Proper nutrition is essential to raising a healthy dog. Many dog owners don't realize that treats are a large part of a dog's diet. Even if you don't treat your pet often, you still need to provide him with the best healthy treats for dogs. Feeding him treats full of empty calories and artificial ingredients will be detrimental to his overall health and well-being over time.
Like people, every dog's nutritional needs are different. While puppies require a higher protein content because they are growing, senior dogs may need a low-fat diet that is rich in supplements to benefit joint health.
It's best to have a conversation with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to create a dietary plan that best meets your dog's needs.
USDA certified organic dog treats is the best place to start if you want healthy treats for dogs with no hidden toxic ingredients. Through US laws, they inspect products, companies and their practices with strict standards.
“USDA has strengthened its oversight of organic products, using methods such as inspections and residue testing to ensure the integrity of organic products from farm to market.”
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There's an abundance of dog treats to purchase today, which makes picking the best dog treats really difficult. FDA and other regulatory bodies are now becoming concerned over all the China-made, poor quality dog treats that are over-stuffing the market. However, there are a few things that dog owners should pay attention to if their concern is picking healthy treats for dogs which may cost a little extra.
Aside from choosing only USDA-certified dog treats, it's important that you also focus on “organic” label. This is the only label that is actually enforced and regulated by additional regulatory bodies, such as AAFCO. Bear in mind, other labels such as “natural” or “premium” are not regulated and are simply marketing gimmicks to attract more attention. Organic dog treats will usually be the healthiest option.[table tablesorter=”1″ id=”someid”] Dog Treat Brand,Price,Quality,Rating
Plato Pet Treats Organic Chicken,$$,A,4.4/5
Wet Noses Organic Dog Treats,$,A,4.7/5
Riley’s Organics Peanut Butter and Molasses,$,A+,4.8/5
Plato Original Duck Dog Treats,$$,A,4.4/5
Premium Chicken Jerky Dog Treats,$$$,B+,4.7/5
* Click on the dog treat brand for more information, prices and nutrition. Alternatively, scroll down below to read our overview.
Of course, treats should be a part of this plan, as every dog deserves treats sometimes. You just need to be careful not to go overboard. Too many calories from treats can add up to an obese pet very quickly. Stick to the best healthy treats for dogs and you'll have a happy and healthy pooch.
Top 5 Best Healthy Treats for Dogs
This flavorful pet treat is made of 90% chicken meat and other natural ingredients. For the makers of Plato Pet Treats, no artificial flavoring, corn, wheat and soy could take the place of real meat. Only USDA-certified organic chicken has been used in the manufacturing of these dog treats. They are manufactured in the US with all ingredients sourced only from North America. A pack contains bite-size treats packed with the smacking goodness of real food and fortified with vitamins E and C.
This treat is great for reinforcing positive behavior during the dog’s training or for feeding as a tasty snack in the afternoon. Customers find the consistency of this product, which is neither hard nor soft, to be very beneficial to their dogs’ teeth. Because the ingredients of US-made products are highly-regulated, pet owners feel more confident with this one over other similar products made from ingredients sourced outside the US.
Multiple pet parents mentioned that their dog suffered from diarrhea before switching to these treats. They say Plato Pet Treats Organic Chicken were excellent for their dog's digestion – much better than cheaper products made with fillers and artificial ingredients. These treats have become a hit for dogs, especially those that need to avoid gluten, soy, other grains and meat by-products in their diet.
The pet owners do acknowledge that this product is quite expensive compared to other dog treats brands, but they all agree that the slight difference in price is inconsequential as long as they are receiving one of the best healthy treats for dogs. This treat is another great addition to the foods available for dogs, especially for pet parents who choose to feed an organic and natural diet.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “I used to feed my then two month old puppy chicken jerky treats from Sams. It was cheap and he LOVED it. However, he started getting bloody diarrhea. This happened twice before I finally realized it was the jerky by researching this online…”
On Amazon you can order these dog treats in three flavors – cheddar, peanut butter, and pumpkin. And what better food for dogs is there than one made with human-grade ingredients? No corn, wheat, artificial flavors, preservatives, dairy or animal by-products went into the preparation of these dog treats from Wet Noses. Each pack contains 14 ounces of crunchy treats.
The pumpkin variant smells of cinnamon and ginger, and is helpful for easily-agitated stomachs. It contains no eggs or dairy that commonly trigger allergies and gastrointestinal problems in dogs. Dog owners who have spent fortunes on their dogs’ allergies are understandably wary over pet food. Thus, it’s a great relief for them to find a treat that’s both well-liked by their dog and works well with their dog’s systems.
Customers say that their dogs love Wet Noses Organic Dog Treats. It also makes a lot of difference that they feel safe with this organic product. Since this product is made in the US and it’s organic, pets and pet owners alike are happy.
Dogs of various breeds love this biscuit, so it is a handy one to bring during training. There have been no reports of allergies or adverse reactions. There were very few dogs, however, that didn’t like the treat and preferred other brands. Overall, this is one of the best healthy treats for dogs available in pet supply and online stores now.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “I tried these out while I was visiting my daughter in Wisconsin. My dog has food allergies and this is the first treat that she has been able to eat in addition to her $94 a bag prescription dog food. This organic treat is her favorite out of all treats she has tried and she can have these as long as they work!…”
Riley’s Organics has again come up with a great food option for dogs. Like other Riley’s products, this is made in the US and certified organic by the USDA. These finger-licking peanut butter biscuits are made from the finest human-grade ingredients. There are no wheat, corn or soy ingredients, which are often the source of allergies.
These bone-shaped treats also do not contain any preservatives, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, sugar or salt. Pet owners who live healthy lifestyles and practice healthy eating habits are very satisfied to find a product for their pets that is aligned to their own food choices. Their canine companions can now enjoy healthy and organic snacks, which are not only tasty but also a good source of carbohydrates, minerals, and proteins.
Buyers say that their dogs have a few treats that work for them with a long list of brands that cause a host of disorders and allergies. They feel fortunate that Riley's Organics – Peanut Butter and Molasses dog treats are safe and well-loved by most dogs. They have a pleasant odor that more dogs find appealing and great crunchy texture.
Not all pets and buyers of these best healthy treats for dogs went nuts over them, though. There were those who would have preferred a treat without molasses, but admit that this is a convenient alternative for time consuming homemade treats. The biggest selling points of this treat are its organic and natural ingredients and its obvious appeal to dogs. Buyers also consider it safe, coming from a trusted brand.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “I'm fortunate enough to work in a dog-friendly office. Lots of folks keep treats at their desk and the woman sitting next to me always has a bag of Riley's. She is paws-down the most popular doggie-destination in the building….”
Plato has produced another meat-based treat that is all-organic and all-natural. This one is made from duck meat, brown rice, natural preservatives and citric acid. It is fortified with vitamins E and C as well. Duck meat is a great protein alternative for dogs that react to other meats, such as chicken. This food product contains 30% crude protein, fats, fiber, iron and zinc.
These best healthy treats for dogs are great for snacks, rewards and training bait. They are definitely one of the best organic dog treats out there, too. Most customers who bought this product had dogs that couldn’t take chicken or other meat products without itching and losing hair. This non-GMO, organic and duck-based treat is also cheaper than many of the best healthy treats for dogs.
Dog allergies and other disorders brought about by the wrong food result to high vet costs, so buyers of Plato Original Duck Dog Treats were generally very grateful to find these on the market. Compared to fish treats, this variant does not have any smell, so it’s great for keeping inside the pocket when it’s being given as a surprise reward or used as a training treat.
It may not be a good idea to stock up on several bags, as one buyer did notice some molds formed in the older bags. They may also become hard and dry the longer they are stocked, instead of soft and chewy like granola. Aside from that, pets just loved these treats, and owners feel assured that they’re nutritious and safe for their dogs.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “My dog underwent allergy testing a month ago to determine why he's was so itchy and losing hair. He's now having allergy shots and the vet recommended we limit his diet to duck and potato for now. I bought duck and potato biscuits at the pet store but there was nothing on the package that stated where this product was made; although my dog liked them, I was bothered that a smoke flavoring was obviously used….”
Nothing could possibly be simpler, or meatier, than this treat from Emmy's Best. It is made of only one ingredient – USDA-certified, Grade A chicken breasts. These thin strips had been dehydrated, preserved naturally, and packed with the natural goodness of pure meat for dogs to relish. They make for a great incentive for dogs undergoing training, or for supplementing their diet. This is a product of the USA and guaranteed free of additives or preservatives.
One bag contains 8 ounces of thin chicken strips, with a money-back guarantee if the pets don’t love it. Customers liked this bacon-like treat for their dogs. They describe the treat as crunchy meaty strips that they often break in half or smaller depending on the dog’s size and appetite.
Since #1 Premium Chicken Jerky Dog Treats are a one-ingredient product, it’s much preferred by owners of picky dogs and dogs that react to a lot of things. This frees owners of having to worry about identifying ingredients that may cause adverse reactions in their pets.
Some buyers who expected the meat to be “jerky” were quite disappointed to find the strips to be crunchy. After undergoing shipping and handling, the strips are often broken into chips and pet owners don’t like this very much. An improvement in this area will definitely earn the nod of most buyers. Generally, customers liked the idea of a treat made of a single ingredient that has been certified safe by regulating agencies.
Most helpful dog owner’s review (read the full review): “Our pup is very picky, but loves this chicken jerky. He's the first dog we've ever owned that won't eat anything you give him. He only likes all-natural food, which lucky for him is all we're going to give him, so “naturally” he loves this chicken jerky…”
10 Best Healthy Dog Treats as Alternatives
The above five healthy dog treats are USDA organic certified, which means companies are monitored by regulatory bodies, their products are tested and their manufacturing processes are constantly being investigated by USDA. They get to keep their certification as long as they comply with strict regulations, which makes these the best healthy treats for dogs we can buy today. However, if you are unable to pick from any of the above, here are ten alternatives for best healthy dog treats that are decent choices.
- Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
- Organix Organic Dog Cookies Treats
- Fruitables Pumpkin & Banana Crunchy Dog Treat
- Organic Baked Dog Treats – Pumpkin
- Old Mother Hubbard Classic Original Assortment
- Organic Baked Dog Treats – Blueberry
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dog Trail Treat Biscuits
- Zuke's Mini Naturals Dog Treats
- Wellness WellBites Turkey & Duck Natural
- 100% Organic Chicken Jerky Dog Treats
Have you tried giving any of these healthy dog treats to your dog? How did you pooch react, and were there any changes in his daily routine, activity, moods, etc.? Please share your observations and experiences with other pet owners in the comments below!