Editor’s Choice: The 8 Best Healthy Dog Treats That Pups and Pet Parents Will Both Love

Healty Pet Treats, Healthy Dog Treats
Courtesy of Pet Botanics

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spy editors choice
In this Editor’s Choice feature, SPY’s Allison Bowsher reviews the best healthy dog treats. Our Editor’s Choice products meet our strictest selection criteria, and we work hard to select only the very best treats for your dog.

Did you know that one out of every two dogs is overweight? That’s according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, which surveys pet parents and veterinarians nationwide to better understand pet nutrition.

We know there’s a lot that goes into being a dog parent. Scheduling vet visits, finding the best toys, remembering to give probiotics and flea and tick treatments, and making sure your pet gets enough exercise are important elements in keeping your pet healthy and happy. When the best dog food, pet owners have several factors to consider. What’s the age and size of your dog? Do they have any allergies or health restrictions? How often do they eat, and do they have any issues with their teeth that may make some foods undesirable?

Thankfully, several healthy dog food options are available for all ages and breeds. But what about treats? Whether you’re training a puppy or rewarding an older dog for good behavior, even small treats given in volume can pose a health risk if they’re high in calories or filled with preservatives.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when looking at healthy dog treats.

  • Look for treats made in the USA since they are highly screened and regulated for safety.
  • Opt for dog treats with minimal preservatives and a short ingredient list.
  • Keep your dog’s size in mind. Many treats will specify whether they are for large or small breeds (some large breed treats can be crumbled by hand and offered to smaller dogs).
  • Take note of the texture of the treat. Puppies and older dogs will likely prefer soft treats that are easier on their teeth.
  • Keep your activity in mind. Some dog treats, while healthy, smell terrible. These treats are better for at-home training, where they can be stored in a fridge or sealed container. Less stinky treats are better for walks.

Like people, dogs’ palates vary, so you may need to try a few treats to figure out which suits your pooch best. Whatever treat you pick for your pup, make sure it’s healthy. In addition, our favorite healthy dog food brand, The Farmer’s Dog, reports that a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables are also great healthy treats for dogs.

Consider rewarding your pup with fhe following healthy dog snacks:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Green Beans
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoe
  • Watermelon

Check SPY’s picks for the best healthy dog treats below.

  

1. PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats

BEST OVERALL

As we said above, the fewer ingredients, the better. That makes PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats one of the best healthy dog treats since it has a single ingredient: chicken breast. By freeze-drying the chicken breasts, water is removed and nutrients are preserved, making this a healthy treat for dogs (or cats) of all ages or sizes. The treats can easily be pulled apart as smaller training treats or snacks for small breeds.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken breast
  • Best For: Overweight, diabetic dogs or those with restrictive diets
  • Storage: In bag at room temperature
PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Chewy
  

2. The Honest Kitchen Ocean Chews Grain Free Dog Chew Treats

BEST RAWHIDE REPLACEMENT

Rawhide chews have been a staple in dog houses for years, but as more pet owners become aware of their choking risk and digestion issues, alternative dog treats are becoming more popular. We like the Honest Kitchen Ocean Chews Grain Free Dog Chew Treats, which are made with just cod skins. Yes, they smell pretty bad, but dogs love them and will benefit from a treat rich in omega that will improve their coat and skin.

  • Key Ingredients: Cod skins
  • Best For: Replacing rawhides for all breeds (use scissors to cut into pieces for small breeds)
  • Storage: In sealed container at room temperature (strong fish smell)
The Honest Kitchen Ocean Chews Grain Free Dog Chew Treats, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Amazon
  

3. Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats

EXCELLENT SOURCE OF PROTEIN

Another fish-centric healthy dog treat, the Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats are packed with omega and free from grain, gluten, added hormones and antibiotics, aka anything that could upset tummies on dogs with sensitive digestive systems. The freeze-dried treats are suitable for all breeds and pack plenty of nutrients and protein.

  • Key Ingredients: Fish
  • Best For: Dogs with food sensitivities
  • Storage: In sealed container at room temperature (strong fish smell)
Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Treats, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Chewy
  

4. Wild One Organic Natural Crunchy Baked Dog Treats

BEST MEATLESS OPTION

If you prefer a meatless healthy dog treat for your pup, check out Wild One Organic Natural Crunchy Baked Dog Treats. The pack includes three bags, each with a variety of fruit and vegetable-based treats certified USDA Organic. The all-natural, vegan, corn-free treats include vitamins and protein and have a baked cookie texture that all breeds will enjoy (pet parents may have to break the cookies in half for smaller dogs).

  • Key Ingredients: Fruit and vegetables
  • Best For: All breed sizes, training-size treats
  • Storage: In bag at room temperature
Wild One Organic Natural Crunchy Baked Dog Treats, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Amazon
  

5. Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats

BEST FOR PUPPIES

The Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats are a great training treat for puppies who are learning to sit and stay. The bite-sized treats are moist, making them gentle on puppy teeth. Made without corn, wheat or soy and free from preservatives and harmful ingredients, like red dye 40, the training treats are also available in beef, salmon and turkey options.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes
  • Best For: Puppies
  • Storage: In bag at room temperature
Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Amazon
  

6. Pet Botanics Training Reward

BEST LOW-CALORIE OPTION

For a low-calorie treat ideal for training, we like Pet Botanics Training Reward. Each bag comes with 500 treats that are only three calories each, making this a great option for puppies in obedience school or small breeds. Pet Botanics makes this treat in a variety of flavors, including chicken, salmon, beef and bacon, and uses pork liver as the main ingredient. All treats are made in the USA and are free from corn, BHA, BHT and artificial flavors.

  • Key Ingredients: Pork liver
  • Best For: Training and small dogs
  • Storage: In bag at room temperature
Pet Botanics Training Reward, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Amazon
  

7. Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

BEST 2-IN-1

The Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food Topper is a two-in-one product that can be used on top of your dog’s regular food or as a separate treat. Available with beef, lamb or chicken as the main ingredient, this grain-free dog treat is made with responsibly sourced meat and non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Free from artificial colors and preservatives, this dog food topper helps aid in digestion and improves the look and condition of a dog’s skin and coat. Its small topper-sized pieces also make it a great healthy treat for small breeds or as a low-calorie treat for training.

  • Key Ingredients: Chicken, chicken organs, non-GMO fruits and vegetables
  • Best For: All ages and breeds
  • Storage: In bag at room temperature
Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze Dried Raw Dog Food Topper, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Amazon
  

8. Wellness Rewarding Life Soft & Chewy Dog Treats

BEST FOR OLDER DOGS

Older dogs who need softer treats will enjoy the delicious Wellness Rewarding Life Soft & Chewy Dog Treats. Made in the USA and available in several flavors, including lamb and salmon, the all-natural, moist treats are made without meat byproducts, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Packed with antioxidants, the treats are high in calories, which is good for older dogs who may need some extra fuel.

  • Key Ingredients: Lamb and salmon
  • Best For: Older dogs
  • Storage: In bag at room temperature
Wellness Rewarding Life Soft & Chewy Dog Treats, Healthy Dog Treats Courtesy of Amazon
  

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