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Best Dog Treat Brands

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Consumers are more selective than ever when buying pet products, including treats. Read our guide to research and discover the best dog treat brand for you. You save money and ensure your dog gets the most satisfying treats by understanding labeling, ingredients and other product options. It's also smart to talk to a vet about your dog's dietary needs.

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What features matter most when selecting dog treats?


Different dogs will enjoy and benefit from different kinds of ingredients. Many treats market themselves using buzz words that may not offer a clear meaning or be necessary for your dog.

  • Quality: Brands can claim to use high-quality ingredients, but that term is subjective. Look at the ingredients list to determine whether the treats meet your definition of quality. The ingredients are listed in order of amount, meaning items contain more of ingredients listed first than ingredients listed last. Talk to your vet about what ingredients your dog needs. In general, look for whole ingredients as opposed to meals or by-products.
  • Organic: As of February 2016, the FDA did not regulate the use of the word organic as a label on pet food. However, if a product has the USDA-Organic seal, then all of its ingredients meet the standards set by the USDA. If you want to purchase organic products, look for the USDA label to ensure the product is actually organic.
  • Grain free: Like some people, some animals may not tolerate grains or gluten well. Grain free treats may be right for that group of dogs, but you should note that a grain free treat may still contain gluten, a protein found in several grains. If your vet advises you that you dog shouldn’t eat grains, look for food free of both gluten and grain, and double check the ingredient list.


Those concerned with the safety of their pet’s food may want to buy a brand that comes from the United States or Canada. Many past pet food recalls, prompted by animals’ deaths, have been linked to food produced or sourced overseas.

  • Manufacturing facility: Many pet food brands have manufacturing facilities in America. Food made in the United States will usually advertise that fact with a Made in the USA label. The Federal Trade Commission regulates such labels and claims. Products with that label must be produced in the United States, and most of the ingredients must come from the United States.
  • Ingredient source: If a product is labeled as Made in the USA, its ingredients should come mainly from the United States. However, even small amounts of contaminated ingredients can cause illness, so finding brands that specifically source products from North America will make many pet owners more comfortable. Brands should make the source of the goods clear and have a transparent supply chain to ensure all suppliers follow safe and ethical business practices.


In 2007, consumers in the United States and Canada as well as some in part of Europe and Africa began reporting kidney failure and death after their pets consumed particular brands. Governmental organizations tested food and found contaminated protein, and dozens of brands recalled pet food and treats. Recalls periodically occur, and consumers should be aware of which brands frequently issue recalls and how they handle those recalls.

  • Recent recalls: You can find information about recalls on the FDA’s website under the Animals & Veterinary section. You can sign up to receive FDA emails about products for animals and animal health on the agency’s website.
  • Information: Accidents occur, and any brand could face a situation that requires them to issue a recall. Companies should be forthright about problems leading to recalls and provide thorough information about contaminations. If you believe a brand has issued recalls, look at its website to see how much information it provides to concerned consumers. Information should tell consumers how to identify recalled products, why the recall was issued, what symptoms to watch for and what actions to take if they believe their pet has eaten contaminated food or treats.
  • Changed practices: In addition to information about the recall, the company should provide details about what actions it has taken to prevent similar problems in the future. Consider choosing products from a company that has third-party testing or oversight to monitor product quality and safety.

Health benefits

When feeding your dog any treats, consider their health needs. Talk to your veterinarian about what kind of treats might be best for them.

  • Added vitamins: Dogs breeds prone to certain health problems, like joint deterioration, may need vitamins or minerals that will reduce their risk. Feeding them treats fortified with those nutrients will likely be easier than giving them medication in a pill or liquid form.
  • Calories: Like humans, dogs who consume too many calories will gain weight and be in less than optimal health. If your pet is overweight or if you frequently give your dog treats as a reward, look for low-calorie options. Consult your vet about how many calories your dog should eat each day.
  • Oral health: Many treats offer oral health benefits that reduce the need to brush your dog’s teeth. Look for products whose claims are verified by Veterinary Oral Health Council.


The best treats for your pet will depend on how you plan to use them.

  • Training: Treats used as rewards during training or as positive reinforcement should be relatively low calorie because you dog will consumer several treats a day. They should not contain any ingredients that should be fed in limited amounts.
  • Snacks: If you want to give your dog treats as a snack or just because you want them to have something to enjoy, you can choose a higher-calorie or less nutritious treat. However, make sure to limit the use of these products.

Pet preference

Perhaps the most important factor when selecting treats is whether or not your dog likes them.

  • Size options: When trying a new brand or flavor, look for small packages or trial sizes so your pet can try the treat before you spend too much money on them.
  • Return policy: Check the company or retail stores return policy. Some brands have satisfaction guarantees, so you can return a product if your pet doesn’t like it.

What are some specialized types of treats?

Limited ingredient

Many pet treat brands have limited ingredient products. Items with fewer ingredients may not irritate dogs with sensitive digestive systems or skin as badly as those with a long list of ingredients. Dog owners can more easily identify which foods or ingredients irritate their pet when they use limited-ingredient products.


A variety of dog chews reduce plaque and tartar on an animal’s teeth. Veterinary groups verify the claims of some of these treats. Consumers can see a list of verified products by visiting the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website.

Grain free

Treats made without grains more naturally mimic the diets of modern dogs’ ancestors. Most dogs can digest products with grains in them, but some pets may be more sensitive to items with gluten, so a grain- and gluten-free formula might be preferred for those animals.


Training treats are usually small and low calorie because they are designed to be given to a dog frequently, such as whenever it performs a task correctly.

Who should buy treats for their dog?

Pet owners

Pet owners who want to use treats as positive reinforcement or merely give their pet something special can use dog treats, as opposed to human food, to ensure the food item is safe for the pet.

Show champions

Individuals who enter their dog into dog shows can use treats with added vitamins to help their animal’s coat look its best. They can also use treats to reward a pet for a good performance.


Groomers can use treats to reward animals for good behavior. They can also send treats home with owners as a special thank you for being a good customer.


Professional trainers and all pet owners training their dogs can use treats to reward good behavior.

Dog treats FAQ

What are good natural treats for dogs?

There are several natural treats you can give your dog, including:

  • Strawberries: Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C but are high in sugar, so give these treats in moderation.
  • Carrots: Just like humans, dogs can get a good dose of beta carotene and other vitamins they need from a carrot.
  • Apples: Apples are a great source of fiber, but make sure to cut them up into bite-size pieces to avoid choking.
  • Broccoli: Like apples, broccoli is an excellent source of fiber, and you can serve it however you like.
  • Celery: Celery is a healthy, low-calorie snack that all dogs can enjoy.

Remember: Before you decide to give your dog any new treat, consult your veterinarian to make sure it's safe.

How many treats should I give my dog per day?

Experts state no more than 10% of your animal's caloric intake should be from dog treats. When feeding your dog anything, monitoring your dog's calories is critical. Keep in mind:

  • Your dog's age can determine its base calorie count. For instance, older dogs have a slower metabolism, while younger dogs can burn through calories faster.
  • Your dog's activity level is also a determining factor for caloric intake. More active dogs need to consume more calories.
  • Always monitor the type of treat you give your dog. Some treats, like high-value treats used for training, should be given once or twice a day.
How much does it cost for dog treats?

The average cost of dog treats ranges from about $2 for a single bone to almost $70 for a large bag of specialized dental treats.

How often should you give your dog treats?

Most experts agree that treats should take up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. Monitor how many calories your dog eats in a day, and speak with your vet about a proper diet.

What are healthy dog snacks?

There are several healthy dog snacks you can give your pup, including:

  • Apple chunks
  • Cooked sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Carrot chunks
  • Celery

Always speak with your veterinarian before trying out any healthy snack alternatives, as some require special preparation. Also, pay attention to the amount of sugar in the high-fructose treats.

What can I give my dog for a treat?

There are several options for dog treats:

  • Peanut butter popsicles are great during hot summer months.
  • Commercial treats are an excellent choice for your pup, but make sure to monitor calories and ingredients.
  • Carrots are just as healthy for dogs as they are for humans, but always make sure to cut them into bite-size pieces.
  • Sweet potato jerky is a simple and delicious dog treat.
  • Apple bites are an easy, healthy treat for your dog.

Make sure to check with your veterinarian before giving your pooch any new treat.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Author reviews for dog treat brands


    BarkBox is a subscription service for all-natural treats and toys. You sign up for a plan and receive a themed BarkBox every month based on the size of dog you have. BarkBox launched in 2012 as part of BARK, an online pet treat and toy store.

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    Nutro Natural Choice, a subsidiary of the Mars corporation, owns GREENIES. Nutro has been in business since 1926, and Mars has been in the pet care industry since 1939. GREENIES manufactures dog treats with health benefits.

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    Waggin Train Treats

    Waggin Train treats are made by Purina, which was established in 1894 and has headquarters in St. Louis. Waggin Train treats are chicken jerky, suitable for dogs over five pounds.

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    Bil-Jac Dog Treats

    After World War II, Bill and Jack Kelly founded a dog food company to provide consumers with a dog food that was higher-quality than what they saw on the market. Bil-Jac was established in 1947, and the company continues to use real meat products as proteins in its products.

    Read more about Bil-Jac Dog Treats
    Crump's Naturals

    Crumps’ Naturals is a family-owned company with headquarters in Ontario, Canada. The company started in 2006 and has since expanded to sell dog treats in multiple countries.

    Read more about Crump's Naturals

    Barkworthies, established in 2011, is headquartered in Virginia. They make all-natural treats with limited ingredients. The company is associated with TDBBS and the BestBullySticks website, which both produce high-quality pet treats.

    Read more about Barkworthies
    Buddy Biscuits

    Buddy Biscuits makes all-natural treats with quality ingredients for dogs and cats. The company is headquartered in Missouri.

    Read more about Buddy Biscuits

    Dogswell was established in 2004 with the goal of making treats with added vitamins and minerals to help improve dogs’ health.

    Read more about Dogswell

    Halo started in 1986 when a pet owner began looking for a way to improve her cat’s health and began feeding her cat, Spot, whole foods instead of the by-products contained in many pet foods. Ellen DeGeneres now partially owns the company. Halo’s headquarters are in Florida.

    Read more about Halo

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