There are so many dog treats out there, it’s a hard to know where to spend your money. Not only are they expensive, but you want to make sure your dog will like them that they have good ingredients, and won’t make your dog sick. This makes the treat shopping more complicated than it used to be.
I have three dogs, all different life stages, some with allergies, and one who is very picky. I went on a “binge” picking out treats and trying them out.
The Taste Testers:
Skye, 10 years old, will eat ANYTHING but has tummy and skin issues, so can’t make those worse
Irish, 3 years old, allergic to something we have not been able to pinpoint, suspect chicken though, sensitive tummy
Merlin, 1 year old, picky! Wants it to taste like meat. Also has sensitive tummy.
- Could not be made in China (doesn’t mean it’s safe, but it’s a start)
- Ingredients I could understand
- Did not upset my dog’s stomachs
- Made them excited! I use treats mainly for “special training” when my dogs need extra incentive, so they need to be good!
These criteria are general and what I believe most dog owners are also looking for; based on your dogs diet and health needs, yours may be different. Also when you shop, ask your local store if they have a return policy if your dog won’t eat them or it upsets their stomach. Some do, some don’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Here my top picks when it comes to treats or treat brands
This brand is made in Jersey City, New Jersey and simply put, are amazing! Their treats are handmade from scratch with human-grade ingredients. They only have a few ingredients per flavor and they did not make any of my kids sick either. For example, the My Peanut Buttercup has freshly ground organic peanut butter, buckwheat flour, house made organic applesauce, carob powder, and flax seed meal with water. The Breakfast Biscuit (my picky eater’s favorite!) only has garbanzo bean flour, cage-free eggs, cheese, and all-natural bacon. They seriously smell like a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit! $9.50 for a 5oz bag on their website.
If you haven’t yet heard of freeze dried treats, your pup is missing out! Dog owners are switching to these limited ingredient, raw freeze dried morsels due to concerns over preservatives, and complicated ingredient panels. The freeze drying process is a far superior way of preserving meat, without the use of chemicals. Project Paws ™ chicken breast and liver treats are available right here on iHeartDogs. And the best part? When you treat your dog to these delicious snacks, you’ll be treating shelter dogs to healthy meals! That’s right, for each pack the company sells, they donate 14 meals to dogs in need!
These treats are made in the U.S.A. from American-sourced ingredients. They have a variety of treats, both crunchy and soft for training. They are made of good, wholesome ingredients like pumpkin, yogurt, sunflower oil, beef, chicken, etc., and they have a flavor for any dog’s palate. My older dog loves the Pumpkin Apple, while my meat eater and “middle child” prefer the Apple Bacon chewy treats. Price varies, go to the Fruitables website to find a retailer near you.
Made in the U.S.A., these treats have ingredients you can understand and are oven baked. They have no added hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. I tried their NEW Crunchy Delight Duck Recipe and my dogs loved them! They also make a training treat that is probably equally as good. Your local independent store should carry them; the Bravo! website is currently under construction.
The Honest kitchen®
Another U.S.A. brand, the Honest Kitchen has been around awhile, I just never looked at their treats before now, and man was I missing out! They have a pretty big line of good-for-your-dog cookies and training treats. The later, called “Quickies” are fish based and only have 1.1 calories per treat and are made of one ingredient: dehydrated haddock. I was skeptical, thinking my dogs were not going to like fish, but they loved them! My one complaint, my treat pouch smells like fish now. Price varies, go to their website to order or find a store near you.
If you’re going to give your dog a treat, it might as well provide a functional benefit, right? Your dog won’t even know these delicious, grain & gluten free dental chews are good for them! The Triple Enzyme Dental Stick formula is specifically designed to control plaque, reduce tartar buildup, freshen breath, and help maintain healthy teeth and gums.
There used to be a rather gross, sticky “stick treat” with a ball roller on the market. It had questionable ingredients and made a mess. Luckily, it has disappeared, but the idea was good and so I was sad to lose the treat that helped my puppy learn to stand still while being groomed. Enter Leanlix. I just came across them and YAY! Made in the U.S.A, it’s like a giant chap stick your dog can lick. They have a corn-free line (which is what I purchased, since I don’t give my dogs corn) and several flavor combinations. I choose the Grass Fed Beef for my meat-lover and he loves it! Ingredients are good too, though a few more “fillers” than the other treats on this list. Price varies, go to their website to order.
Treat Your Dog, and Treat a Shelter Dog! – Learn More About Our New 100% Natural Freeze Dried Treats That Feed Shelter Dogs Through Every Purchase!
About the Author
Based in Wilsonville, Ore., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She also owns her own custom pet products company, A Fairytail House, where she makes personalized collars, leashes, beds, keepsake pillows and blankets, and anything else your imagine can think up. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.