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11 Best Healthy 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 8, 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 world of canine delights, finding treats that not only tantalize our dogs’ taste buds but also contribute positively to their health can be a challenge. Healthy dog treats are more than just rewards; they’re extensions of a balanced diet, offering nutritional benefits while satisfying our furry friends’ love for occasional indulgences. As pet parents keen on ensuring our dogs’ longevity and well-being, it’s essential to know the options that combine flavor with function.


#1 – Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Single Ingredient Lamb Liver Treats, 3 oz. Bag

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Single Ingredient Lamb Liver Treats are made in the USA with 1% pure freeze-dried raw lamb liver. These treats are a natural and healthy option for dogs, providing a high-value reward that they cannot resist. They are particularly suitable for pets with food sensitivities and those following limited-ingredient diets. Adding raw meat to a dog’s diet can offer various benefits including supporting healthy digestion, teeth and gums, skin and coat, and overall vitality.


#2 – A Better Treat – Freeze Dried Salmon Dog Treats, Wild Caught, Single Ingredient | Natural High Value | Gluten Free, Grain Free, High Protein, Diabetic Friendly | Natural Fish Oil | Made in The USA

The Freeze Dried Salmon Dog Treats are a natural and nutritious option for both dogs and cats. Made with 100% freeze-dried wild-caught Alaskan salmon, these treats are free from grains, gluten, and additives. They are great for pets with allergies or dietary requirements, and the salmon’s natural nutrients and fish oil can promote healthier skin, and shinier coats, and support joint and heart health. The treats are sustainably sourced and made in the USA, ensuring the highest quality ingredients.


#3 – Amazon Brand – Solimo Sweet Potato & Duck Jerky Dog Treats, 2 pounds

The Amazon Brand – Solimo Sweet Potato & Duck Jerky Dog Treats is a 2-pound bag of dog treats made with sweet potato and duck as the first two ingredients. These treats do not contain any corn, wheat, soy, or gluten. They can be fed to dogs as a snack or reward and can be broken into smaller pieces for treating. The jerky is chewier than typical jerky and should be accompanied by plenty of fresh water. The packaging may vary, and customers who enjoy Cadet Dog Treat Wraps are encouraged to try Solimo.


#4 – A Better Treat – Freeze Dried Beef Dog Treats, Grass Fed, Beef Liver Single Ingredient | Natural, Healthy, High Value | Gluten Free, Grain Free, High Protein, Diabetic Friendly | Made in The USA

A Better Treat’s Freeze Dried Beef Dog Treats are made with 100% grass-fed beef liver, making them a natural and healthy option for pets. These treats are free from grains and gluten, making them suitable for animals with allergies or dietary restrictions. In addition to being high in protein, these treats also offer essential fatty acids and nutrients that promote healthier skin and coats. Made in the USA, A Better Treat uses freeze-drying to preserve the natural nutrients in the beef liver, ensuring a high-quality and nutritious product.


#5 – Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Single Ingredient Chicken Hearts Dog Treats, 3 oz. Bag

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Single Ingredient Chicken Hearts Dog Treats are made in the USA using only 100% pure freeze-dried raw chicken hearts. These treats are a natural and healthy option for dogs, particularly those with food sensitivities and limited ingredient diets. The addition of raw meat to a dog’s diet can provide numerous benefits including improved digestion, dental health, skin and coat quality, and overall vitality. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Single Ingredient Treats are a biologically-appropriate addition to any dog’s diet.


#6 –  Afreschi Turkey Tendon Dog Treats for Signature Series, All Natural Human Grade Puppy Chew, Ingredient Sourced from USA, Hypoallergenic, Easy to Digest, Rawhide Alternative, 1 Unit/Pack Strip (Large)

The Afreschi Turkey Tendon Dog Treats are a natural and healthy alternative to rawhide products. Made from a single ingredient – 100% pure turkey tendon sourced from the USA – these treats contain no additives, chemicals, or artificial flavors. They are high in protein and low in fat, making them a delicious and nutritious option for dogs. The treats are hand-made and slow-roasted for maximum flavor, and the braided design helps them last longer. They also promote dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup. Additionally, these treats are hypoallergenic and suitable for dogs with sensitive tummies.


#7 – Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews 100% All-Natural Single Ingredient, USA-Sourced Dog Treats, 8 oz

Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews are all-natural dog treats made with only one ingredient: sweet potatoes. These treats are minimally processed, resulting in variations in size, shape, and firmness. They are sourced from family farms in North Carolina, using aesthetically imperfect sweet potatoes as part of a sustainability initiative. These treats are grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan, making them suitable for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs. Sweet potatoes provide fiber and vegetable-based nutrients, adding to the overall healthiness of these treats. Wholesome Pride offers a variety of flavors, allowing dog owners to choose options that support their pet’s health and well-being.


#8 – Icelandic+ Plus Cod & Salmon Combo Bites Dog Treat 3.0-oz Bag

Icelandic+ Plus Cod & Salmon Combo Bites Dog Treat is a 3.0-oz bag of pure, sustainably sourced Icelandic cod and salmon. The treats are made from fresh daily catches without any additives, preservatives, or supplements. They are crunchy and natural, packed with Omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and a shiny coat for your dog. Additionally, the treats aid in reducing plaque and tartar build-up, contributing to good dental health. The treats are air-dried in the traditional Viking method used in 900 A.D.


#9 – Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards Freeze-Dried Treats for Dogs and Cats – Pork Liver – Gluten-Free Pet Food – 3 Oz.

The Northwest Naturals Raw Rewards Freeze-Dried Treats for Dogs and Cats are all-natural, grain-free, and gluten-free snacks that are perfect for training or as a daily energy boost. These savory treats are made with natural ingredients and are free from added hormones or antibiotics. Available in flavors like pork liver, these freeze-dried treats are made in the USA and are part of a complete line of dog and cat food options from Northwest Naturals.


#10 – A Better Treat – Freeze Dried Organic Pumpkin Dog and Cat Treats, Organic, Single Ingredient | Natural, Healthy, Diabetic Friendly | Made in The USA

A Better Treat offers freeze-dried organic pumpkin dog and cat treats that are natural, healthy, and diabetic-friendly. These treats are made in the USA and are loved by both dogs and cats. They are 100% organic and single ingredient, making them suitable for pets with allergies, sensitive stomachs, diabetes, or specific dietary requirements. Additionally, the pumpkin treats provide stomach soothing and digestive support, are low in calories, and are made with high-quality ingredients to ensure the best quality for your pets.


#11 – Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dog Treats, Dog Snacks Made in The USA, All Natural Dog Treats, Great Training Treats for Dogs, Rabbit Bites 2.0 oz

The Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Dog Treats are all-natural dog snacks made in the USA. These treats are protein-rich and delicious, making them a great option for training or simply rewarding your furry friend. They are made with limited ingredients and do not contain any artificial flavorings, fillers, dyes, or rendered by-products. Additionally, these treats are made from real rabbits, which is a healthy and tasty alternative for dogs with allergies to other proteins. The treats come in a lightweight and resealable pouch, making them easy to take on the go.


What Makes a Dog Treat Healthy?

A healthy dog treat is one that offers nutritional benefits to your pet while avoiding harmful or unnecessary additives. Here’s what defines a healthy dog treat:

  1. Natural Ingredients: Look for treats made with whole food ingredients, such as lean meats, fresh vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid those with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  2. Nutritional Balance: A healthy treat will have a balanced nutrient profile, which means it’s not overly high in fats or sugars. While treats are not meant to replace a meal, they should still offer some nutritional value, such as protein or essential fatty acids.
  3. Low in Fillers: Avoid treats that list fillers like corn, wheat, and soy as primary ingredients. These can be potential allergens for some dogs and don’t offer much nutritional value.
  4. Appropriate Size and Texture: The size and texture of the treat should be suitable for the dog’s size, age, and chewing habits. This ensures the treat can be consumed safely without the risk of choking.
  5. Transparency of Source: Brands that provide information about where their ingredients come from and how their treats are made generally take more care in ensuring quality.
  6. Limited Unhealthy Additives: Be cautious of treats that have excessive amounts of added salts, sugars, or fats. These can contribute to weight gain and other health issues.
  7. Suitability for the Dog’s Dietary Needs: Always consider any specific dietary needs or allergies your dog may have. Some dogs might benefit from grain-free or hypoallergenic treats.

In essence, a healthy dog treat is one that complements a balanced diet, offers nutritional benefits, is made from quality ingredients, and is safe and appropriate for your dog’s size and life stage. Always consult with your veterinarian if you’re unsure about the best treats for your pet.


Tips for Choosing Healthy Treats for Your Dog

ertainly! Choosing the right treats for your dog can enhance their overall diet and provide them with delightful rewards that are not just tasty but also nutritious. Here are some tips to guide you in selecting healthy treats for your furry friend:

  1. Read the Ingredients: Always start by checking the ingredients list. Opt for treats with natural, whole-food ingredients and avoid those with artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The fewer the ingredients, the better.
  2. Mind the First Ingredient: Ideally, the first ingredient should be a high-quality source of protein, such as chicken, beef, lamb, or fish.
  3. Avoid Fillers: Steer clear of treats loaded with fillers like corn, soy, and wheat. Not only can these be potential allergens for some dogs, but they also offer minimal nutritional value.
  4. Consider Nutritional Needs: If your dog has specific health concerns or allergies, seek out treats formulated to cater to those needs. There are hypoallergenic, low-fat, and grain-free treats available for dogs with particular dietary requirements.
  5. Check Calorie Count: Like human snacks, dog treats can be calorie-dense. Always check the calorie content to ensure you’re not overfeeding, which can lead to weight gain.
  6. Prioritize Single-Ingredient Treats: Treats like dehydrated sweet potato, freeze-dried liver, or dried fish offer simplicity and are often well-tolerated by most dogs.
  7. Observe Size and Hardness: Ensure the treat is size-appropriate for your dog. Larger treats can be a choking hazard for small dogs, and very hard treats can be difficult for older dogs with dental issues.
  8. Transparency is Key: Brands that offer clarity about where their ingredients are sourced and how the treats are made are often more trustworthy.
  9. Avoid Added Sugars and Salts: These are unnecessary for dogs and can contribute to health issues in the long run.
  10. Consult with Your Veterinarian: If you’re ever in doubt about a particular treat, especially if your dog has health issues, always consult with your vet. They can provide guidance tailored to your dog’s unique needs.

Remember, treats should complement a balanced dog diet, not replace it. As a general rule of thumb, treats should constitute no more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. Always ensure your pet has access to fresh water, especially after treating.


Frequently Asked Questions About Healthy Dog Treats

  1. What constitutes a “healthy” dog treat? A healthy dog treat is made from natural, high-quality ingredients, ideally without artificial additives, colors, or preservatives. It should offer nutritional benefits, complementing a balanced diet rather than detracting from it.
  2. Why should I avoid treats with artificial ingredients? Artificial ingredients can sometimes cause allergies or adverse reactions in dogs. Natural ingredients are easier to digest and can offer more genuine nutritional value.
  3. How often can I give my dog a healthy treat? While it varies based on the treat and your dog’s diet, treats should generally make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. It’s essential to ensure the main diet is balanced and nutritious.
  4. Can I use healthy treats for training? Absolutely! Many healthy treats are perfect for training, especially those that are small and low in calories. Always consider the overall quantity given during training sessions.
  5. Are grain-free treats healthier for my dog? Grain-free isn’t inherently healthier, but it’s a good option for dogs with grain allergies or sensitivities. Always consider your dog’s specific nutritional needs.
  6. How do I store natural dog treats? Natural treats should be stored in a cool, dry place. Many require refrigeration after opening to maintain freshness due to the absence of preservatives.
  7. Do healthy treats have a shorter shelf life? Often, yes. Since many healthy treats lack artificial preservatives, they may have a shorter shelf life than other commercial options.
  8. Can I make homemade healthy dog treats? Yes! Many pet owners opt for homemade treats as they can control the ingredients. Ensure you use dog-safe ingredients and consult with a vet for recommended recipes.
  9. How do I determine the right treat size for my dog? Treat size should be appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing habits. Small breeds may choke on larger treats, while larger breeds might not find small treats satisfying.
  10. Do all dogs need the same type of treats? No, dogs have individual preferences and dietary needs. Some might require hypoallergenic treats, while others might need low-calorie or dental treats. It’s essential to consider your dog’s unique requirements.

Always consult with your vet or a pet nutritionist when introducing new treats into your dog’s diet, especially if your pet has specific health concerns.

Related: 9 Best Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Conclusion: Best Healthy Dog Treats

The quest for the ideal treat doesn’t mean compromising on taste or nutrition. With the plethora of healthy dog treats available today, we can shower our pets with delicious rewards that also uphold their dietary well-being. As always, moderation is key. When chosen thoughtfully and given judiciously, treats can enhance our bond with our dogs, making every snack time a moment of mutual joy and affirmation of our enduring love.

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. 

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