The 25 Best Dog Treats of 2023, According to Groomers
January 2, 2023
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Our furry friends deserve the very best, and that includes the food they eat. Just like humans, dogs love to indulge in tasty snacks! Treats can be more than just a way to please our dog — they are also useful tools for training and rewarding good behavior. If you have a pup that needs a little extra help learning how to behave, a tasty treat can be an excellent motivator. From crunchy biscuits to soft beef jerky strips, there are hundreds of dog treats available. But how do you know which one is the best dog treat for your furry companion?
When it comes to dog treats, you want to make sure you’re buying high-quality products made with quality ingredients. Every dog is different and may have different preferences when it comes to texture and size, so you may need to experiment to understand what your dog prefers. What’s more, dog treats can vary widely in price, so be sure to consider your budget as well.
In this article, we’re rounding up the ulti-mutt list of the best treats for dogs for every situation to ensure your pup is happy and healthy!
Best Overall Dog Treats
In our opinion, the best dog treats must tick a few important boxes: enjoyable texture, delicious flavor, and of course, made with only the best ingredients to support your dog's physical health and well-being.
According to the criteria above, we've narrowed down our top picks to include three fantastic dog treat products. These treats are crowd-favorites among both dog parents and our canine friends — our top picks can even please the pickiest of pups!
Petpost Tear Stain Soft Chews for Dogs. This tasty treat from Petpost is not only delicious, but also comes with the near-magical ability to eliminate your dog's unsightly tear stains! Made with all-natural ingredients, these soft chews are the perfect choice for pups that suffer from excessive tearing. It also boosts your dog's immune system, promoting their overall health while they enjoy a tasty snack.
BIXBI Bark Pops Chicken-Free White Cheddar Light & Crunchy Dog Treats. These delicious treats are only four calories each, which means you can spoil your pup without feeling guilty. They are considered "human grade," meaning all materials in the dog food have to come from animals that pass as suitable for human consumption, so your pet is getting the highest quality treat possible. The light and crunchy texture of these treats makes them the perfect sensory experience for dogs, which is ideal for training or rewarding good behavior.
Isle of Dogs Everyday Essentials 100% Natural Smile Dog Treats. With an excellent range of doggy supplement treats, this brand prides itself on being both healthy and budget-friendly. These treats are made with wholesome ingredients like all-natural parsley, dried Norwegian kelp, apples, and whole grains to support your dog's oral health.
Best Dental Treats for Dogs
Dental treats for dogs are special types of treats designed to help keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy. They usually have a texture that’s easy for your dog to chew and contain ingredients like calcium carbonate or baking soda to help break down plaque. Dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease are common in dogs, which can cause serious health problems if left untreated. By feeding your dog dental treats on a regular basis, you can help prevent these issues from developing, all while keeping your dog’s teeth clean and giving them a treat they’ll enjoy.
Depending on the type of dental treats you’re using, it may be recommended that you give them to your dog every day. Some products will have specific directions for use, so be sure to check the packaging carefully before giving your dog any new treats. If you’re unsure about how often to feed your dog dental treats, be sure to consult your dog’s vet. Here are three of the best dental treats for dogs:
PetLab Co. Prebiotic Dental Sticks Dog Dental Chews. These chewy sticks are made using all-natural ingredients like chicory root, peppermint oil, organic coconut oil, and ground flaxseed. They are specially formulated to help keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy, preventing plaque and tartar build-up, while providing a tasty treat that your pup is sure to love.
Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Flex + Joint Health Dental Chews for Large Dogs. These gluten-free treats are easily digestible, making them an excellent choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Made in a unique Z-shape, they are designed to reach all areas of your dog's mouth for thorough cleaning. Plus, they also contain a prebiotic that supports your dog's overall gut health.
Team Treatz DogEatz Snoopy Rawhide-Free Dental Dog Treats. Team Treatz aren't just delicious, they're cute too! Embossed with Snoopy's face, these treats are sure to get your dog excited every time they see them. They help scrape plaque and tartar away from your dog's teeth while they chew, which helps keep their mouth clean and healthy.
Best Puppy Treats for Training
Treats are one of the best training tools for dogs, especially puppies. They’re a great way to reward positive behavior and teach new skills or tricks. When choosing dog treats for training, you'll need to pick ones that are exceptionally tasty and highly motivating. If not, your dog may not be as eager to learn even when you have treats in hand.
When your dog displays any desirable behavior — such as sitting or responding to a command you give them — you should reward them with a treat. You can also use treats during training exercises to help encourage your dog to stay focused and keep trying. Here are three of the best puppy treats for training your dog:
Bocce's Bakery Bac'n Nutty PB & Bacon Training Bites Dog Treats. These delicious, protein-packed treats are made with wholesome ingredients like bacon and peanut butter. They're also completely wheat-free, so you can trust that they won't cause tummy troubles for your dog. They are a great choice for training, as they're small and mouth-wateringly delicious, making them ideal for rewarding your pup when they show good behavior.
Canine Cravers Premium Beef Fillets Dehydrated Dog Treats. Created by air drying 100% natural beef, Canine Cravers are delicious and healthy training treats. They're grain-free, gluten-free, and perfect for pups on a limited-ingredient diet due to allergies or sensitivities. They can be easily broken into smaller pieces, which makes them perfect for training your pup.
Best Healthy Dog Treats
Your dog's health is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing treats. If you're using treats as a regular reward, you must be sure you’re feeding them something that’s not only delicious and satisfying but also good for them. There are a few key characteristics that define the healthiest dog treats including:
High-quality ingredients that are free from harmful additives and unnecessary fillers
Low in fat and sugar
Beneficial nutrients like vitamins and minerals to support your dog's overall health and well-being
As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and your dog is no different! Here are three of the best healthy dog treats:
Lord Jameson Coco Crush Vegan Dog Treats. Who says vegan treats can't be delicious? These tasty coconut-based treats are free from all animal byproducts, making them a great choice for animal-loving dog parents. They’re also high in protein, which makes them a great choice for active dogs. Plus, they contain beneficial nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, so they’re both extra delicious and super nutritious.
Charlee Bear Bearnola Bites Cranberry Cobbler Flavor Dog Treats. These oven-baked treats are made with wholesome ingredients like oats, quinoa, and cranberries. They’re high in protein and fiber — which helps keep your dog full and energized — and also free from common allergens like wheat, corn, and soy. Their stomach-safe formula makes them a great choice for dogs with sensitive tummies, while still being delicious enough to keep even the pickiest pups coming back for more!
Etta Says! Beef Yumm Sticks Dog Treats. If you have a meat-crazy pup on your hands, you can’t go wrong with these tasty beef sticks. They contain high-quality meat paired with simple, healthy ingredients like brown sugar and black pepper. There's no funny business here — just pure, delicious beefy goodness!
Best Dog Treats for Bad Breath
Bad breath in dogs is usually an indication that there’s something wrong inside their bodies. It can be caused by a wide range of factors, including, but not limited to:
Poor dental hygiene
Underlying health conditions
Fortunately, there are numerous dog treats that can help reduce bad breath and keep your dog's mouth clean and healthy. These treats often contain natural ingredients like cloves, mint, or eucalyptus that help reduce plaque and bacteria in the mouth, while also freshening up your dog's breath. They’re a great way to address bad breath in dogs and help to improve their overall oral health.
The length of time that you should give your dog these treats will depend on several factors, including the severity of their bad breath, the underlying cause of their bad breath, and how well they respond to the treats. In general, it’s recommended that you try giving your dog these treats for a few weeks at minimum before you start to see any real results. Even with the best dog breath treats, it can take some time for the natural ingredients to start clearing out any bacteria and plaque build-up in your dog's mouth. So, remember to be patient and consistent with their treatment.
If your dog is experiencing bad breath, it's also important to consult a veterinarian for the best guidance and recommendations. They can help you to determine the underlying cause of your dog's bad breath and recommend other treatments, if necessary. Clearing up chronic bad breath can take up to six months with ongoing treatment and regular teeth cleaning, but here are three of the best dog treats for bad breath:
Milk-Bone Fresh Breath Brushing Chews Daily Dental Dog Treats. This is one of the best dog treats for bad breath! These tasty treats are formulated with natural spearmint to help freshen your dog's breath, while their ridged shape helps keep food particles and plaque at bay. They’re specially formulated with calcium to support your dog's dental health and have even been granted the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) Accepted Seal for tartar control.
Bocce's Bakery Daily Support Breath Aid Apple & Mint Dog Treat. Bocce has created a line of delicious and nutritious dog treats specifically formulated to help combat bad breath. These apple and mint treats contain natural ingredients, which help neutralize bad breath while also cleansing your dog's mouth. They're so delicious, they can even be used as a reward or training treat.
Merrick Fresh Kisses Double-Brush Dog Treats. If you're looking for a gluten-free dog treat can help to reduce bad breath, this is a great choice for your pup. These tasty dental sticks feature a double-brush design and come in two delicious flavors: coconut and mint.
Best Natural and Sustainable Dog Treats
Natural dog treats are made with wholesome, simple ingredients that are minimally processed and free from artificial additives, making them a great choice for pet parents who are looking for treats that are not only tasty, but also nutritious for your pup.
If you're concerned about sustainability, you're most likely interested in knowing where the ingredients come from and whether the product is manufactured in an environmentally-friendly way. There are many natural and sustainable dog treats on the market that are made using ethically sourced ingredients, recycled packaging, and eco-friendly manufacturing processes.
Here are three of the best natural dog treats for eco-conscious pet guardians:
Tender & True Sustainable Grain-Free Salmon Flavored Jerky Dog Treats. One of the best natural and sustainable dog treats is this grain-free jerky by Tender & True. These jerky treats are made with real salmon and have a delicious, meaty flavor that dogs love. All the wild salmon used in these treats are sustainably caught, as certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, which means they're also free from added hormones and antibiotics.
Canidae Sustain Wild-Caught Salmon Recipe Jerky Dog Treats. Here’s another salmon-based treat that’s great for your dog's health and overall well-being. These treats are made with ethically sourced and wild-caught salmon and packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat. They're also made in the United States, from Alaskan salmon that’s traceable from catch to bag.
Full Moon Organic Human-Grade Training Treats for Dogs. These delicious organic dog treats are made with wholesome ingredients that are carefully sourced from reputable suppliers. They're also guaranteed to be free from artificial flavors and preservatives, making them a great choice for health-conscious pet parents. And since they're human-grade, you know they're good enough for your precious pup to consume.
Best Low-Calorie Dog Treats
If your dog is struggling with weight or health issues, low-calorie dog treats could be just what they need. These treats are designed to provide the nutrients and energy your dog needs while still allowing them to stay within their recommended calorie range. They’re often made with wholesome ingredients that can support your dog's overall health while minimizing the risk of weight gain or health problems.
Here are three of the best low-calorie dog treats for weight-conscious pups:
Pupford Salmon Training Freeze-Dried Dog Treats. These yummy treats are less than one calorie per treat, making them a great option for dogs that are trying to lose weight or manage their weight. They're also made with just two simple ingredients: freeze-dried salmon and tocopherols. They're great for training and come in a resealable bag to keep them fresh in between use.
Bil-Jac Low-Fat SlimJacs Slow-Cooked Dog Treat. Another great option for parents looking for low-calorie dog treats are the Bil-Jac Low-Fat SlimJacs Slow-Cooked Dog Treats. These treats are slow-cooked in small batches and made with real chicken to keep them fresh and tasty. Their moist texture helps keep your dog full and satisfied between meals so they can get the energy they need without overindulging in unhealthy treats. They come in at just three calories per treat, making them great for most dogs with health and weight issues.
Stewart Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Treats. Only calories at 4 kcal per treat and high in protein, these treats are made with 100% freeze-dried chicken breast —specially crafted to nourish your pup's muscles and promote healthy eyes. These grain-free delights are ideal for dogs with allergies, sensitivities, and sensitive stomachs, ensuring a wholesome and flavorful snacking experience.
Best Chewy Dog Treats
Many pet parents prefer to give their dogs chewy treats, since they tend to be softer and more enjoyable for dogs compared to other types of treats. Chewy treats are also a great choice for dogs with sensitive teeth or gums because of the gentle texture that’s less likely to cause irritation or discomfort. It's easy to see why pets love chewy treats, as the soft and tasty nature makes for a delicious sensory overload.
Here are three of the best chew treats for dogs:
Zesty Paws All-in-One Bacon Flavored Soft & Chewy Training Bites Dog Treats. Your pup will be sure to love these bacon-flavored dog treats. These chewy pieces are rich in flavor, thanks to the inclusion of real bacon. They're also packed full of essential nutrients such as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate. These ingredients support your dog's joint health while protecting them from inflammation, making this treat an ideal choice for older or overweight dogs.
Lucy Pet Products Hip To Be Square Duck & Pumpkin Formula Grain-Free Dog Treats. From young pups to older dogs, these chewy treats are designed with every dog in mind. They're made with real duck and pumpkin, which aids your dog's digestive health and keeps them feeling full and satisfied between meals. For an added feel-good factor, every purchase helps to support the Lucy Pet Foundation, a non-profit that provides free spaying and neutering for low-income pet guardians.
Furry Republic Bones Chicken, Apple & Peanut Butter Recipe Grain-Free Dog Treats. The Furry Republic knows how to make the perfect chewy treats for dogs! These bite-sized, bone-shaped snacks are packed full of chicken protein, and they're also free from grains, fillers, meal, corn, or soy. To ensure all the nutrients are preserved, these chewy treats are air-dried, rather than baked. The result? A tasty, nutritious snack your dog is sure to love!
Best Treats for Small Dogs
Smaller dogs have unique needs when it comes to treats because they have smaller bodies and require fewer calories. When searching for the best treats for small dogs, you'll want to look for options that are high in protein and low in calories, so that your dog can get the nutrition they need without gaining excess weight. Most treats come in small dog varieties, so you can easily pick out the perfect option for your pup.
Here are three of the best dog treats for small dogs:
Purina Busy With Beggin' Twist'd Dog Treats. These affordably priced dog treats are specially made for smaller dogs. They're so tasty, your pup won't be able to resist them! Designed for a long-lasting chew, these treats will keep your small dog busy for ages. While they chew, their teeth and gums will also get a good clean, which will help to keep gum disease and other dental issues at bay.
Natural Balance Grain-Free Treats Sweet Potato & Venison Formula Dog Treats. These treats are perfect for small dogs on limited-ingredient diets. Made with sweet potatoes and venison, these goodies are ideal for dogs with food intolerances or sensitivities. It gives your dog the delicious flavor they love without any of the ingredients that could cause unwanted reactions. These treats contain no grains, wheat, or soy, and they're only 8 calories per treat to help keep your dog slim and trim.
Still have a few questions regarding the best dog treats for your pup? You've come to the right place! Find answers to some of the most commonly asked dog treat questions below.
How to shop for the best dog treats?
The best way to shop for dog treats is to read labels carefully and consider what your dog needs in terms of nutrients and calorie intake. You'll also want to read reviews, consult your vet, and ask other dog parents for their recommendations on finding the best treats for different needs.
Look out for treats made with high-quality ingredients that have been formulated to provide specific health benefits. For example, if your dog has a food sensitivity or intolerance, it’s best to look for treats that don't contain ingredients that could potentially cause a reaction. You should also consider whether your dog is a small or large breed, as this will affect the type of treats that are most appropriate for them.
What ingredients should you avoid?
Generally speaking, you should avoid treats that are excessively high in calories and unnecessary amounts of sugar. Just like humans, dogs can easily gain weight if they're overindulging in treats, which may lead to a number of health issues down the road. Overall, try to avoid corn syrup, soy, and other high-carbohydrate ingredients where possible, as they’re often used in low-quality dog treats. Some dogs don’t tolerate grains well, so if your pup has this sensitivity, look to avoid treats that contain them.
Finally, it's always a good idea to avoid treats that contain high amounts of artificial additives and preservatives like BHA and BHT. These chemicals are sometimes found in low-quality dog treats and have been linked to several long-term health issues.
Are grain-free treats better?
This is a bit of a controversial topic, but there is some evidence to suggest that grain-free treats may be better for dogs with food sensitivities. However, this isn't necessarily true for all dogs, and you should always do your own research before deciding what's best for your pup. If you notice that your dog has digestive issues after eating a particular type of treat, it might be worth trying out a grain-free alternative.
How many treats should I give my dog per day?
The number of treats your dog should have each day will depend on their size, age, and activity level. Typically, it is recommended that you give your dog no more than 10 to 15 percent of their daily calorie intake in treats.
In general, this means that you should only be giving your dog one or two treats per day, depending on how many calories are contained in the treats and the size of your dog. If your dog has trouble gaining or losing weight, it’s important to speak with your vet about the ideal number of treats they should be having each day.
Get Your Paws On The Best Dog Treats
There is no one overall best treat for dogs, but a range of different use cases depending on what your pooch needs. Understanding the best dog treats for different situations will ensure your pup is healthy, happy, and living their best life! Whether you’re looking for the best dental dog treats, dog training treats, or low-calorie dog treats among others, we hope this guide has pointed you in the right direction.
Barkbus employs dozens of world-class dog groomers and canine experts. If you're curious and want to know what other products we love, check out some more of the best dog products below: