8 of the Best Dog Treats According to Experts

Whether you want them to fetch or trick-or-treat, your loyal dog deserves praise for everything they do (even if it’s really cute). The best dog treats are a way to reward your pup for excellent behavior and can even provide a fun little addition to their daily diet.

To help you uncover the best options for tail-wagging treats, we’ve reached out to a few experts on what you need to know before you buy, and most importantly, what types to grab now if you want to keep your pup’s healthy lifestyle on track.

    A young woman feeds her dog

Treating can help create a greater bond between you and your dog. / Djordje Djurdjevic, E+ Collection, Getty Images

When it comes to dog food, it should be functional. Whether you want to pamper your pet for good behavior or use these delicious bites to add more to their diet, Chewy’s Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Katy Nelson tells Mental Floss. “Maybe [the treats are] He chews and treats his teeth to clean them [with glucosamine] small, high-value treats used for joint health or training,” he says, noting that treats should also be appropriate for your pet’s size, age, general health, weight and taste.

In terms of choosing the right dog food from Veterinarians.org, Dr. Ivana Crnec, DVM, says it’s important to consider three factors before investing in anything: the dog’s diet and any special nutritional requirements; the taste and texture of the treat; and ease of use and cost.

According to Crnec, it would be a bad idea to offer sugary treats to a dog with diabetes, while a dog on weight control needs low-calorie treats. Taste is a matter of dog preference, so as a pet parent, you’ll want to pay attention to what your pup eats most at snack time. The best texture depends on the dog’s chewing ability, as puppies and seniors generally need softer treats, while adults can eat crunchier options. “Finally, the third factor is ease of use and cost. It depends on the owner,” says Crnec.

Whatever you choose for your dogs, Nelson says, remember these treats do contains calories and should count toward your pet’s daily caloric intake, especially if your pet is one of the more than 60 percent of American pets considered overweight or obese. Below, we’ve compiled a list of eight great flavors to get right now.

Shar Pei dog with food in mouth

Because not all dog food is created equal. / anniepaddington, RooM Collection, Getty Images

Greens Pumpkin Spice Flavor Natural Canine Remedy

Greenies Pumpkin Spice Flavored Natural Teethers / Greenies / Amazon

Give your dog something to really smile about with these treats, designed to fight plaque and tartar build-up on canine teeth, as well as clean right down to the gum line and freshen breath. There are also options for all life stages and breed sizes. According to Nelson, they are “nutritionally balanced, with easy-to-digest natural ingredients, as well as vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.” He also notes that they have a wide variety, including weight management options and limited-edition seasonal flavors (like pumpkin spice). Crnec also recommends Greenies, noting that these treatments have the seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), a group of veterinary dentists and dental hygienists who certify that the treatments are safe, effective and that the treatments work for their intended purpose. .

Buy: Amazon

Bil-Jac Little Jacs Little Dog Training

Bil-Jac Little Jacs Little Dog Training / Bil-Jac / Amazon

Your little dog still deserves a great treat. According to Tim Wall, dog food category manager at Pet Supplies Plus, these soft and chewy treats from Bil-Jac are “the perfect treat for small dogs because [they’re] made with tempting chicken livers and perfectly sized. Plus, the ingredients contain no traces of soy or gluten food, and they come in a fully resealable ziplock bag, so storage is easy.

Buy: Amazon

Blue Buffalo Health Bars Natural Crunchy Dog Biscuits

Blue Buffalo Health Bars Natural Crunchy Dog Biscuits / Blue Buffalo / Amazon

Your large dog needs a treat commensurate with its size. Crnec recommends Blue Buffalo’s Health Bars because they’re crunchy and made with high-quality ingredients; you won’t find corn, wheat or soy, and they’re free of artificial preservatives. Better yet, they come in a practical, resealable bag and are available in a variety of tail-wagging flavors like banana and yogurt; pumpkin and cinnamon; and the aforementioned oatmeal, barley and bacon mixture.

Buy: Amazon

Pur Luv crunchy dog ​​treats

Pur Luv Crushable Dog Treats / Pur Luv / Walmart

If your dog loves chicken and nibbles on quality treats, these delicious treats will be love at first bite. Crnec gives them paws because they’re “healthy, long-lasting and support your dog’s natural urge to chew.” These chewy bits are also high in protein and low in fat and, according to the brand, contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Buy: Walmart

Honest Kitchen Pure 100% White Fish Fillet

Honest Kitchen Pure 100% White Fish Fillet / Honest Kitchen / Amazon

Raw dog food is great for owners looking for a healthy, single-ingredient product. Made from wild-caught, sustainably sourced whitefish, these fillets from Purely One are just dehydrated fish skin, and Amazon shoppers who’ve tried them say they have no bones. (A few users recommend soaking these fillets in water before feeding them to older dogs to make them easier to chew.) Human snacks are also light, crunchy, high in protein and low in calories. Crnec recommends this all-natural dog treat because it’s “a single-ingredient treat option that’s easy to dehydrate and split in half.”

Buy: Amazon

American Journey Grain Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuits Dog Treats

American Journey Grain Free Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Food / American Journey / Chewy

As long as your pup doesn’t have a peanut allergy, these grain-free dog treats made with dry roasted peanuts can be another good option. “Dogs love the crunchy texture and peanut butter flavor of these treats. They’re made with chickpeas, are free of artificial flavors, and are great for on-the-go or anytime treats,” says Nelson. In addition, these nibbles are free of fillers such as corn, wheat and soy, and there are no poultry by-products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in the ingredients list. (If you want to try the peanut-free variety, you can always opt for the chicken, lamb, turkey, or salmon versions.)

Buy: chewable

Wellness Soft Puppy Lamb and Salmon Bites

Wellness Soft Puppy Lamb and Salmon Dog Bites / Wellness / Amazon

Do you want to reinforce your dog’s good behavior with a well-deserved reward? Wall notes that these soft dog bites from Wellness “[the] perfect treats for dogs of all ages, plus they contain DHA, which is especially important for puppies. The bite-sized treats (available in soft and crispy varieties) contain no meat by-products or traces of corn, soy or wheat gluten and are completely free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Buy: Amazon

The Lazy Dog Cookie Co.  Happy Birthday Pup-PIE Dog Treat

The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. Happy Birthday Pup-PIE Dog Treat / The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. / Chewy

Whether it’s time to celebrate a dog’s birthday (or adopter) or you just want to brighten their day, these pie-inspired treats are a fun way to break up the routine. Not only that, but each slice is made with simple and nutritious ingredients like oatmeal, molasses, peanut butter, beets and spinach, and topped with a dairy-free coating. (The sprinkles are actually multicolored sesame seeds.) Wall thinks these treats make a great gift for special dogs because they’re “all natural and delicious!”

Buy: chewable

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