have low moisture content and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors. Due to its dry nature, your dog will spend a little more time trying to chew and moisturize it before swallowing. They are, for this reason, not good options to use when you want to give your dog a quick reward.
Some of these treats are formulated with grain fillers alongside the main ingredients. For a healthier snack for your dog, we recommend that you get the ones without grain formulation.
3. Soft dog treats
These treats have a significant percentage of moisture content that keeps them soft and chewy. They are formulated with an antibacterial moistening agent which is responsible to keep them wet and with a soft texture.
Due to their soft nature, these treats are best used for rewarding your dog for good behavior. Your furry friend can easily break, chew and swallow them without spending much energy on softening them. Most of these treats are characterized by a specific scent that is very attractive to dogs.
These treats are very convenient to travel with because they do not crumble to form dust.
4. Freeze-dried dog treats
These treats are dehydrated and they are commonly very appetizing and tasty to dogs. They are predominantly made of 100% protein and unlike the soft treats, they do not feature any additives in their formulation.
These treats are simply meat from diverse sources processed in food dehydrators to remove moisture content. They are a good source of protein for your dog and they aid in weight management issues.
When buying freeze-dried treats, always check the packet to ascertain that they do not have any preservatives. They should be sourced from a single ingredient with minimal processing.
Things To Consider Before Buying Treats for Your Dog
Just like pet foods, they are several things you have to put to consideration before making the final purchase decision.
The main issue that should occupy your mind is the safety and health of the treats. Always get a dog treat that is safe for your dog. It should aid in giving him good health and not deteriorating his well-being.
Why are you buying dog treats? Is it for training purposes, or do you want to bond with your dog? There are many reasons why you may need to buy dog treats. Identify your main reason and work on getting the right brand that will serve you well.
It is also possible to buy treats for multipurpose use. In this case, you will have to broaden your search and get the brands that can be suitable for a variety of usage.
The ingredients are the components that are sourced to make dog treats. For good overall health, you should choose dog treats with all-natural ingredients. Some of the healthiest dog treats brands get their natural ingredients from a single source.
Do not opt for the ones with high artificial colorings, flavors, salt, and sugar. These artificial ingredients are the ones responsible for making dogs sick all the time.
3. Size of the pieces
Smaller dogs will require smaller treat pieces. This will make it easier for them to handle a piece at a time without using too much strength on breaking up a huge chunk. Bigger dogs should also get the sizes that correspond to their ability.
Most treat brands will give buyers the option to select the treat pieces they desire. Be sure to make the right selection before checking out your desired product. Some brands make long stick treats that can easily be broken into smaller pieces. This is appropriate for use when rewarding your dog for good behavior.
The texture of the treat chunks should be a determinant when buying them for your dog. Soft treats are appropriate for puppies and dogs that have sensitive teeth. Hard textured treats are useful for bigger dogs with strong teeth.
If you intend to place your dog’s treats in automatic treat dispensers, then you need to check if your device is compatible with moist treats. Most treat dispensers are only compatible with dry treats.
When buying a dog treat, always check whether the brand has been approved to produce pet food. There are some countries like China that offer very few regulations when it comes to pet foods.
In this case, you might want to focus on countries like the USA which have very tight regulations on pet food and meticulous standards on quality control.
Things To Avoid When Buying Dog Treats
If you want your dog to have a better and healthier life, then you must be very choosy about the food that he relies on. Being one of the most indulged pet foods, treats are loaded with ingredients that will impact your dog’s well-being either directly or indirectly.
For the best results, we advise you to buy all-natural dog treats whose ingredients have undergone minimal processing just to improve their shelf life.
You should however avoid treats with the following ingredients, which might cause allergies to your dog.
Added sugar, salt, soy, grain, corn, wheat, dairy, and other artificial colorings, flavors, etc.
Artificial supplemental ingredients have some things in common; they lack nutritive value and they can lead to health issues when consumed in excess. Most of the above-listed ingredients are also common allergen causes to pets including dogs.
If your dog suffers from an allergy, then he will react to eating treats that have been formulated with artificial ingredients.
14 Best Dog Treats in 2021
The Himalayan Dog Chew treats come in a variety of sizes and packs. This particular one is large and it packs 24 sticks which is enough to take your dog for a longer period.
The treats are formulated with cheese and milk as the main ingredients. It is good for both small teething puppies and aggressive chewers.
These premium treats can be used effectively to keep your dog away from the furniture. If your dog likes scratching and chewing on your sofa, then give him a stick or two to keep him physically and mentally stimulated.
The yak dog treats are a good source of protein for your dog. The all-natural ingredients are sourced from the Himalayan mountains in Nepal and they provide key nutrients that he needs for healthy living.
However, you should be keen because this product is sweetened with salt. If your dog is on a salt-free diet, you might want to avoid getting these treats for him until an appropriate time.
It is long-lasting.
It is good for teething puppies.
It helps train aggressive chewers.
The sticks have sharp edges around which might be hazardous for small dogs.
The lucky premium treats are made with chicken and beef skin which is a good combination for both nutrition and long-lasting chewing. You can take a break from your furry friends by giving them these chewy sticks. Let them get engaged for hours as you finish up your tasks.
The product is formed by wrapping a rawhide chew with chicken breast to form a delicious stick treat for aggressive chewers.
The treat is a good source of proteins and is very low in fat content. This ensures that your dog’s weight is kept at manageable levels and he will not become overweight.
The infusion is minimally processed and does not feature any artificial ingredients that may compromise your dog’s health.
Long-lasting chew treats for aggressive chewers.
They are attractive and tasty.
Good for all dog breeds and sizes.
The chicken wraps on the rawhides are very minimal on some sticks.
If you want a treat that your dog can hardly resist, then this one might be the best one to consider. It is made with slow-roasted turkey tendons infused with coconut glycerin to make it smooth, palatable, and easier to break.
The formulation is all-natural and does not feature any preservatives, colorings, flavors nor any other harmful ingredients.
These treats are a good source of high protein for your dog. It is, therefore, a good option to consider when you want to maintain a healthy weight.
The slowly roasted turkey tendons are very attractive to most dogs. This product has a proven love from most finicky dogs.
The turkey strands are hand braided to make a stick that will keep your dog hooked for hours. You can use these treats to give yourself a break by making your dog busy chewing them.
In the process of chewing, your dog also gets the advantage of clearing the tartar buildup accumulating on his teeth. Once chewed, the product breaks down into smaller pieces hence it is easier for dogs to swallow and digest.
Very attractive to dogs.
It breaks off into smaller pieces once chewed.
Large dogs can chew the treats within a small duration.
Nature Gnaws is a family-run business that has been making dog treats for slightly over 5 years now. The bully sticks treats are made with natural beef and are best given to large dogs.
These treats are made with a single ingredient that is minimally processed to retain their freshness, aroma, and taste. It does not include grain fillers which only add to the volume of the treats.
This presents a good alternative to the artificial rawhide bones which are not good for dogs when consumed in large quantities.
The company incorporates a 5-step safety process that seeks to ensure all dogs consuming their products are safe and healthy.
These treats can best be used for training and rewarding your furry friend for good behavior. It also supports good oral health because it removes plaque and tartar on teeth whose build-up might cause dental health problems.
When buying this treat, make sure you check on the desired size you want. You can also choose the texture of the stick if you want the braided or plain ones.
Very attractive to dogs.
Good for aggressive chewers.
Easily digested by dogs.
It does not stain your carpet or floor.
It is hard to break the stick into smaller pieces.
This soft-baked dog treats feature chicken and apple as the main ingredient. It also has another set of minor ingredients that we strongly advise you should read on the package before buying. The treats are softly baked in small batches and packed with the other ingredients that add the nutritive power of this product.
The good thing is that all the ingredients used are all-natural, and made with minor processing to retain the flavors that will attract your dog to chew these treats. The treats do not feature any grain or gluten fillers that may compromise your dog’s health in due course.
Unlike other treats that we have encountered so far, these are stored in a resealable container that keeps the content fresh for longer.
You do not have to worry about the treats that remain after you give some to your furry friend. The container will lock out air, ensuring that your dog gets a fresh bite every time you throw some at him.
You can use these treats effectively to reward your dog for good behavior and also to keep him encouraged during training sessions.
Attractive and delicious to dogs.
It is packed in a resealable container.
The treats are rich in many nutrients.
Can be used as a food topper for your dog’s meal.
It easily becomes moldy when the seal is broken before delivery.
These treats from Natural Farm are made with a variety of stick lengths, sizes, and packs. The chewy sticks are made with single ingredients which are good for digestion and dogs with allergies.
The beef used here is oven-baked to retain its freshness and make it tender to chew. This is a good protein source for your pups. If your dog is overweight, then you might consider changing his diet plan and make him subsist on these treats that will offer him healthy nutrients.
The formulation of the chewy sticks does not include grains, hormones, chemicals, or any other artificial ingredient that may be bad for your dog. It is with this regard that we can consider this to be one of the best dog treats for puppies.
Bully sticks are made like rope bones that encourage your dog to chew and engage with for a prolonged time. The texture of the sticks helps to remove plaque and tartar on teeth whose build-up might lead to dental diseases on your dog.
Comes in a variety of sizes and thickness.
Long-lasting for aggressive chewers.
Made with one natural ingredient.
Good for your dog’s oral care.
Some users have reported issues with the quality control of the products.
If you spend a huge amount of time close to your dog, then you need to ensure that he is thoroughly clean and free from all bacteria. Many pet parents forget that they need to spend time ensuring that their dog’s oral hygiene is taken care of.
The Merrick dental treats are formulated with botanical oils and coconut flavors, to ensure that your dog’s mouth is cleaned and left with a natural smell.
The treats do not contain grain fillers which would otherwise promote bacterial growth in teeth. Instead, it is infused with all-natural coconut oil plus peppermint, rosemary oils, and lemongrass. All these ingredients are formulated as dog treats for bad breath which improves your dog’s oral care.
The treats have a unique double-brush design which does a better job in cleaning dog’s teeth, unlike the other normal treats. Due to its size, texture, and taste, this product can easily be featured as one of the best dog treats for small dogs.
Freshen your dog’s breath immediately.
Easy to digest when ingested.
Soft-textured, hence easy for all dogs to chew.
Not recommended for puppies.
Some allergic dogs might be uncomfortable after ingesting these treats.
The Bil-Jac dog treats are available in different packaging options and it is suitable for all breed dogs. The treats are in the form of small chunks making them a suitable option to use when rewarding your dog for good behavior.
You can also use it moderately during training sessions to grab your dog’s attention and capture his focus during the entire period.
The formulation of the treats consists of real chicken liver. It is a good source of protein and iron for your dog. The treat chunks are soft textured hence your dog will not find a hard time trying to crack it up in the mouth.
Once you have opened the pack of this product, remember to seal the remaining treats and store them in an air-tight container. Exposure to the air might make the pieces dry hence losing their good smell and texture.
Good treats for training your dog.
They are suitable for all dog breeds and sizes.
Soft-textured pieces make it easier to chew, swallow and digest.
A good food topper to spice up any pet food.
The pieces can easily crumble together when mishandled.
PureBites treats are sourced and made in the US with 1 ingredient. They feature raw beef liver which has been freeze-dried to remove moisture for extended shelf life. You get the option to select the right package that will work well for you in terms of size.
These treats are good protein and iron sources for your dog. The two nutrients are key in providing your furry friend with the necessary energy he needs to get the day going. It also keeps his weight at manageable levels.
If you have an overweight dog, then you need to reduce the amount of carbs you feed him and switch to a healthier diet like these raw beef treats. They are also good for diabetic dogs or those with allergies.
You can use these treats to reward your dog for progressive uptake of good behavior and during those intense training sessions.
By virtue of their shape, texture, and dryness, these treats can be fed into an automatic dog feeder to provide timely meals for your furry friend when he is lonely at home.
Made with an all-natural 1 ingredient.
It has an attractive aroma and good taste.
It is good for training and rewarding your dog.
One of the best dog treats for sensitive stomachs.
Might be hard for smaller dogs to chew.
These chew treats are made with natural ingredients which are very easy to digest and improve your dog’s health. Yak’s and cow’s milk imported from Nepal is used to make these treats with minimal processing.
The formulation does not feature any preservative nor grain fillers. If you have a dog that cannot stop drinking milk, then this chew treat will appeal to him more than any other.
You might be concerned about the content of the milk used to make these treats. They are free from lactose and gluten hence your dog will not have difficulties in digesting the products. He will surely enjoy chewing the sticks and once he swallows, the content will be gentle on his stomach.
They are in the form of sticks and you can purchase them in a variety of packs and sizes. The medium pieces are 4-5 inches long and 1-2 inches wide. These chew treats will hook your dog for hours as he tries to chew and get the tasty bites to his stomach.
The treats do not present allergic reactions to your dog.
The sticks are compactly made to keep dogs engaged for hours.
Good treats for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
The treats might be so hard for some smaller dogs hence presenting a hazard on their teeth.
The Pioneer Woman is a treat brand that is well known for bringing up tasty chunks for dogs. This particular product is made with all-natural chicken ingredients and it comes in different packs to cater to all your needs.
The product features a second ingredient which is sourced from real sweet potatoes. If your dog loves the smell and taste of them, then it is a sure way to keep him enticed by getting these treats.
The treats also feature several other ingredients that are well listed on the packet. Be sure to read it through to check on any allergen information.
The infusion is minimally processed to ensure that your dog gets the freshness of chicken that he craves for. You can effectively use these chunky treats to reward your dog for good behavior.
They are also a good option for use in training activities. It helps in keeping your dog abreast with the day’s goals and grabbing his attention regularly.
Easy to break the chunks into even smaller pieces.
Very easy for all dog breeds and sizes to chew.
It is good for training and rewarding your dog.
Can be used as a food topper to spice your dog’s food.
Formulated with additional ingredients that may not be suitable for some dogs.
Some users have raised issues with the delivery of the product.
The Milk bone dog treats are made with a blend of nutrients that are found in popular dog foods. This formulation is very rich in vitamin C that aids in the total wellness of your dog by building his immunity against disease.
Alongside that, your dog will also benefit from other nutrients which support his cardiovascular health, digestion, and brain health.
These treats are infused with a delicious chicken flavor that makes them very attractive for dogs and tasty. You can use it for training and rewarding him for good behavior. It also serves as a good food topper to spice up your dog’s food.
These treats are packed in a resealable container which is good for the long-term storage of the products. The air-tight nature of the package ensures that molds do not get a chance to grow on the treat.
The treats are packed in a resealable container.
It boosts the immunity of your dog and supports his well-being.
It has a great price and value pack.
Might not be good for dogs with allergies.
You must have heard of pig ear treats, and if your dog loves pork, then this is a good chewy silver to get him. The pig ears are all-natural and the treats do not feature any additional ingredients.
The products are minimally processed and dried to ensure it retains the natural pig ear smell that your dog may crave for.
Brutus & Barnaby, the manufacturer of these products, are very keen when it comes to quality control of all their products.
Every pig ear is carefully inspected before being packaged for sale. This way, you can be sure that your dog is consuming a healthy hearty treat.
These treats are softer than bone cartilage hence making a good option for your dog to chew with ease. They are also very easy to digest once your dog swallows the chewed pieces. Pig ear is a good source of proteins and iron for your dog. It presents a natural and healthier alternative to improve and maintain the well-being of your dog.
Made with an all-natural 1 ingredient.
Long-lasting chew treats for your dog.
It is attractive with a nice aroma and taste.
The cuts might be small for some dog breeds.
The pup-peroni dog snacks have a total of 6 flavors to choose from. You will also get the option to select the best pack that will serve you well.
The dog treats are attractive, chewy, and tasty making them a good option to keep your dog busy as you take a short break from him.
This particular product is sourced from real beef minimally processed to make chewy sticks that will appeal to your pup. The treats are a good source of proteins and fiber. It has low-fat content hence your dog will maintain a manageable weight with these treats.
The finished products are not enhanced with any artificial colors but it features a list of ingredients that we recommend you should check for any allergy advice. This is a good snack to give your dog to make him satisfied and healthy from a natural diet.
Great price for dog snacks.
It is long lasting
It offers many nutritive benefits to your dog.
Not good for dogs with sensitive stomachs
The supplemental ingredients might trigger allergic reactions to your dog.
From our list of the 14 best dog treats in 2021, you must have noticed that all of them are sourced from natural ingredients. This is because the more natural your dog consumes, the healthier and happier he becomes.
Getting the right treat flavor for your dog might sometimes mean that you buy a bunch of different flavors and keenly follow the one he likes most.
Remember that all dogs are not the same, the key issue is to make sure your chosen treat serves the purpose and your dog gets nutritive values.
Thank you so much for reading through this buying guide. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you.