When your furry family members are behaving well or you simply want to make them happy, reach for their favorite dog treats. Not only are dog treats a tasty snack for your pet, but they can also help with training and motivation.
This guide contains all the information you need to buy the best dog treats for your best friend. We selected Pawstruck Joint Health Beef Jerky Dog Treat Chews as our top choice. Made from 100% beef, this product includes no questionable additives you need to be worried about. And your dog is sure to love the taste.
There are a wide variety of dog treats available, so you should first consider what types of treats your four-legged friend likes best. Popular choices include hard biscuits, soft treats, dental chews, freeze-dried treats, and jerky. No type of dog treat is inherently better than the others, so go with your pet's preferences.
You can find excellent dog treats with high-quality ingredients on one end of the spectrum and poor-quality treats on the other. Some of the most reliably high-quality options are single-ingredient treats, which generally consist of pieces of freeze-dried or air-dried meat. You know what you're getting with these treats, so you won't have any nasty surprises when it comes to filler ingredients or additives. High-quality dog treats contain named meats only, so you’ll see "chicken fat" or "beef meal" listed, instead of "animal fat" or "animal meal." Some manufacturers are more careful about where they source their meat and other ingredients from, which tends to be a sign of higher quality. Be sure to carefully read all labels so you know what you and your dog are getting.
Some small dog treats can contain two or three calories per piece, whereas large chews might contain 100 calories or more. Check the calorie content so you can be sure you aren't overfeeding your canine companion.
Find out the size of each treat, since not all treats are suitable for all dogs. Extra-small treats can be tricky to feed to large dogs, and chews that are too small for your pet can even be dangerous. Treats that are too large for a small dog may be hard for them to eat.
Some dog treats are labeled as "human grade," which sounds like a positive. But the term doesn't have any legal definition, so take this claim with a pinch of salt.
Grain-free dog treats are a current trend, but grains are perfectly healthy for dogs, as long as yours isn’t allergic to them.
You can spend anywhere from $1-$50 on a package of dog treats, depending on the number of treats you get and their overall quality. It's best to compare prices per pound or ounce.
A. You need to be careful giving treats to overweight dogs, especially small ones, since they need fewer calories than large dogs. You can find low-calorie treats, some with less than five calories each, which are ideal for dogs who need to lose weight. Although, low-calorie snacks should also be given out in moderation. If you need to give your overweight pooch a significant number of treats (for instance, to reinforce some essential training), work out how many calories you've fed them in treats and subtract the equivalent amount of food at dinnertime.
A. Some dog treats aren't of the highest quality. Avoid any treats that contain added sugar, which may be listed as corn syrup, sucrose, or fructose. You should also avoid certain additives that can be harmful to dogs in the long run. BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, propylene glycol, ethoxyquin and TBHQ are some of the worst offenders.
Our take: The ultimate in simple ingredients, these treats contain nothing but beef dried to a jerky-like texture.
What we like: Naturally high in glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. Packed with protein. No artificial additives. Promotes dental health.
What we dislike: A handful of reports of bad batches have been reported.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Our take: These tasty peanut butter treats are small in size, so you can treat your dog without adding too many calories to their diet.
What we like: Just three calories per treat. Made in the USA. Great for treat-based training. Added vitamins and minerals. Excellent value for money.
What we dislike: May be too small for big dogs.
Where to buy: Sold by Chewy
Our take: Give your dog a tasty treat while taking care of their dental health. Perfect for pooches who won't have their teeth brushed.
What we like: Suitable for dogs between 25 and 50 pounds (though other sizes are available). Cleans teeth right down to the gumline. All-natural ingredients for easy digestion.
What we dislike: Some dog owners wish treats would last longer.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.