Like humans, dogs love to indulge in treats and snacks. But while some treats can be considered “junk food”, know that there are plenty of healthy options available. Natural treats can taste just as good as regular ones, but include all-natural ingredients with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or added sugar.
To help you choose the best option for your pup, we reviewed hundreds of products, along with their ingredient labels, to find the 10 best healthy treats for your dog right now. Here’s our list:
Our Picks for the Best Healthy Dog Treats
1. Full Moon Natural Organics – USDA Organic Jerky
Editor’s Review: Best Organic Dog Treats
Looking for an all-natural, USDA organic dog treat? Full Moon Natural Organics is a jerky made from human grade ingredients sourced from family farms in the USA. It’s available in both free range organic chicken and grass-fed beef options, and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Certified USDA Organic dog jerky
- Made with human grade ingredients sourced from US farms
- Available in free range chicken, or grass fed, pasture raised beef
- All natural with no artificial flavors, colorings, preservatives, or animal by-products
- Brown rice is gluten free and has a low glycemic index
- Affordably priced for the quality
- Treats can dry out if package not closed up properly
- Contains small amounts of organic cane sugar for softness
2. Spot Farms All-Natural Chicken Apple Sausage Dog Treats
Editor’s Review: Best Natural Dog Snacks
Spot Farms Chicken Apple Sausage dog treats are made with all-natural, farm to table ingredients sourced from family businesses in Kentucky. They have no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors, and all ingredients are human grade. The full ingredient list is short and easy to read: Chicken, Honey, Apples, Ground Brown Rice, Glycerin, Salt, Vinegar, Natural Flavor, Rosemary Extract, Allspice, Cinnamon.
- Chicken and apple recipe dog treats
- Made with human grade ingredients sourced from Kentucky family farms
- All natural, no preservatives, antibiotics, artificial colors or flavors
- Perfect size for small dogs
- Made with brown rice and real apples
- Quality comes at a price; these treats are pricier than other options
3. Zuke’s Natural Training Dog Treats; Mini Naturals
Editor’s Review: Best Treats for Training Dogs
Zuke’s Mini Naturals are the perfect healthy treats for dog training. Each chew is only three calories, so you can give your dog plenty without being too indulgent. Owners have reported success using Zuke’s to train their dogs for commands, tricks, crate training, and more.
Zuke’s are made in the USA with chicken as the first ingredient, and include no artificial flavorings or colors. They also contain turmeric, a spice known for its natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. If you’re interested in other turmeric supplements, check out our review of the best joint supplements for dogs.
- All natural dog treats
- Perfect size for dog training
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- No corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or colors
- Includes cherries and turmeric to reduce inflammation
- Made in the USA
- Strong smell which may be unpleasant for owners, though our dogs have loved the taste
4. Brutus & Barnaby Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Editor’s Review: Best Vegetarian Healthy Dog Treats
For those looking for a vegetarian substitute for rawhide, check out the sweet potato dog treats from Brutus & Barnaby. These chews are made from dehydrated sweet potatoes, with no artificial flavors, colors, or excess sugar. The manufacturer claims that these treats are also suitable for diabetic dogs, as they balance blood sugar levels.
- Thick cut, dehydrated sweet potato treats
- Natural “rawhide” texture
- Gluten free and grain free
- No added sugar
- Sweet potato is a natural antioxidant, and is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- Low fat and low glycemic food with lots of natural vitamins
- 100% money back guarantee
- Treats need to be kept in a dry place – once moist, they can become soggy
- Pricier than other healthy treats on our list
5. Old Mother Hubbard Natural Crunchy Dog Treats
Editor’s Review: Top Rated Natural Dog Biscuits
Old Mother Hubbard is our top choice for healthy dog biscuits. These treats have a flavorful peanut butter taste, and are made with carrots, apples, and a hint of molasses. Dog parents who have purchased them say that this has become one of their dog’s preferred treats.
- All natural dog biscuits
- Ingredients include peanut butter, molasses, apples, and carrots
- Available in three sizes depending on your dog’s breed: mini, small, and large
- Suitable for dog training
- Made in Canada
- Not sugar free: made with cane molasses
- All natural, though not fully organic
6. Nudges Natural Dog Treats – Steak
Editor’s Review: Best Healthy Dog Treats for Big Dogs
Nudges all natural dog treats are the perfect meaty treat for large dogs. These natural steak bites are made with USA beef as the first ingredient, and contain no wheat, soy, corn or animal by-products. Packs are available in two sizes: 16 ounces or 36 ounces.
- All natural steak dog treats
- No preservatives or artificial flavorings
- No corn, wheat, or soy
- Made in the USA, with American beef as the first ingredient
- Perfect size for larger dog breeds
- The steak option includes chicken as a secondary ingredient, so may not be suitable for dogs with a poultry allergy
7. Milk-Bone Brushing Chews – Dental Dog Treats
Editor’s Review: Best Cheap Healthy Dog Treats for Dental Care
Milk-Bone Brushing Chews are treats that help freshen your dog’s breath, reduce tartar build-up on teeth, and maintain a healthy gum line. They have no artificial flavors, and are available in three sizes depending on your dog’s breed.
- Dental dog treats with no artificial flavors
- Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) approved to reduce tartar build-up on teeth
- Promotes dental health by fighting tartar buildup, and maintaining healthy gums
- Contains essential vitamins and minerals
- Affordably priced
- Not a full substitute for regular tooth brushing
- Contains more ingredients than other products on our list. Some may not consider these to be “all-natural” despite there being no artificial flavors.
8. Hill’s Science Natural Jerky Strips
Editor’s Review: Best Cheap Healthy Dog Treats
Hill’s Science Natural Jerky treats are available in beef and chicken jerky options, and are made with no artificial flavors or preservatives. They’re perfect as a standalone treat, or can be used as a kibble topper for picky eaters.
- Natural jerky with no artificial preservatives
- Chicken or beef is the first ingredient
- Full guarantee: if you don’t like the product, you can return the unused portion for a full refund
- Affordably priced
- Veterinarian recommended
- Treats have a strong smell
- Contains grains (may or may not be an issue for some pet parents)
9. Greenies Natural Dental Dog Treats
Editor’s Review: Best Dental Treats
Greenies Natural Dental Treats are our top pick for healthy dental treats. These tasty chews are VOHC approved to fight plaque, tartar, and bad breath, and are made with all natural ingredients.
- Healthy dog dental treats
- All natural, easy to digest ingredients
- Promotes dental health, and cleans plaque and tartar automatically
- Freshens breath with mint
- Contains essential vitamins and minerals
- Available in multiple sizes for any dog breed type
- VOHC approved for dental health
- Not a replacement for regular tooth brushing
10. Blue Buffalo BLUE Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats
Editor’s Review: Best Healthy Dog Treats for Puppies
Looking for healthy puppy treats? A solid choice is Blue Buffalo Bits. These bite sized hearts contain no meat by-products and use beef as the first ingredient. Other highlights include DHA for healthy cognitive development, as well as flaxseed oil and salmon oil for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
- Small bite-sized treats
- Beef is the first ingredient
- Contains flaxseed and salmon oil for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids
- No wheat, corn, soy, or artificial preservatives
- Includes DHA for cognitive development
- Treats can be paired with a dog food specifically made for puppies.
- Treats can dry out if not sealed properly
- Not sugar free: treats contain maple syrup
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Healthy Dog Treats Buying Guide
There are a wide range of healthy dog treats to choose from, but which is right for your dog? In this buying guide, we’ll discuss what to look for (and look out for) when buying healthy dog treats, and answer some frequently asked questions on the topic.
What to Consider When Buying Dog Treats
Stick to the “10% Rule”
An easy rule of thumb to stick to is the “10% rule”. It means that treats, or food outside of your dog’s normal diet, shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your dog’s total daily calories. While treats are a great rewards for our dogs, they shouldn’t interfere with their normal healthy diets.
Avoid Hard or Sharp Treats
Avoid giving your dog anything sharp that may puncture their skin or gums. This includes jagged bones and other hard/tough treats. Thankfully all of the recommendations on our list are both easy to chew and digest.
Purchase the Proper Treat Size
If you have a small dog, it’s best to stay away from big treats that can be difficult to swallow. Likewise, small treats can pose a choking hazard if eaten too quickly by a larger dog. When purchasing your treats, look for products that are breed and size appropriate — many of the top brands have three or four different sizes to choose from.
Read the Ingredients List
It’s important to read the ingredients list before purchasing any new treat, especially if you have a dog with food allergies. All natural treats, like those featured here, are a great place to start. Look for options without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and that are made with either organic or human grade ingredients.
Above all else, sticking to simple ingredients is the best policy. If the ingredients you’re coming across are hard to pronounce, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are healthy dog treats?
Healthy dog treats are treats made with high quality ingredients, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Some may also include certifications such as USDA Organic, human grade, vet approved, and VOHC approved.
What are dog treats made of?
Treats are made from a range of ingredients, from vegetarian options, to meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, or salmon. Many also contain grains, as well as vitamin and mineral supplements to support a dog’s health.
Is it bad to give a dog too many treats?
In general, treats shouldn’t exceed 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake. Too many treats can be unhealthy, and also counterproductive when it comes to your dog enjoying their regular food. As tempting as it is, try to keep dog treats for what they are — a treat!
Are homemade dog treats safe?
Homemade dog treats are potentially safe, but you should use caution when making them. Try to include as many healthy ingredients as possible, including fruits and vegetables. Things like squash, brussels sprouts, pumpkin, spinach, kale, apple, broccoli, and carrots are great options. For a full list of what you should avoid, read our Veterinarian written pet home safety guide.
Make sure to also cook homemade treats to a temperature high enough to kill germs and other harmful bacteria.
Are dental dog chews effective?
Yes, when used in addition to regular brushing and cleanings. The important first step is to look for dental chews approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. You can learn more in our guide about dental chews for dogs.
What treats do dog trainers use?
Trainers use a wide variety of treats, but mostly look for something a dog likes. Many suggest sausage type rolls as these can be easily split up, refrigerated, or frozen. Others have said that cheese is a great option. We’ve provided some treats on this list that are suitable, but if you’re interested in learning more, take a read through this helpful survey of 33 trainers.
What treats do dogs like best?
Treats can come in all shapes, flavors, and sizes. But ultimately the best treat is the one your dog likes best! It’s important to try many different treats as there isn’t a one-size fits all approach. For example, some dogs may like cheese, while others prefer chicken or beef jerky.
What are good low fat treats for a dog?
Dog-safe fruits and vegetables (baby carrots, for example) are a great option for those looking for a low-fat, healthy treat. For pre-made treats like the ones on this list, be sure to read the ingredients list to figure out each option’s fat percentage. For any change in diet, we suggest speaking with your veterinarian about the right nutrition.
When should you give a dog a treat?
The answer depends on you and your dog! Rewarding good actions with a treat is a perfect way to reinforce positive behavior. Many owners also break treats into smaller pieces to mix in with kibble for picky eaters. As long as you’re giving treats in moderation, any time is a good time.