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Finding the best dog treats for small dogs can be a tricky task. There are lots of treats on the market, but many of them are too big or too hard to chew for a small breed dog. Many small dogs are also prone to health concerns like obesity and dental issues, making selecting the right treats even more crucial.
To help you find size-appropriate treats that get your dog’s tail wagging, we’ve reviewed some popular options. Keep reading to find out how to choose good treats and see which ones we recommend.
Buyer’s Guide: Dog Treats for Small Dogs
When it comes to treats, there’s a lot of variety. So, consider the following aspects when choosing some for your little dog.
For small breeds, size is the most important aspect of treats. The treats should be small enough for your dog to safely chew. If your dog needs to break the treat apart before eating it, it’s probably too big for a frequent snack.
Texture also matters a lot for small dogs because their teeth are small. Soft treats are often the easiest for small breeds to chew, especially if your dog is a puppy or a senior.
Even if the treat looks like a good choice, it won’t matter if your dog doesn’t like it. If your dog has a favorite meat, keep an eye out for treats with that taste. Also, keep your dog’s allergies and sensitivities in mind when looking at ingredients.
Many dog treats give your dog a health boost while also being yummy. Some treats are good for digestion, skin, coat, immune health, dental health, and joints. Not every treat will benefit every area of health, but it’s beneficial to find a treat that’s both nutritious and flavorful.
It’s hard not to give your precious pup treats, so you might as well find treats that won’t add up calories quickly. Training treats are great options for small dogs because they’re tiny and usually only have a few calories per treat.
While it’s important to prioritize quality over price, consider the cost per treat or per ounce to ensure you’re getting good value for your money.
Best Treats for Small Dogs
A lot of long-lasting treats like bully sticks are often too big or too hard to chew for small dogs. So, the Pawstruck Jr. Bully Treat Sticks offer a chew that’s perfect for smaller breeds. The only ingredients used in these 5-inch chews are esophagus and natural smoke flavor. Plus, they have a shelf life of 36 months, making them great for small dogs and puppies that can’t eat these treats as fast. They’re made without artificial additives, hormones, and chemicals, so you can feel safe giving them to your pup. Chewing on these treats may even help your dog’s dental health and reduce their anxiety.
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Carnivore Crunch dog treats are designed with your pet’s natural, ancestral diet in mind. Made from 98% meat, organs, and ground bone, these treats provide a protein-rich snack your furry friend will love. The freeze-drying process ensures that these treats retain their nutritional value, offering the benefits of a raw diet in a convenient, dry form. They’re grain-free, gluten-free, and free from artificial preservatives and colorings, ensuring your small dog gets a high-quality, natural treat. These bite-sized morsels are perfect for training or everyday treats as they can add raw nutrition to your dog’s diet.
Zuke’s Mini Naturals Training Dog Treats are a favorite among pet owners for their quality ingredients and convenient size, perfect for rewarding your small dog during training sessions. Each treat contains only two calories, helping to prevent weight gain even with frequent rewards. The primary ingredient is a real, high-quality protein, which provides essential nutrients and a taste that dogs love. Additionally, these treats are supplemented with cherries and turmeric, providing antioxidant benefits to support overall health. They’re free from corn, wheat, and soy, and contain no harsh additives or artificial colors.
Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Soft-Moist Training Treats are designed to provide a healthy and delicious reward for your small dog during training. Made from real meat, these soft-moist treats serve as a high-quality protein source that dogs crave. Besides protein, they’re packed with wholesome ingredients such as brown rice, oatmeal, and flaxseed, providing necessary carbohydrates and dietary fiber. These treats also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which support skin and coat health. Free from poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial preservatives or colors, these are easily digestible treats.
Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Natural Grain-Free Treats are a fantastic choice for small dogs and puppies, offering a nourishing and tasty reward that also supports their overall health. These treats are soft and easy to chew, making them perfect for dogs with sensitive teeth. They’re made from premium, all-natural ingredients, including high-quality protein sources like lamb and salmon. The recipe also includes fruits and vegetables to provide necessary vitamins and minerals. These grain-free treats are also free of corn, soy, and artificial colors and flavors, ensuring a wholesome snack for your pet.
ZIWI Peak Good Dog Rewards Training Treats are high-quality, air-dried meat treats that offer a flavorful New Zealand recipe. The air-drying process naturally preserves the meat, maintaining its nutritional value and rich flavor, making it an irresistible treat for your pet. These treats are crafted from 96% fresh meat, organs, and bones, providing a high-protein, grain-free option that aligns with a dog’s natural diet. They’re free from added hormones, artificial preservatives, and sugars, ensuring that your dog is getting a wholesome and natural reward.
iHeartDogs Brushy Sticks Dental Treats for Dogs are some of the best chew treats for small dogs because they’re specifically designed to promote your pet’s oral health while providing a tasty reward. These treats have a unique shape and texture that helps remove plaque and tartar build-up, supporting healthy gums and teeth. They also contain natural ingredients like parsley to help freshen your dog’s breath. In addition to their dental benefits, iHeartDogs Brushy Sticks are grain-free, ensuring they’re easily digestible and suitable for dogs with sensitivities. The small size of these treats is great for small dogs, especially since they’re easy to chew. Best of all, every bag purchased donates seven meals to shelter dogs.
Buddy Softies Dog Biscuits are specially formulated to offer a soft and chewy treat that your small dog will love. These biscuits are made from high-quality protein sources and include whole fruits and vegetables to provide essential nutrients. Being grain-free, they’re a great choice for dogs with grain sensitivities or allergies. They come in a variety of flavors, so there’s bound to be one that your pet will find irresistible. Apart from their nutritional benefits, these treats are baked into fun biscuits that are shaped like gingerbread men.
Merrick Power Bites Dog Treats are a high-protein, grain-free option ideal for small dogs. The main ingredient is deboned meat, providing a hearty protein source that’s essential for your dog’s health. These treats are also packed with flaxseed and salmon oil, which are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, known to support skin and coat health. They’re free from gluten and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, ensuring a natural and wholesome treat for your pet. The small, bite-sized format makes them perfect for training rewards or a regular snack.
Nutro Mini Bites Dog Treats are designed with your small dog’s health and palate in mind. They’re one of the best training treats for small dogs. Made from high-quality, real animal protein and other all-natural ingredients, these treats are both tasty and nutritious. The mini bite-sized pieces are perfect low-calorie snacks, preventing weight gain during training sessions. They contain less than three calories each, which helps avoid overfeeding and weight gain. They’re grain-free and free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, making them a safe and healthy choice. With a variety of flavors available, you’ll likely find one that your furry friend will love.
Old Mother Hubbard Classic P-Nuttier ‘n Nanners dog treats are an irresistible combination of flavors that your small dog will adore. These oven-baked biscuits feature a delicious blend of peanut butter, bananas, honey, and brown sugar, making them a tasty snack or reward for your pet. The crunchy texture not only appeals to dogs but also supports dental health by helping clean teeth and freshen breath. Made from all-natural ingredients, these treats are a healthier alternative to many on the market. Furthermore, their small size is perfect for little dogs or for using during training sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Give My Small Dog a Treat?
Treats should make up no more than 10% of your small dog’s daily calorie intake to ensure a balanced diet and prevent overfeeding. This often translates to a few treats per day, depending on their size and diet, but always remember to adjust the amount of regular food accordingly to prevent weight gain.
Are Grain-Free Treats Better for Dogs?
Grain-free treats are not inherently better for all dogs, but they can be an excellent choice for dogs with specific grain allergies or sensitivities. If your dog is healthy and doesn’t show signs of intolerance to grains, there’s no scientific evidence suggesting that a grain-free diet is more beneficial. Always consult your vet to determine the best dietary choices for your specific pet.
Are All Dog Treats Safe for Small Dogs?
No, not all dog treats are safe for small dogs. Small dogs have smaller mouths and teeth, so it’s essential to choose treats that are appropriately sized and not too hard to chew.
What Ingredients Should You Avoid in Dog Treats?
When choosing dog treats, it’s best to avoid those containing artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors, as these can lead to allergies and other health problems in some dogs. Additionally, try to avoid treats that list ‘meat by-products’ as primary ingredients, as these can be less nutritious and digestible compared to treats made from real, whole meats.
What Type of Treat is Best for Training a Small Dog?
Small, soft, and low-calorie treats are typically the best for training. They can be eaten quickly, allowing you to maintain the pace of training. Plus, the low calorie content ensures you’re not overfeeding your dog during training sessions.
How Long Do Dog Treats Last?
The shelf life of dog treats varies based on their ingredients and the preservatives used. Most commercially produced treats have an expiration date printed on the package which typically ranges from 6 months to 2 years from the production date. However, once opened, treats should be consumed within a reasonable timeframe to ensure freshness and prevent spoilage.
Do I Need to Brush My Dog’s Teeth if I Give Them Dental Treats?
While dental treats can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup, they are not a substitute for regular tooth brushing. Brushing your dog’s teeth is the most effective way to maintain their oral health and prevent dental diseases, so it’s recommended to maintain a regular brushing routine even if you’re using dental treats.
When selecting the best dog treats for your small dog, it’s essential to consider their nutritional needs, size, and taste preferences. Always look for high-quality, natural ingredients and avoid treats with fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives.
Once you find the perfect treats, be mindful of how many you give your dog. Even the healthiest treats can lead to weight gain if given too often, so always follow the recommended feeding guidelines. As a responsible pet parent, you want to ensure that the treats you give your furry friend contribute to their overall health and happiness.