Dog treats are invaluable to just about any dog owner. They are not only used for training purposes and to reward good behavior but they are also useful for showing our dogs just how much we love them. As a result, we want to make sure that we buy them treats that they not only fully enjoy but also ones that are healthy for them to eat on a daily basis.
Of course, it isn’t always easy finding a treat that is not only healthy but is well liked by our dogs, so we decided to do some research and come up with a list of the top ten treats currently available. The following treats are made using high-quality ingredients and are liked by many different types of dogs.
Best Dog Treats – Top List
10Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks
Most dog owners agree pet snacks should not only taste great but also should provide a lot of nutrition. And that’s two things that these snacks do well. This product is 90% fat-free yet contains a high amount of crude protein. Beef isn’t the only flavor these treats come in, however. They can also be bought in other flavors including oven roasted chicken, prime rib and filet mignon and bacon. These treats have a lean beef flavor and aroma that dogs simply love. These treats can also be broken up into smaller pieces for training purposes if the user needs to do so. All things considered, this high-quality treat is delicious and doesn’t cost a whole lot of money.
Milk-Bone MaroSnacks are manufactured by a company that’s been making dog snacks since 1908, so they probably have a good idea of what they’re doing. This product is loved by dogs and is made with real bone marrow, so it’s not only tasty but is also quite nutritious as well. These snacks also have calcium which helps your dog to maintain healthy bones and teeth. And since they are designed in a convenient size, they can quite easily be used as a training aid or to give to your dog as a between meal snack. They are also come packed in either a 40-ounce or 58-ounce sizes.
8Purina Beggin’ Strips
Sold in a 40-ounce pouch that’s convenient and easy-to-use, these adult dog treats can be used by just about any dog owner. They are not only made with real bacon, but bacon is listed as the main ingredient on the label. The inclusion of bacon in these treats gives them a hickory smoke flavor that dogs simply can’t resist. These treats also have a very alluring aroma and a texture that is more reminiscent of meat than most other products. Anyone who is looking for a quality treat that’s useful for training purposes or for giving as a between meal snack may want to take a look at these snacks.
7Buckley Bacon Training Treats
These low-calorie training treats are low in calories and are made using only the highest natural ingredients. They are proudly made in the U.S and are both grain and gluten-free, so they won’t irritate the stomachs of dogs with grain sensitivities. Since each treat is only 4-calories, they are perfect to use as training aids or for giving to the dog as a reward for good behavior. They have a semi-moist texture that’s also easy for the dogs to chew but won’t get stuck in their teeth like other treats often do. And since they have a big flavor that dogs can’t resist, your dog is sure to enjoy them.
6Waveland Paws Meaty Sticks
Any pet owner looking for an all-natural and organic treat to give to their dog may want to check out these beef sticks. They are manufactured using only 100% farm raised beef and are free of all types of grains including wheat, soy or corn. This makes them completely organic and gluten-free and a great treat for dogs with allergies or grain sensitivities. These treats can easily be used as training aids because they have a meaty texture and taste that dogs just can’t ignore. This American-made dog snack is an ideal way to pamper your dog and give them something they really love.
5Bil-Jac Little-Jacs Small Treats
Manufactured using high-quality ingredients including chicken, chicken livers and wheat flour, these canine treats are ideal to give to a dog for an afternoon snack or to reward them for good behavior. These snack-size treats are made without added soy or rendered fat. They are made in a convenient size that makes them portable and ideal for training, but not so small as to present a choking hazard to the dog. These small treats provide no less than 25% crude protein or 10% crude fat in its guaranteed analysis. And since they have a great taste and aroma, dogs simply go wild for them.
4Nudges Natural Steak Grillers
These great tasting snacks are ideal for any dog because they have a great meaty taste that pets simply can’t ignore. Available in not only sizzling steak but also in chicken or duck, these snacks will make your pet happy and do it without using any animal by-products or artificial preservatives. These treats are also extremely easy to tear into smaller pieces for extended training sessions and are proudly manufactured in the U.S.A. It doesn’t matter if you have a Yorkshire Terrier, an Australian Shepard or a Great Pyrenees, these snacks can quite possibly make you a hero in your dog’s eyes.
3Doggie Chicken Chips
Made using nothing but chicken tenderloins, these high-quality snacks will wow your dog with their intense chicken flavor. They are proudly made in the United States are manufactured without any added fillers, preservatives or additives. They contain a minimum of 80% crude protein, 4.4% crude fat and 1.65% fiber. They also have a minimum moisture content of approximately 9.52%. And yet, it only contains 2-calories per chip. All of which makes this tasty, high-quality treat ideal for long training sessions, to reward your dog’s acceptable behavior or simply as a between meal snack. Which is probably why the packaging proudly exclaims that these treats are “finger nipping good!”
2Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Sticks
These dog treats are made with real meat, and you’ll be able to tell the moment you open the bag. Available in beef, turkey and chicken flavors, these jerky sticks will satisfy your dog’s primal instincts for meat, so they’re perfect for use as a reward or for training purposes. These treats can easily be broken into smaller pieces, and they are naturally irresistible to just about any dog. Manufactured using high-quality ingredients, these treats never contain any fillers like corn, gluten or soy and are made without artificial flavoring. All of which adds up to a smoky treat that’s sure to make you the center of your pet’s attention.
1Greenies Dental Treats-Teenie Size
Designed for dogs 15-pounds or under, these treats are just the right size for an afternoon snack or for training purposes. They are made from high-quality ingredients that not only make them nutritionally complete but also make them extremely easy on the dog’s stomach. This makes them good for dogs which may have sensitive stomachs or allergy problems. Another exciting benefit provided by these treats is that they do a great job of cleaning the dog’s teeth. So much so, in fact, that they are recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) for their plaque and tartar fighting qualities.
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How to Buy Dog Treats
Since our dogs are basically furry members of our family, it’s important that we treat them that way by supplying them with treats that they not only enjoy but are also healthy for them too. Which isn’t always a small feat, After all, few among us know exactly what our dog snacks should contain, and this lack of knowledge can have terrible consequences on our pets safety and well being. That’s why it’s terribly important to do your research and buy the best dog treats that you possibly can.
In order to help our readers out, we did some extensive research and found out what should and shouldn’t be in your dog’s snacks. So without further ado, here are some things that you should look for when you’re buying treats for your dogs. If you follow these tips, you’ll not only end up buying better treats for your dog but will also end up buying them healthier ones.
Read the Label
To find out what’s really in your dog treats, you are going to have to not only read the label but really pay attention to it. That’s because some manufacturer’s use terms that may be confusing or vague. Before you can find out if your pet treat is going to be good or bad for your dog, you are going to have to do your homework and that starts with reading the label.
Ingredients to Avoid
- Mystery Meats: If your treat’s label doesn’t list the source of the meat, then you should probably avoid that treat altogether. Some manufacturers try to use terms like meat derived meal or animal proteins. Well, that’s very vague and means that the meat could have come from just about any source. Instead, look for clearly label ingredients such as chicken fat, beef bone marrow or turkey.
- Rendered Fats: This category overlaps with the mystery meats category because what we’re really talking about is mystery fats. While chicken fat or beef tallow can be good additions to treats, when used properly, rendered fats are often listed just as “animal fat” or “poultry fat.” This means that this fat can come from anywhere, including animals that have died due to disease. So, while there’s no reason to avoid specific fats in your animal treats, it’s best to avoid non-specific rendered fats whenever possible.
- Brewer’s Rice: Brewer’s rice is the fragments of white rice which have been left over from rice processing. Which means that it has little to no nutrients and is really just thrown into dog foods and treats as a way to provide the dog with a cheap source of carbohydrates. Therefore, think of it the same way you would think of sugar, another cheap source of carbohydrates. It’s probably best to avoid it altogether.
- Artificial Ingredients: Artificial anything is also a bad idea. This means preservatives such as sodium nitrate, BHA, BHT, potassium sorbate, ethoxyquin and calcium propionate. It also means artificial colors, artificial flavors, and other such chemicals.
- Salt & Sugar: Too much salt and sugar is a bad idea for any pet food, but unfortunately some manufacturers use these two ingredients far too much to make their product more attractive to dogs. If a dog treat does use these products, it should be far down the ingredient list.
- Soy: Soy is a product that many dogs don’t tolerate well and just doesn’t provide enough nutritional value to the table. This product is often used in place of the amino acids found in meat proteins, but it provides more problems than benefits. Soy can cause indigestion, gas, and bloat in dogs and its amino acids are difficult for the dog to absorb. All of which means that meat proteins are a better source for your dog’s amino acid needs than soy.
- Pea Proteins: Pea Protein is an ingredient which causes quite a bit of confusion. That’s because peas in a dog’s treats are actually good for the dog. However, pea proteins are just a concentrated form of peas that are used to boost the protein content of the dog’s treats. Many manufacturers see them as a cheap way to avoid adding meat to their products. Therefore, it’s probably best to avoid products which rely heavily on pea proteins instead of animal proteins.
Ingredients Which Are Okay
- Meats: Specific meats are precisely what you dog treats should contain. What we mean by specific is they tell you exactly what animal the meat comes from. For example, it should say beef, chicken, pork, turkey or salmon and shouldn’t just say animal proteins, fish by-products, or poultry by-products.
- Natural Preservatives: Yes, there are such things as natural preservatives, and they are often easy to find in the list of ingredients. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are both preservatives which are actually good for the dog. Sometimes they are listed as ascorbic acid and mixed tocopherols in the ingredient’s list.
- Grains: While there’s a trend of products being marginalized because they have grains in them, the fact of the matter is that dogs can often tolerate some grains quite well. While some dogs may have grain allergies or sensitivities, many do not, and therefore most dog owners don’t need to try to avoid them appearing in their dog’s treats.
- Fruits & Vegetables: Many dogs treat manufacturers are beginning to add fruits and vegetables to some of their products, and this is generally a good thing. As long as the fruits and vegetables found in the product aren’t toxic, then they should be considered a good addition. Healthy vegetables include green beans, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes. Healthy fruits include blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe.
Use Treats Responsibly
Now that we’ve gone over how to buy the best dog treats available and have listed ten product we feel are pretty good, it’s now time to talk about the proper way to give your dog treats. Unfortunately, too many people just give their dogs a handful of treats without giving it much thought. And this thoughtless behavior may be adversely affecting their dog’s health.
As is the case with humans, if dogs eat too much of anything, including treats, then they can gain weight and over time become obese. And obesity can have serious effects on the dog’s health. Therefore, in order to avoid this problem from developing in the first place, you should make sure that you don’t overfeed your dog with snacks. Make sure that no more than 8% to 10% of your dog’s total calories come from snacks. If you’re unsure of how many calories should be in your dog’s diet in total, then please consult with your dog’s veterinarian. It’s the best way to keep your dog happy and healthy.