17 Best Dog Treats, According to Experts
Man's best friend deserves the best dog treats on the market.
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Gone to the dogs
Our adorable doggos deserve the very best—dog treats included. They’re more than just yummy and nutritious snacks; treats come in handy during training sessions and when we want to curb bad behaviors (or reward good ones). The best dog treats are low in filler materials, fat, salt, and sugar. Just be careful you’re not tossing your pup a treat too often.
“Treats should make up no more than about 10 percent of our pet’s caloric intake,” says veterinarian Erin Katribe, DVM, medical director for Best Friends Animal Society. “Use caution when feeding high-calorie, rich treats. For a number of reasons, we should feed this type of treat sparingly or not at all. Too much rich or fatty food can cause [weight gain], stomach upset, and, less commonly, may lead to more severe health issues, like pancreatitis, especially for dogs already prone to the condition.”
To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best dog treats for small dog breeds and big dog breeds alike. Some of our recommendations come from experts like Dr. Katribe, while others are highly praised by pet parents like you. Get them as a gift for the dog lover in your life, or stock up for your own canine companion. Want treats to find their way to you? Sign up for a dog subscription box and let Fido have fun testing new varieties.
Pupford Freeze-Dried Training Treats
Best dog training treats
One of the greatest dog trainer secrets is this: Dog treats are the perfect reward for pups learning to obey. And these tiny treats, while low in calories, are definitely high reward. You get 450 pieces of freeze-dried treats—choose from beef liver, chicken, rabbit, salmon, and sweet potato—in each bag. They’re the perfect size to help move your pup along in training sessions. “We got our puppy one week ago today, and our mini goldendoodle loves them!” writes Amazon reviewer samsgrammie. “He has learned to sit, lay down, and stand, all with treating him with the Pupford treats.”
- Small size
- Excellent for training
Premium Care Calming Chews
Got an anxious pup? These duck-flavored chews from Premium Care are one of the best dog treats for helping Fido feel less frazzled and more at ease. They’re great for everyday use, but you can also use them at times when dog anxiety soars, such as during fireworks or a thunderstorm. Mel, who bought the chews for her hyper ten-month-old husky puppy, says the product did its job. “He needs a good calming for bedtime, car rides, and sometimes going to doggy daycare overnight. Kicks in pretty quickly and lasts through the night!” If you want your pooch to stick to extra clean ingredients, try out these organic dog treats.
- All natural
- Effectively reduces stress
Polkadog Cod Skins
Best fish treats
With so many chicken and beef treats out there, a crunchy fish skin is an easy way to switch up your dog treat game. Polkadog delivers with these cod skins, which are made from 100 percent wild-caught, sustainable Alaskan cod. “I have never met a dog that doesn’t go absolutely berserk for these healthy, crunchy, fishy treats,” writes reviewer LilahsMom. “I buy them by the two-bag for my Labbie girl, who gets one every night for her bedtime treat.” As for mealtime, vets say this is the very best diet for dogs.
- Single-ingredient treat
- All natural
- Crunchy texture
Shameless Pets Soft Baked Applenoon Delight Dog Treats
Best soft and chewy treats
“Shameless Pets rescues discarded human food from suppliers and turns [it] into dog treats. Since dogs evolved eating human scraps—and many of these scraps were vegetables and starch—these treats feel like coming full circle,” says Brian Hare, PhD, a Duke University professor and author of The Genius of Dogs. He adds that because they’re soft and chewy, it takes his pups longer to eat them. They’re the best dog treats to use when clipping your pooch’s nails, trimming its fur, or doing another task that requires a distraction.
- Soft and chewy
- All natural
- Contains pea protein
N-Bone Puppy Teething Rings
Best for teething puppies
Puppies teethe just like humans, and as you’d expect, it’s not the most comfortable experience. So it pays to buy treats for puppies who could use a bit of soothing. Bonus: Chew toys and treats can stop a puppy from biting you. N-Bone’s teething rings help relieve the discomfort. They boast a pliable texture that’s ideal for tender gums, and they’re super delicious (at least according to the dogs). “I’ve tried literally every single chew toy and treat that I can find, and most only last or keep his attention for a few minutes,” writes reviewer Robin. “As soon as I gave him one of these, he ran over to his blanket, lay down, and chewed for almost an hour! They are his favorite and definitely mine too!”
- Relieves teething pain
- Fortified with calcium and omega-3 fatty acids
Bark Bistro Buddy Budder
Best spreadable treats
Peanut butter dog treats come highly recommended by Dr. Katribe, and Bark Bistro’s Buddy Budder is made specifically for your four-legged friend. “It’s a great way to distract our dogs and provide a positive experience when we need to do something they may not enjoy, like nail trims, baths, or veterinary exams,” she says. “Peanut butter can be dispensed from a spoon—and even frozen ahead of time.” Another option is to spread a dollop inside a fillable dog toy, like the Kong Extreme indestructible dog toy. Buddy Butter contains all the stuff that dogs love and none of the stuff they don’t need, such as artificial sweeteners, making it a healthy dog treat you can feel good about giving.
- Packed with protein
- Easy to spread
- Free of unnecessary sweeteners and oils
Greenies Dental Treats
Best dental treats for dogs
Our list would be incomplete without Greenies treats, which are sold in packages sized for teensy, small, medium, and large dogs. Paws down, they’re one of the best dog treats out there for dental hygiene. Each tasty treat is packed with nutrients and developed to clean down to the gumline to help fight plaque and tartar and freshen bad breath. They’re also recommended by veterinarians and accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council. You’ll still have to brush your dog’s teeth, but these aid in maintenance and tooth health.
- Promotes good dental health
- Available in multiple sizes
EcoKind Large Dog Bone
Best bone for large dogs
If you’ve got a big dog who’s determined to chew, this large bone from EcoKind will keep him busy for days to come. It’s a 100 percent grass-fed cattle femur bone that’s been slow-roasted to lock in that yummy, meaty goodness to satisfy your pup. Your furry pal won’t know whether to gnaw on this treat or bury the bone for safekeeping.
- Easy to digest
- No chemicals or preservatives
Milk-Bone Grain Free Dog Biscuits
Best everyday treat
Good old Milk-Bones are arguably one of the best dog treats out there. These wholesome, crunchy Milk-Bone dog treats are made with dried veggies and starches, beef tallow, and 12 vitamins. Plus, they’re free of artificial preservatives and fillers. The small-sized version is ideal because it lowers the calorie count and allows your pup to indulge daily. If you’d rather DIY your dog’s rewards, try one of these simple recipes for homemade dog treats your pooch will love.
- Small size
- Fortified with 12 vitamins
- Crunchy and delicious
Cycle Dog Trail Buddy Dog Treats
Best for outdoor adventures
“I love to support eco-friendly companies, and Cycle Dog thoughtfully and sustainably sources all its products. I use the 100 percent chicken trail buddy treats,” says Hare. “Specifically, I use these treats for leash luring while we take the puppies out on walks. The treats smell good, so the puppies learn to associate following the leash with good things. The treats are nice and dry, so they don’t crumble or make your hands sticky on a hot day.”
- Easy to transport
- Simple ingredients
- Available in chicken, beef, and lamb
Zesty Paws Mobility Bites
Best treats for older dogs
As dogs age, they can experience mobility issues. These tasty chews from Zesty Paws are made with glucosamine, an ingredient that may help foster joint health and improve mobility in dogs with arthritis. While research on the supplement’s effect in dogs is still in its infancy, research in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests it can provide a moderate level of comfort, in line with some prescription meds. “When I tell you that these mobility bites have changed my dogs’ lives, I’m not exaggerating one bit,” writes reviewer Nicola. “They all have gotten two bites a day for exactly 14 days now. Our boxer is leaping around, jumping up and down off the couch, chases his favorite soccer ball around, and has reverted to standing on his back legs to give hugs again.”
- Easy to chew
- Fosters joint health
- Improves mobility
Portland Pet Food Co. Pumpkin Biscuits
Best pumpkin dog treats
Pumpkin is one of those human foods that are good for dogs. It helps address sensitive tummies and alleviate digestive issues. Portland Pet Food Co.’s Pumpkin Biscuits are made with wholesome, 100 percent natural ingredients that your pup will love.
- Fosters good digestion
- Soothes sensitive tummies
- Breaks into smaller pieces
Boots & Barkley Chicken-Wrapped Rawhide Twists
Best for avid chewers
These chicken-wrapped rawhide twists will satisfy Fido’s desire to chew. While gnawing away, he’ll unknowingly remove plaque and tartar from his teeth for improved dental health. Think of each twist like a sidekick to your dog’s toothbrush. Reviewer LisaGee writes, “I have three dogs: small, medium and large. All love these treats—and no gagging like other rawhide strips!”
- Good for dogs of all sizes
- Promotes plaque and tartar reduction
Rachael Ray Nutrish Soup Bones
You trust Rachael Ray with human food, and her dog treats are just as tasty. Soup Bones might be a bit spendy, but the savory, long-lasting chews are worth the splurge. Each has a tender, meaty center and is free of artificial flavors. Buy the regular or mini version, depending on your dog breed, and choose from beef and barley, chicken and veggies, or turkey and rice flavors. “My senior husky, in particular, loves these bones because they’re softer on his teeth,” writes reviewer Jill. “He sometimes fumbles around with the harder bones, but with these bones, he eats them with ease.”
- Can be sliced into smaller pieces
- Soft and chewy
Front of the Pack Farm Raised Rabbit Treats
Best giftable treats
“We often need to give gifts as a thank-you to dogs and puppies who participate in our research. Front of the Pack’s packaging is so gorgeous, it turns a bag of dog treats into a wonderful gift,” says Hare. “Additionally, rabbit is a sustainable, inexpensive meat that uses very few resources.” Let’s face it: Puppy parents may love receiving personalized pet gifts, but the dogs? They’re all about the treats.
- Elegant packaging
- Single ingredient
- Packed with protein
AFreschi Turkey Tendon Chews
Best rawhide alternative
With more than 11,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, AFreschi’s Turkey Tendon Chews are one of the best dog treats out there. They’re highly palatable, easy to digest, help clean your pup’s teeth, and are made with all-natural ingredients. “I finally found a treat that my dog likes. I have a 10-year-old pom, and she’s really picky when it comes to treats,” writes reviewer Braddah Donz. “Definitely buying again.”
- All natural
- Helps clean teeth
- Can be broken into smaller pieces
Nudges Natural Dog Treats Jerky Cuts
Best jerky treats
Your dogs will thank you for giving them the real deal: tasty, chewy jerky. This chicken jerky is all natural, extra chewy, and free of animal byproducts. You can break the treat down into smaller pieces, which is ideal for training and will help the treat last longer. “My chihuahua is a picky eater, and she just loves this item,” writes reviewer W. Kwok. “She gets so excited when I place these treats in front of her.” Just don’t let your pup’s excitement sway you into tossing her too many treats; a diet too high in fat may lead to dog pancreatitis.
- Fortified with glucosamine to promote joint health
- Tears into smaller pieces
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- Erin Katribe, DVM, veterinarian and medical director for Best Friends Animal Society
- Brian Hare, PhD, a Duke University professor and author of The Genius of Dogs
- Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association: “Systematic review of clinical trials of treatments for osteoarthritis in dogs”