What Are The Healthiest Dog Training Treats
Edward R. Forte
November 24, 2021
Training & Behavior
The most effective dog training works on the principle that, when a dog acts in a way we like, the dog is rewarded for their efforts.Redbarn Naturals Premium Dog Food Roll These soft rolls are easy to cut into bite-sized pieces for training and come in beef, lamb, or chicken flavors.If you’re handy in the kitchen, you can make your own healthy training treats with Rover’s beef jerky or salmon swirl treat recipes.Technically sold as a dog food, these soft rolls are easy to cut into bite-sized pieces for training.The rolls come in beef, lamb, or chicken flavors and 50% of each roll is made with fresh meat.Redbarn Naturals Premium Dog Food Roll These soft rolls are easy to cut into bite-sized pieces for training and come in beef, lamb, or chicken flavors.These treats are soft and chewy but sturdy, and they won’t fall apart in your pocket or treat bag.Zuke’s Mini Naturals These soft mini training treats are free of fillers like soy, corn, and wheat, as well as artificial colors and flavors.Fruitables Skinny Minis Available in a variety of textures, these low-calorie treats are an excellent option for training.Natural Balance Mini Rewards You can give your dog plenty of these mini-sized training bites—they’re less than five calories per treat.What’s not to love?Gerber’s Baby Food Since this chicken and gravy-flavored puree is free of salt, sweeteners, and artificial colors or flavors, it makes for a healthy training treat.Fresh meat or cheese is always my go-to when working with new dogs or when training in class or outdoor environments.In some situations—typically those in quiet environments where your dog won’t be highly distracted—kibble can work perfectly well as a dog training treat, particularly if the dog is overweight, and already food-motivated.The first ingredient should be meat or fish, rather than a byproduct or “filler” such as grain, corn, or rice. .
The 8 Best Healthy Dog Treats of 2021
We all want what’s best for our dogs, but with so many products available, it can be hard to find healthy treats to feed your four-legged friends.With less than 2 calories per treat, these salmon-flavored bites are ideal for training or overweight dogs.These bite-size treats contain just 3 calories each, and they're made with wholesome ingredients that will appeal to your pooch.As their name suggests, the VeggieDent chews are made without any animal-based ingredients, yet they’re still appealing for dogs to chew on.They can be given a few times a week to help keep your dog’s teeth clean, but be sure to take into account their high calories and adjust your dog’s food accordingly.These chewy treats are on the larger side, containing 17 calories each, but you can easily break them into smaller pieces for your dog, if needed.If you have a large breed dog, you might be looking for a treat that’s a bit more substantial—but still healthy.One of the best options for larger dogs is the Blue Buffalo BLUE Bits Treats, which come in several flavors and are free from artificial preservatives and flavors.The soft treats have an irresistible aroma thanks to having chicken liver and chicken as the first two ingredients, yet they have less than 3 calories a piece, ensuring you don’t accidentally overfeed your small pooch.Salmon is the first ingredient in these low-calorie treats (there’s a chicken flavor available, as well), and they contain DHA for healthy brain function and a healthy coat.These freeze-dried treats are sourced and made in the USA, and there are just 3 calories per treat.The Puppy Chow Healthy Start Salmon Dog Treats are a great value, typically costing under $10 for a 24-ounce bag, and while they are marketed as puppy treats, there’s no reason you couldn’t give them to your adult dog as well.These training treats are made in the USA, and the main ingredient in them is real pork liver.The small size and soft texture is ideal for training, but we’re betting your dog will happily accept them as an everyday treat, as well.Pet Botanics Training Rewards are a popular choice for dogs of all sizes, as the soft, bite-sized treats contain just 3 calories each.Calories.You’ll want to look at the number of calories per treat, especially if you give your dog a lot of treats or if your dog is trying to lose or maintain weight.Freeze-dried dog treats are a healthy option for your pet.“As a pet owner, we love to treat our pets, but too many treats adds too many calories,” says Dr. .
Puppy Training Treats
Puppy training treats are a must-have for reward-based dog training.Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Grain-free, these treats are made in the U.S.If you’re feeling ambitious, you can whip up a batch of homemade training treats, like these salmon swirl bites—but if you’ve got enough on your plate (especially with a new pup in the house), read on.Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Grain-free, these treats are made in the U.S.Freeze-dried liver is a classic training treat for dogs.It’s considered a “high-value” treat, meaning you can bust it out when your puppy needs a little extra encouragement.Stewart Freeze-Dried Liver Dog Treats A classic, single-ingredient training treat with no fillers.Small, soft treats are perfect for training.Like some of the other treats on our list of puppy training treats, these aren’t strictly for puppies.But the soft, tender jerky is gentle on puppy teeth.And these treats are naturally grain-free, making them a healthy supplement to your dog’s diet.A crunchy alternative to soft puppy training treats.Can break in half for even smaller training treats, or offer them full-sized as a special snack.Zuke's Mini Naturals Peanut Butter and Oats Training Treats Made in the U.S., these mini treats get their protein from peanut butter.But it’s also a perfect puppy training treat.Why we like it:.Chicken liver flavor is tasty but gentle on puppy tummies.Stella and Chewy's Raw Coated Biscuits Cage-Free Duck Recipe Freeze-Dried Grain-Free Dog Treats Made in the U.S., these freeze-dried treats are made from wholesome ingredients. .
How to buy the best dog treats, according to veterinarians
But instead of tossing your pup an extra weiner from the grill, you might want to think carefully about the types of treats you’re giving your canine friend — and the amount you’re giving them.JoAnn Morrison, DVM, director of veterinary science at Banfield Animal Hospital, noted that a beef hot dog can equate to as much as 30 percent of a 30-pound dog’s recommended daily calorie intake (147 calories out of 479 total calories).“Some human foods — even in small treat-sized amounts — can take up too many of your pet’s daily calories and quickly add up to extra pounds.” Just as you want to find healthier snack options for in between meals for yourself, you should take the same approach to your dog’s diet.We consulted experts about how to shop for the best dog treats and where to find the best ones.They come in tiny morsels, so you don’t have to break up a larger treat as you’re working with your dog on a new skill.Chicken is the first ingredient for these soft chews that are about the size of a pencil eraser.The crunchy discs — wheat flour and peanut butter are the first two ingredients — are oven-baked without artificial fillers or colors.Chicken and potatoes are the first two ingredients and they’re also packed with peas and carrots.This is a hard chew treat with chicken and veggies — dried beets, carrots and peas — but without an actual bone so you don’t have to worry about it splintering in your dog’s mouth.Organic, free-range chicken is the first ingredient in these crunchy cookies.DreamBone’s treats won’t splinter while dogs chew them, so they’re safe and can be enjoyed across a long period of time.As you're shopping for the best dog treat, the experts we consulted recommended minding the portion sizes and actual size of the treat and consulting your veterinarian about grain-free options and how to decide whether a dental dog treat is right for you.“The size of the treat should be appropriate to the size of your dog,” she said.While regular brushing is the best way to keep your dog’s gums and teeth free of plaque, dental treats can help tone down your dog’s breath and clean their teeth. .
What Kind of Treats Should You Use to Train Your Dog
The kind of dog treat you use when training your dog can make a big difference in how successful your training sessions are.And in some cases, a treat might be so distracting in and of itself that a dog can't focus on the task at hand!Many of my dog training clients are always asking me what kind of treat they should use with their dogs.Read on for tips to figure out what training treats your dog likes best and when to use different treats to bolster your dog's training."low value" training treats — this is referring to the value your dog places in each food reward, not the price you pay for the treats at the store.Think of your high-value treats as giving your dog an "A+++" for behavior and training.These treats are usually semi-moist or dry treats made from ingredients that your dog doesn't get in their regular food.Lower value treats are great to work into your training because they tend to be lower calorie than high and medium value dog treats.When you're working on fading out the use of treats for a specific behavior.To help you pick out the training treats that your dog will most enjoy and respond to the best, set up a treat taste test for your pup.(You can also use small cups to cover the treat options on the ground if you prefer, especially if your dog gets mouthy when taking treats.).Switch out different treats, rotating in ones you've already tried with different alternatives, to get an idea of what your dog's high-value, medium-value, and low-value treats are.High-Value Dog Training Treats.My go-to high-value treats include small pieces of turkey hotdog, plain chicken, string cheese, and Vital Essentials Minnows, Northwest Naturals Lamb Liver, and Stella & Chewy's Beef Heart treats.Medium-Value Dog Training Treats.My favorite medium-value treats are Zuke's Mini Naturals, Redbarn's Cheese Protein Puffs, and Charlee Bear Liver Crunchy Treats (for those dogs that love to crunch!Low-Value Dog Training Treats.I like to use my dog's FirstMate dry food or break up IMK9's Mutt Love Coconuts dry treats as her lower value rewards.The kind of treats you use when training your dog (or just want to give them a special treat) depend on your dog's personal preferences. .
The Right Treats Make the Best Reward: How to Choose
He stays interested and gets lots of practice in a short amount of time.Keep Treats Small.Look for tiny treats or cut larger ones into small bits before your training session begins.You might feel like you’re cheating your dog, but as long as he’s getting something he loves, he won’t care if it’s just a tidbit or the whole wiener.Soft dog treats are also great for training because, compared to crunchy ones, they’re easier and faster for your dog to eat.Biscuits can be fine for one-off rewards, but during a training session, waiting for your dog to find every piece that’s crumbled to the floor is time away from teaching.Every dog has a hierarchy of rewards, and most of them would put smelly items like cheese or bacon up at the top.You might be able to get away with using kibble as a reward in your quiet living room, but in a more distracting location, you should pull out the stinky treats your dog adores.Or plug the end, fill it with broth, and put it in the freezer for a snack on a hot day. .
28 Best Dog Treats 2021
To help narrow down the choices, we asked 16 experts — including veterinarians and animal nutritionists, canine-behavior specialists, dog trainers, and some Strategist dog parents — about the treats they recommend or feed their own dogs.“Otherwise, they could unbalance the diet.” For example, if your dog consumes 1,000 calories per day, “they should get no more than 100 calories in the form of treats.” An easy hack is to use a portion of your dog’s regular food as a treat when you’re walking or training them, rather than a specialized, high-calorie product.Of course, Bullen says, “this can be easy in pets that are not picky but challenging in those with a refined palate.”.To make it even easier to find the right treats for your dog, we organized all of the recommendations into categories based on how the experts described using them: There are everyday treats, health-related treats, treats for training, and treats for puppies.Zuke’s Mini Naturals Dog Treats $6 $16 now 62% off $6 Liff is a fan of these treats from Zuke’s because they “have a short list of ingredients that can help prevent diarrhea or other GI upsets.” This specific style is made from chicken, but Zuke’s sells treats in various flavors, including salmon, rabbit, duck, pumpkin, and peanut butter.Liff told us that “the size is one of the best things about them: They are small, so you don’t have to cut them to make them more appropriate for feeding.” Erin Askeland, an animal-health-and-behavior consultant of Camp Bow Wow, is also a fan of Zuke’s Naturals, which she says “are made of minimal ingredients and can be easily broken in half if you’re watching your pup’s weight.” She adds the treats are “smelly enough for hiding around the house and yard for ‘find-it’ games.” $6 at Chewy Buy.Blue-9 Inspire Dog Training Treats $10 According to Ellis, “These only come in a chicken protein, so they won’t be for every dog, but for the dogs that eat chicken, they are fantastic.” She also told us these treats are small enough as-is for dogs of all sizes and notes “they don’t leave a pile of dust at the bottom of the bag (or on the floor).” $10 at Amazon Buy.“A lot of chicken jerky for dogs has sugar as the first ingredient, but these treats are one ingredient only,” she explains, adding that, most important, “Uli loves them.” The brand suggests giving up to three slices a day to small breeds and up to six slices a day to large ones.She calls them “longer-lasting,” noting that SmartBones “offers many sizes, flavors, and shapes for dogs to chew on.” Her favorite are the sweet-potato chews, but Askeland notes that all of the brand’s no-rawhide chews are easy to digest.Instinct by Nature Variety Raw Boost Mixers $12 $12 Askeland explains that, “while technically a food topper, these freeze-dried bits come in a variety of flavors (from chicken to lamb to pumpkin to cranberry), have wholesome ingredients, and are small enough for puzzle toys.” She told us they are popular with her own dogs and, because they are kibble-size, you can just mix some of the treats in with your dog’s food for an extra-special meal.Best treat-subscription box for dogs.“I love the quality of these treats — and how much my dog loves them.” $21 at Treat Box Buy.Best treats for dogs with allergies.Because most of the brand’s treats are single-protein, they’re a good option for “dogs that may have sensitive tummies and allergies,” she adds.“These can be larger in size, so they need to be crumbled, but they are universally liked, for the most part, which is helpful when you want a really special treat.” Because they have few ingredients, they can also be a good option for dogs with allergies, she adds.Best treats for dogs with joint issues.“These help her joints stay healthy.” She recommends the chews for any large-breed dog or those that have arthritis.Greenies Original Regular Natural Dental Dog Treats $14 for 12 $18 now 22% off $14 for 12 According to Ochoa, Greenies “help prevent tartar buildup and help keep teeth healthy.” They happen to be her dog’s favorite treat of all, she adds.When we spoke to her, Ochoa’s dog was nine years old; she told us she fed the pooch one or two Greenies a week and she still “has almost all of her teeth.” $14 for 12 at Chewy Buy $34 for 36 at Amazon Buy.Prairie Dog Smokehouse Jerky Country Chicken Dog Treats $22 $22 As Fraser explains, “medium-value treats are ideal for teaching new skills and for rewarding known skills in moderately distracting settings.” Semel relies on these jerky-style morsels for medium-value treats because “the smell is so strong that most dogs love it and they are easy to break into pieces to train with.” $22 at Amazon Buy $22 at Chewy Buy.Best treats for puppies.Best bully-stick-style treats for puppies.Best vegetarian treats for puppies.“All the products are USA-made and sourced — I like the integrity and the relationships that go into the business and the choices they make for the wellbeing of animals.” $11 at Einstein Pets Buy.“There are brands that dogs love, but most dogs will eat poop if you hand it to them.” She’s had a sip of the broth and is a fan of its taste, despite actually being a vegetarian. .
Need Some Help With Training?
Also, if you’re treating a lot every day, you should take the calorie count into consideration and reduce your dog’s regular meal portions to compensate for the treats.These treats work best with dogs who prefer a ‘crunch’ in every bite.Blue Buffalo Dog Treats are made with high-quality ingredients and do not contain any ‘filler’ by-products.Blue Bits are soft, easy to chew and a novel treat because their texture is so different from kibble.Lily’s Kitchen mini jerky snacks are an excellent dog training treat choice.Fruitables ‘skinny’ treats are low in calories, making them an excellent choice for training.Just about every dog absolutely loves bacon, so this flavour is a good bet for appealing to the senses.Fruitables come in different varieties including crunchy, chewy and jerky to suit your dog’s preferences.Eggs are an excellent source of protein and can be utilised as a homemade dog training treat.Training treats should be of high-quality, but not pack too many calories if they’re being used daily.Next, why not take a look at some more of our articles on dog food and mealtime accessories to kit your best pal out with everything he needs. .
7 Healthy Dog Treats for Training
There are a lot of dog treats out there which are high fat and filled with artificial preservatives, which aren’t great for your dog’s health.Always make sure to factor treats into your dog’s daily ration and reduce the size of meals to balance it out.However, this is higher in fat so should be given in very small quantities and not fed to dogs with a history of pancreatitis.Your dog’s regular dry food can make a great healthy dog treat. .