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10 Best Functional Dog Treats

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on August 25, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader-supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

In the vast universe of dog treats, a rising star shines in the form of functional treats. Beyond just a delightful nibble for our canine companions, these treats serve a dual purpose: offering both taste and tangible health benefits. From improving joint health to enhancing cognitive function, functional dog treats integrate seamlessly into your pet’s diet, promoting well-being in every bite. Dive into our curated list of the best functional treats, and discover how to elevate your dog’s snack time into a nourishing experience.


#1 – Stewart Freeze Dried Dog Treats, Healthy Hips with Glucosamine for Dogs, Healthy, Limited Ingredient Grain Free Dog Treat, Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe, 8 Ounces, Resealable Pouch

Stewart Freeze Dried Dog Treats, Healthy Hips with Glucosamine for Dogs, are a natural and healthy treat option for dogs. These grain-free treats support hip and joint health with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin. Made with wholesome ingredients like beef, sweet potato, and flax seed, these limited-ingredient treats are suitable for pets with allergies and sensitive stomachs. Additionally, the freeze-drying process preserves the nutrients and raw flavor that dogs love.


#2 – Wholesome Pride Functional Calming Support Turkey Recipe Jerky Bites Calming Dog Treats – 8 oz

Wholesome Pride Functional Calming Support Turkey Recipe Jerky Bites Calming Dog Treats are designed to support everyday stress relief in dogs. Made in the USA with all-natural ingredients, these treats are specifically formulated to help dogs cope with external stresses caused by situations like traveling or moving. They contain active ingredients like L-Theanine, passion flower, and chamomile, as well as providing a natural source of animal protein. These treats do not contain any fillers, salt, wheat, corn, soy, gluten, grain, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or artificial preservatives. Wholesome Pride aims to create healthy and natural dog treats that pet owners can feel good about giving to their dogs.


#3 – Grain Free Functional Healthy Skin & Coat Dog Treats, 15 lb

The Grain Free Functional Healthy Skin & Coat Dog Treats are a 15 lb bag of treats designed to provide an additional health boost to dogs. These treats are oven-baked for a healthy natural crunch and contain salmon and salmon oil to promote healthy skin and coat. Superfoods like cranberries and blueberries are also included to add flavor. These treats are made in Canada and are free of gluten, wheat, and grain.


#4 – Nulo Functional Granola Bars, Healthy Dog Treats, Oven Baked, Made with Prebiotics and Probiotics, Contains No Added Salt, Sugar, or Molasses, 10 Ounce Bag

Nulo Functional Granola Bars are a healthy dog treat option that is oven-baked and made with prebiotics and probiotics. These granola bars contain no added salt, sugar, or molasses, making them a pure and simple snack for dogs. Each bite is packed with wholesome oats, peanut butter, and delicious mangoes, providing a tasty and nutritious option for your furry friend. Manufactured in the USA, Nulo Pet Foods is dedicated to producing high-quality products without corn, wheat gluten, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavoring.


#5 – Buckley Functional Healthy Hip And Joint Dog Jerky Treats, Beef Recipe, 5 Ounce

The Buckley Functional Healthy Hip And Joint Dog Jerky Treats, Beef Recipe is a 5-ounce dog treat made in the USA. It is specifically designed to support healthy hips and joints in dogs, containing glucosamine and chondroitin. The treats are grain and gluten-free, making them suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and they are made with all-natural ingredients without any artificial preservatives or flavors. The product packaging may vary.


#6 – Get Naked 1 Pouch Digestive Health Soft Dog Treats, 5 Oz, Brown

The Get Naked 1 Pouch Digestive Health Soft Dog Treats, weighing 5 oz, are brown in color. These treats are made in the USA, using 100% natural and edible ingredients. They contain added Ganado BC30 probiotics and FOS prebiotics to support healthy digestion in dogs. Additionally, these treats are grain-free and contain omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, with chicken being the main ingredient.


#7 – Wags & Wiggles Simmer Down Calming Treats for Dogs, Chicken Flavor, 5.5 oz Resealable Bag | Helps Maintain Relaxation | Functional Treats for Dogs with Lavender and Chamomile

The Wags & Wiggles Simmer Down Calming Treats for Dogs are specially designed treats that aim to promote relaxation in dogs. Made with lavender and chamomile, these treats are formulated to support calmness and relaxation in dogs. They have an irresistibly crunchy texture that dogs love and come in a chicken flavor. The treats are packaged in a resealable bag to keep them fresh for longer.


#8 – Get Naked 1 Pouch Puppy Health Soft Dog Treats, 6 Oz, Brown (201578)

The Get Naked Puppy Health Soft Dog Treats are a 100% natural and edible product made in the USA. They are fortified with DHA omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and calcium for healthy teeth and bones. The treats are grain-free and have chicken as the number one ingredient, providing a tasty and nutritious option for puppies.


#9 – Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Skin & Coat Treats – Chewy Treat with Fish Oil for Shiny Coat (14 oz. Salmon)

Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Skin & Coat Treats are a chewy treat specifically designed to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat in all dogs. The treats are made with natural salmon and contain salmon oil and vitamin E, providing a luxurious coat and promoting overall skin health. The treats are grain-free and do not contain added gluten, corn, soy, or artificial colors or flavors, making them a suitable option for dogs with dietary sensitivities. Additionally, these treats come in a soft-textured form and have a measured dose of supplementation based on the weight of your dog.


#10 – Jack’s Premium Dental Treats for Dogs- Natural Chew for Dental Support & Tartar Control- Grain Free Functional Treat with Organic Spirulina (Peppermint, 21 Sticks)

Jack’s Premium Dental Treats for Dogs is a natural and grain-free chew designed to support dental health and control tartar in dogs. The unique star shape of the treats helps clean between teeth, increase blood flow to gums, and prevent tartar buildup. Made with apples, these treats not only freshen breath but also have fiber and abrasive properties to clean teeth. Additionally, the treats contain peppermint oil, which acts as a natural breath freshener and supports gastrointestinal health. Jack’s Premium Dental Treats are made in the USA with USA-sourced ingredients and are allergen-friendly, as they are made without poultry, grains, and dairy.


What Are The Different Kinds of Functional Dog Treats?

Functional dog treats are designed to address specific health concerns or enhance particular aspects of a dog’s well-being. The various kinds of functional treats include:

  1. Joint Health Treats: These treats contain ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM which support joint health and can be especially beneficial for senior dogs or breeds prone to joint issues.
  2. Dental Treats: Designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, these treats often have a unique shape or texture that helps clean a dog’s teeth as they chew. They may also contain ingredients to freshen breath.
  3. Skin and Coat Treats: Packed with omega fatty acids, flaxseed, salmon oil, or other nutrients, these treats promote a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  4. Digestive Health Treats: These can contain prebiotics, probiotics, or fiber to support a dog’s digestive health, aiding in nutrient absorption and promoting regular bowel movements.
  5. Cognitive Support Treats: Aimed at supporting brain health, particularly in senior dogs, these treats may contain ingredients like fish oil or antioxidants.
  6. Calming Treats: Designed to help dogs relax, these treats might contain natural ingredients like chamomile, valerian root, or even CBD.
  7. Immune Support Treats: Rich in antioxidants and other vital nutrients, these treats aim to bolster a dog’s immune system.
  8. Weight Management Treats: Lower in calories and fat, these treats are designed for dogs on a diet or those prone to obesity. They might also contain fiber to make a dog feel fuller.
  9. Training Treats: While primarily used for positive reinforcement, many training treats are now being formulated with added nutrients to provide a health boost.
  10. Vision Support Treats: These contain antioxidants like lutein or other nutrients known to support eye health.
  11. Heart Health Treats: Omega fatty acids and other heart-friendly ingredients are the stars in these treats designed to support cardiovascular health.

It’s crucial to note that while functional treats can support a dog’s health, they should not replace veterinary care or medications. If you’re considering introducing functional treats to your dog’s diet, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet, especially if your dog has pre-existing health conditions.


What Are The Benefits of Functional Dog Treats?

Functional dog treats offer a range of benefits stemming from their specially formulated ingredients tailored to address specific health needs. Here are some of the primary benefits of these treats:

  1. Targeted Health Support: Each functional treat is designed with a specific health goal in mind, be it joint health, dental hygiene, or digestive support. This means that while your dog enjoys their treat, they’re also receiving specific nutrients or compounds beneficial to their health.
  2. Complementary Care: While they shouldn’t replace medications or a balanced diet, functional treats can complement other health interventions. For instance, a dog on joint supplements might also benefit from treats with glucosamine.
  3. Encouraging Consumption: It can sometimes be challenging to get dogs to take supplements or medications. Functional treats can be a tasty way to ensure your dog receives beneficial nutrients without the fuss.
  4. Enhanced Nutritional Profile: Compared to standard treats, functional treats often have a richer nutritional profile, incorporating high-quality ingredients, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds.
  5. Improved Behavior and Training: Some functional treats, such as calming treats or training-specific treats, can aid in behavior modification or training sessions, making the process smoother for both the pet and the owner.
  6. Convenience: Instead of juggling multiple supplements or health products, functional treats can simplify a dog owner’s regimen, providing multiple benefits in one tasty morsel.
  7. Dental Health: Dental treats, in particular, provide the dual benefit of satisfying a dog’s natural chewing instinct while also helping to clean teeth and gums, reducing plaque and tartar buildup.
  8. Safety: Many functional treats are formulated to be more easily digestible and are often made with natural ingredients, reducing the risk of allergic reactions or sensitivities.
  9. Enhanced Bonding: Giving treats is also a bonding activity. When these treats offer health benefits, it enhances the sense of care between the pet and the owner.
  10. Cost-Effective: In some cases, integrating functional treats into a dog’s routine might reduce the need for certain supplements, potentially saving money in the long run.

However, while there are numerous benefits to functional dog treats, it’s essential to use them responsibly. Over-reliance without vet consultation, or overfeeding, can negate the benefits. It’s always a good idea to involve your veterinarian when introducing functional treats into your pet’s diet.


Frequently Asked Questions About Functional Dog Treats

1. What are functional dog treats?
Functional dog treats are specially formulated snacks for dogs that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. They’re designed to address specific health needs, from dental care to joint support, in a tasty format that dogs love.

2. Are functional treats a replacement for my dog’s regular diet or medication?
No, functional treats are not meant to replace a balanced diet or prescribed medications. Instead, they supplement and complement your dog’s overall health regimen, offering targeted support in specific areas.

3. How often can I give my dog functional treats?
The frequency depends on the specific treat and your dog’s needs. Always follow the recommended dosage on the packaging and consult with your vet to determine the right amount and frequency for your pet.

4. Can puppies have functional treats?
Some functional treats are suitable for puppies, while others are designed for adult dogs. Always check the label and, if in doubt, consult with your veterinarian to ensure the treat is appropriate for your puppy’s age and size.

5. Are there any side effects to functional treats?
While most functional treats are safe, some dogs might experience side effects, especially if they consume too many or if they have allergies to specific ingredients. Always introduce new treats gradually and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions.

6. Can I give my dog multiple types of functional treats?
It’s possible, but it’s essential to ensure that the combined intake doesn’t exceed recommended levels for any particular nutrient or ingredient. If you’re considering multiple functional treats, consult with your vet to ensure they’re compatible.

7. How do I choose the right functional treat for my dog?
First, identify your dog’s specific health needs or areas you’d like to support. Next, look for reputable brands with high-quality ingredients and reviews. Always consider your dog’s age, size, and any existing health conditions.

8. Do functional treats have an expiration date?
Yes, like all dog treats and foods, functional treats have an expiration date. Always check the packaging and ensure you’re providing fresh treats to maximize benefits and safety.

9. Can functional treats cause weight gain in dogs?
If given in excess and not accounted for in your dog’s daily caloric intake, any treat, including functional ones, can contribute to weight gain. It’s essential to balance treats with regular meals and exercise.

10. How should I store functional dog treats?
Most functional treats should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Some might require refrigeration after opening, so always check the label for specific storage instructions.


Conclusion: Best Functional Dog Treats

Navigating the world of dog treats becomes a joyful endeavor when we consider the added health advantages that functional treats bring to the table. By choosing these purpose-driven snacks, you not only indulge your pet but also invest in their long-term health and vitality. As always, remember to introduce any new treat or food gradually and keep an eye out for any potential allergies or sensitivities. With the right functional treat in hand, every snack time becomes an opportunity for enhanced wellness and joy for your furry friend.

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