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Healthy Dog Treats: 10 Best Options & Easy Recipe for Your Furry Friend (2024)

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healthy dog treats

Concerning the subject of treating your furry companion, wholesome dog treats are the ideal option. Seek out options crafted with genuine, nutritious ingredients such as chicken, beef, fruits, or vegetables. Steer clear of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and fillers.

Store-bought treats of high quality, such as Zuke’s Mini Naturals and Greenies Dental Chews, are excellent choices, and you can also unleash your creativity with homemade healthy dog treat recipes. The crux lies in selecting treats that are nutritionally balanced, tailored to your dog’s size and requirements, and devoid of potentially harmful additives.

Peruse the top 10 best healthy dog treats and effortless homemade recipes to bring joy to your pup.

Key Takeaways

  • Look for treats made with real, nutritious ingredients like chicken, beef, fruits, or vegetables.
  • Avoid treats with artificial preservatives, sweeteners, and fillers.
  • Store-bought high-quality treats, such as Zuke’s Mini Naturals and Greenies Dental Chews, are excellent choices.
  • Homemade treats can be a creative and nutritious option, but always ensure they are balanced and tailored to your dog’s needs.

How to Make This Healthy Dog Treats Recipe

How to Make This Healthy Dog Treats Recipe

To make these healthy dog treats, first, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a small bowl, mix warm water and ground flaxseed, then set it aside for about 10 minutes to thicken.

In a large bowl, combine the thickened flax mixture, unsweetened applesauce, natural peanut butter**, dried parsley, and cinnamon.

Add whole wheat flour and mix to form a stiff dough. If the dough is too dry, you can add water, one teaspoon at a time.

Knead the dough on a clean surface, then roll it out to about ½ inch (1.3 cm) thickness. Cut the dough into treats using a cookie cutter or knife.

Place the treats on a baking sheet and bake until dry and golden on the bottom.

Gather any dough scraps and reroll to make more treats.

Store the treats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze them for longer storage.

This recipe yields approximately 28 treats and contains 53 calories per serving.

10 Best Healthy Dog Treats

You’re searching for the most beneficial dog treats for your furry companion, and we’ve you provided for. From Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Dog Treats to Annamaet Grain-Free Aqualuk Dog Treats, our top 10 list encompasses choices that prioritize premium ingredients, balanced nourishment, and suitable calorie counts.

1. Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Dog Treats

ZukeView On Chewy

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Dog Treats are a popular choice for dog owners looking for a healthy and tasty training treat. These bite-sized treats are made with real chicken as the first ingredient, along with wholefood ingredients like cherries, tapioca, rosemary, and turmeric. They’re crafted in the USA without the use of corn, wheat, soy, or other fillers, making them a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies.

The treats are tender and meaty, with a chewy texture that’s perfect for training. They contain essential vitamins and minerals to support your dog’s health and are free of preservatives, wheat, corn, added animal fat, artificial colors, or flavors. With only 2.3 kcal per treat, they’re a low-calorie option that can be used as a healthy reward or training treat.

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Dog Treats are available in a 6oz bag and are suitable for dogs of all sizes. They’re easy to serve at home or on the go and can be used for training, as a tasty appetizer, or scattered on the floor for your dog to enjoy.

Customers have praised these treats for their quality and effectiveness in training their dogs. However, some have noted that the recipe has changed recently, with the addition of cane sugar and a harder texture compared to the previous version. Despite this, the treats are still a popular choice for many dog owners looking for a healthy and tasty training treat.

Best For: Dog owners looking for a healthy and tasty training treat.

  • Made with real chicken and wholefood ingredients
  • Fortified with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Low-calorie and easy to digest
  • Treats are drier and harder than previous versions
  • Recipe has changed, including the addition of cane sugar
  • Some customers prefer the old recipe

2. Old Mother Hubbard Classic Original Mix Dog Treats

Old Mother Hubbard by WellnessView On Chewy

Old Mother Hubbard’s Classic Original Mix Dog Treats are a popular choice for dog owners seeking a healthy and natural treat for their loyal companions. These treats are crafted with wholesome ingredients, including whole wheat flour, oatmeal, wheat bran, and chicken fat, devoid of artificial preservatives or meat by-products. The crunchy texture of these treats promotes dental hygiene during chewing, making them an advantageous addition to a balanced diet.

These treats are presented in a range of flavors, including Original, Chicken, Cheddar, and Char Tar, and are fashioned into a playful dog bone shape that dogs relish catching, chewing, and consuming. They’re suited for all life stages and breed sizes, rendering them a versatile option for any canine. The treats are carefully baked to retain their natural flavors, guaranteeing that your dog savors a delectable and fulfilling snack.

Old Mother Hubbard’s dedication to natural ingredients aligns with the nutritional requirements of your pet, providing a rewarding demonstration of affection and positive reinforcement during training sessions. The user-friendly packaging preserves the freshness of the biscuits, while the resealable bag safeguards their long-lasting flavor and crunchiness.

These treats are an excellent choice for training, as they’re diminutive in size and can be effortlessly broken into smaller pieces for rewarding desired behaviors in low-distraction environments. They’re also appropriate for puppies, with a mini size available that incorporates all natural ingredients and additional vitamins and minerals tailored specifically for growing puppies.

Best For: Dog owners seeking a healthy and natural treat for their loyal companions.

  • Made with wholesome ingredients and no artificial preservatives or meat by-products
  • Crunchy texture promotes dental hygiene
  • Range of flavors and playful bone shape that dogs love
  • May not be suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Can be crumbly, making them difficult to handle
  • Not calorie-free, so should be given in moderation

3. Hill’s Natural Baked Light Biscuits Dog Treats

HillView On Chewy

Hill’s Natural Baked Light Biscuits with Real Chicken Dog Treats are a popular choice for dog owners looking for healthy, low-calorie treats for their furry friends.

These treats are made with real chicken, which helps build and maintain lean muscle in dogs.

They’re also free from artificial flavors and preservatives, making them a healthier alternative to some other dog treats on the market.

The treats are available in two sizes, small and medium, to cater to different breeds and sizes of dogs.

Best For: Adult and mature dogs of medium breeds looking for healthy, low-calorie treats.

  • Made with real chicken for lean muscle building
  • Free from artificial flavors and preservatives
  • Available in two sizes for different breeds and sizes of dogs
  • Not suitable for puppies or dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • May not be as flavorful as some other dog treats
  • Relatively expensive compared to other dog treats

4. Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats

Greenies Regular Dental Dog TreatsView On Chewy

Addressing the topic of preserving your canine companion’s pristine teeth, Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats emerge as a revolutionary solution.

These treats transcend mere snacks; they embody a concealed toothbrush. Their distinctive chewy consistency extends deep into the gumline, engaging in a direct assault on plaque and tartar, while leaving your dog’s breath exuding minty freshness.

Furthermore, they’re replete with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, nurturing not only oral hygiene but overall well-being.

Thus, while your dog revels in a delectable treat, you rest assured that their dental health is receiving a clean bill of health. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement!

Best For: Dogs of all lifestages and adult dogs of medium breed size who need help maintaining dental hygiene.

  • Fights plaque and tartar
  • Promotes fresh breath
  • Helps promote overall health
  • Expensive
  • Stinky smell when removing from the package
  • May not be as effective for all dogs

5. Beef Chew Dog Treats

SmartBones SmartSticks Beef Chews DogView On Chewy

Beef chews are a popular choice for dog treats due to their dental health benefits and natural flavor.

These treats can be made from 100% beef, providing a single source of protein that’s beneficial for dogs.

When shopping for beef chews, look for products that are free from artificial additives and preservatives, as these can negate the health benefits of the treat.

Some options include Nature Gnaws small beef jerky chews, which are made from 100% natural beef gullet.

Another option is The Pet Gourmet’s Beef Recipe Chew Stick, which contains chickpea, beef, coconut glycerin, pea flour, tapioca starch, molasses, brewers yeast, spinach, salt, citric acid, and sorbic acid.

Always supervise your dog while they’re chewing and provide plenty of fresh water to ensure their safety.

Best For: Dogs of all ages and sizes who enjoy a long-lasting, tasty chew.

  • Made with real chicken, vegetables, and other healthy ingredients
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • 100% rawhide-free and highly digestible
  • May not be suitable for aggressive chewers
  • Some dogs may experience digestive issues
  • Contains artificial colors

6. Blue Buffalo Tender Beef Dog Treats

Blue Buffalo Blue Bits TenderView On Chewy

Blue Buffalo Tender Beef Dog Treats are a popular choice for pet parents looking for a healthy, high-quality treat for their furry friends. These treats are made with real beef as the first ingredient, ensuring they’re packed with protein and flavor that dogs love. They’re tender, bite-sized morsels that are perfect for training and come in various sizes to suit dogs of all breeds and ages.

One of the standout features of Blue Buffalo Tender Beef Dog Treats is their wholesome ingredients. They’re free from chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, and soy, and don’t contain artificial preservatives or colors. This makes them a great option for pet parents who want to avoid potentially harmful additives in their dog’s treats.

These treats are also formulated with DHA, which helps support cognitive development, making them an ideal choice for puppies. They’re intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only, so they should be used as a reward for good behavior or during training sessions.

Blue Buffalo Tender Beef Dog Treats are available in different bag sizes and are a proud partner of Box Tops, allowing pet parents to earn points for schools in need. They’re also part of the Buddies Rewards program, where customers can earn points and redeem them for free goodies.

Best For: Pet parents seeking healthy, high-quality treats for their dogs.

  • Made with real beef as the first ingredient, providing ample protein and flavor.
  • Wholesome ingredients, free from harmful additives like by-products, corn, wheat, and soy.
  • Formulated with DHA to support cognitive development in puppies.
  • Not intended for regular feeding; use sparingly as a reward or during training.
  • May not be suitable for dogs with specific dietary restrictions or allergies.
  • Price may be higher compared to other brands or types of treats.

7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef Burger Bites

Rachael Ray Nutrish Burger Bites,View On Chewy

Seeking a delectable and wholesome treat for your canine companion? Behold Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef Burger Bites!

With genuine beef as the cornerstone ingredient, these treats provide a fulfilling crunch with each morsel. Their grain-free nature and absence of chicken make them an ideal choice for dogs with sensitivities or allergies.

Furthermore, they’re meticulously crafted in the United States and are devoid of artificial flavors and meat by-products. Hence, indulge your furry friend with a treat they’ll adore, while you can rest assured of its nutritional value!

Best For: Dogs with sensitivities or allergies, or those who simply enjoy a delicious and wholesome treat.

  • Made with real beef as the #1 ingredient
  • Grain-free and chicken-free
  • Safely cooked in the USA with no artificial flavors or meat by-products

8. Beef Brisket Dog Treats

Pup-Peroni Rounds Beef Brisket DogView On Chewy

These beef brisket dog treats are a popular choice among pet owners. They’re made with real beef as the first ingredient, making them a tasty and nutritious option for your furry friend.

These soft and chewy treats come in a fun, round shape that dogs love, and they’ve no artificial flavors, fillers, red dye 40, or added grains. They’re a great reward for good behavior or just an exciting anytime snack.

Just remember to monitor your pet while treating and not to exceed 10% of their daily calorie requirement.

Best For: Dogs of all ages and breeds.

  • No red dye 40, fillers, artificial flavors, or added grains.
  • Packed with slow-cooked, beefy goodness.
  • Fun round shape that dogs love.
  • May cause intestinal issues in some dogs.
  • Dogs may beg for more.
  • Limited availability in some stores.

9. Turkey Cranberry Meatball Dog Treats

Spot Farms Turkey Meatball RecipeView On Chewy

Give your dog a tasty and healthy treat with Turkey Cranberry Meatballs. Made with real antibiotic-free turkey, these meatballs are packed with cranberries, rolled oats, honey, and other natural ingredients to provide your furry friend with a nutritious snack. The treats are soft and chewy, making them perfect for training or as a reward. They’re also low in calories, making them a great option for dogs on a weight management diet.

Turkey Cranberry Meatballs aren’t just delicious but also beneficial for your dog’s health. Cranberries are rich in antioxidants, which help slow the aging process and improve heart health. They also contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and supports overall health. The treats are also a good source of fiber and protein, which are essential for a balanced diet.

These meatballs are made with human-grade ingredients and are free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors. They’re also suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies, as they’re grain-free and contain no fillers.

To make these treats at home, you’ll need ground turkey, rolled oats, honey, rice bran, cranberries, potato starch, vinegar, salt, yeast extract, natural flavor, and rosemary extract. Simply mix the ingredients together, form them into meatballs, and bake them in the oven.

Remember to store the treats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage. Always let the treats cool before giving them to your dog, and make sure they’re dry and golden on the bottom.

Best For: Dogs of all ages and sizes who enjoy tasty and healthy treats.

  • Made with real antibiotic-free turkey, cranberries, rolled oats, and honey
  • Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C
  • Free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors
  • May not be suitable for dogs with severe allergies
  • May be too soft for some dogs
  • Can be messy to store

10. Annamaet Grain-Free Aqualuk Dog Treats

Annamaet Grain-Free Aqualuk Cold WaterView On Chewy
Looking for a healthy treat for your furry friend? Consider Annamaet Grain-Free Aqualuk Dog Treats. These treats are made with coldwater fish protein sources and menhaden oil, making them an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.

They also contain DHA to support brain health and L-carnitine to help maintain lean muscle mass. Additionally, prebiotics and probiotics are added to support your dog’s gut health.

These treats are grain-free, naturally preserved, and allergen-friendly, making them suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies. They’re also free of corn, wheat, and soy, and are made with wholesome ingredients like premium salmon and herring.

Best For: Dogs with sensitive stomachs, allergies, or who need support for brain health, lean muscle mass, or gut health.

  • Grain-free, naturally preserved, and allergen-friendly
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, L-carnitine, prebiotics, and probiotics
  • Made with premium salmon and herring
  • Some dogs may experience digestive upset
  • Pricey
  • Statistics not provided

How We Chose the Best Dog Treats

How We Chose the Best Dog Treats
When choosing the most suitable dog treats, you’ll want to take into account their nutritional balance, including calorie count and feeding recommendations. Additionally, you’ll need to examine the ingredient list, avoiding anything potentially harmful while seeking out healthy, dog-friendly options.

Determine Nutritional Balance

To determine the nutritional balance of healthy dog treats, consider the following:

  1. Calorie count: Treats should comprise no more than 10% of daily calorie intake.
  2. Feeding recommendations: Look for AAFCO label to guarantee proper nutrition.
  3. Ingredient quality: Choose non-GMO verified and VOHC approved ingredients for the best health.

Analyzing Good (and Bad) Ingredients

When choosing dog treats, it’s essential to examine the components to guarantee they’re harmless and advantageous for your canine companion. Here are some guidelines to assist you in making knowledgeable decisions:

  1. Avoid Artificial Preservatives: Synthetic preservatives such as BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, and TBHQ have been associated with health concerns in dogs, including skin allergies and ailments. Select natural preservatives such as vitamin E, rosemary extract, or ginger.
  2. Be Cautious of Food Allergens: Common allergens in dog treats include wheat, corn, and soy. If your dog has a known allergy, steer clear of treats containing these components.
  3. Limit Artificial Sweeteners: While certain artificial sweeteners like xylitol are poisonous to dogs, others like aspartame, sucralose, and stevia are generally harmless in small quantities. However, they may cause digestive discomfort in sensitive dogs.
  4. Choose Organic Ingredients: Organic ingredients are cultivated without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which can be detrimental to dogs.
  5. Consider Homemade Treats: Creating your own treats grants you control over the components and enables you to avoid potentially harmful additives.
  6. Look for Natural Colors and Flavors: Artificial colors and flavors can be detrimental to dogs, so select treats with natural alternatives.

Find the Right-sized Dog Treat

To find the right-sized dog treat, consider the following:

  1. Size: The size of the treat should be proportional to your dog’s size. Small dogs shouldn’t be given large treats, as they may consume too many calories unintentionally.
  2. Calorie content: Be aware of the calorie content of the treat. Treats shouldn’t exceed more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake to avoid nutritional imbalances.
  3. Dental chews: Dental chews can help freshen your dog’s breath and clean their teeth, but they shouldn’t replace regular tooth brushing.
  4. Training treats: For training, use small, low-calorie treats that can be broken into smaller pieces to avoid overfeeding.
  5. Grain-free or low-calorie treats: Some dogs may have difficulty digesting grains, and low-calorie treats can be beneficial for weight management.
  6. Long-lasting chews: For dogs that tend to eat treats quickly, consider long-lasting chews that can help reduce boredom and promote mental stimulation.

Are Dog Treats Healthy?

Are Dog Treats Healthy
Are dog treats healthy? Well, it’s not a simple yes or no. Like snacks in our world, dog treats come in all shapes and sizes, with their own set of pros and cons. Let’s chew on the facts with a quick table to break it down:

Aspect Good to Know But Remember
Nutrition Some are packed with nutrients. Not all treats are created equal.
Ingredients High-quality treats avoid nasty additives. Read labels for dog treat safety.
Variety From dental chews to training treats, variety is the spice of life. Too much of a good thing can be bad.
Benefits Can aid in training and dental health. Overindulgence can lead to weight gain.
Safety Many are designed with dog treat safety in mind. Always supervise your pup to prevent choking.

More Homemade Dog Treats Recipes

More Homemade Dog Treats Recipes
Craving more homemade dog treat ideas? Here’s a selection that’s effortless, wholesome, and ideal for your furry pal:

  1. Frozen Apple Munchies: A thirst-quenching snack for scorching summer days, crafted with apples, water, and a touch of honey.
  2. Almond & Oatmeal Nibbles: A straightforward recipe using coconut flour, mashed bananas, unsweetened applesauce, pumpkin puree, and grated carrots.
  3. Peanut Butter and Banana Dog Delights: A tasty treat made with peanut butter, mashed bananas, and whole wheat flour.
  4. Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Dog Goodies: A nourishing recipe that includes cooked and ground turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, cooked peas, and olive oil.

Remember to consider your dog’s sensitivities and dietary requirements when selecting or preparing homemade treats. Keep the treats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze for extended storage. Always allow the treats to cool before offering them to your dog, and make sure they’re dry and golden on the underside.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can dogs have allergies to healthy treats?

Absolutely, dogs can develop allergies to certain ingredients in treats. Don’t treats be a source of distress – consult your vet to find hypoallergenic options your pup will love. Who said going homemade couldn’t be both tasty and tummy-friendly?

How often should I give my dog treats?

You should limit treats to 10% or less of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Treats are best used for rewards and training, not as a dietary staple. Moderation is key for your pup’s health.

Are there vegetarian options for healthy dog treats?

There are plenty of tasty and nutritious veggie-based dog treats out there. Look for options made with ingredients like sweet potato, carrot, or peanut butter – your pup will love ’em!

Can healthy treats improve a dogs digestion?

The right treats can work wonders for your dog’s digestive health. Look for options rich in fiber, probiotics, or gut-friendly ingredients like pumpkin or sweet potato. Your pup’s tummy will thank you!

How do I transition my dog to new treats?

Shifting to new treats? Take it steady, pup. Blend the new treats with old favorites, gradually increasing the proportion over time. Your furry friend will relish the alteration and feel right at home.


Envision your pup’s tail wagging with unbridled joy as they relish a nutritious dog treat. These delectable morsels not merely appease their desires but also enrich their bodies, safeguarding their ultimate well-being.

By selecting the appropriate wholesome dog treats and even creating your own, you can evoke delight in your furry friend while giving paramount importance to their health.

Gratify your dog’s palate and your own tranquility by investigating the diverse options illuminated in this thorough guide.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.