May 7, 2021

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Best Dog Treats, Chews and Snacks For Your Pet

Face it, one reason our dogs love us is because we give them food. Dog treats can strengthen the bond between you and your dog. They can work wonders as training incentives, too. But just as we watch what we eat, we have to watch what we feed our dogs to keep them healthy and happy. Look at ingredients carefully, and also choose the best dog treats to suit your dog’s needs.

Best Natural Dog Treat: Outdoor Life Gourmet Tennessee Jerky Dog Treats
Best CBD Dog Treat: HolistaPet Hemp Calming Chews for Dogs
Best Weight Loss Treat: Fruitables Skinny Mini Dog Treats
Best Dog Chews: EcoKind Yak Cheese Dog Chews
Best Budget Dog Treat: Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits

What to look for in the best dog treats.

Dogs will eat anything, and they don’t know when to stop. It’s your responsibility to choose the best dog treats for your pet. You have to read labels, look at ingredients and choose portions just as you do with your own food. 

Avoid treats with artificial colors. Even if dogs weren’t colorblind, they wouldn’t care what color their treats are, and artificial colorings trigger allergic reactions in some dogs and have been associated with hyperactivity and organ damage. Sweeteners like corn syrup can contribute to weight gain and even diabetes. Too much grain content can be bad for a dog’s digestion, and make its breath smelly. Try to find natural dog treats when you can. 

Even if you buy healthy dog treats, you can still overfeed your dog. Most vets recommend treats make up no more than 10 percent of a dog’s diet. Up to a third of dogs in the United States are overweight, and your dog shouldn’t be among them. Overfeeding a dog isn’t a kindness if it leads to weight gain that can add stress to a dog’s joints and lead to potential heart and breathing problems.

Besides searching for healthy treats, and giving them in moderation, you can also find treats that will help dogs with specific needs. Treats can form part of a weight loss diet or help combat a dog’s anxiety. Dog chews help clean teeth. In addition, dog training treats bring fast results when a dog is learning obedience. Take your time and be sure you’re buying it the best dog treats for your dog.

Do you want to feed your a natural high protein snack?

Jerky makes a good snack for dogs. It’s low in calories and high in protein. It’s also chewy, which is always a good thing. Even though your dog is like part of the family, don’t give it jerky meant for people. Jerky made for us is too salty and spicy for dogs and it can be very hard on their digestive systems. Instead, choose dog jerky which has been formulated to give your dog all the benefits of jerky with none of the drawbacks. Natural dog treats are a great way to reward your pet and stay healthy!

Best Natural Dog Treat: Outdoor Life Gourmet Tennessee Jerky Dog Treats

Natural chewy treat

Hickory smoked and good enough for people to eat, Outdoor Life pork jerky will be your dog’s favorite Outdoor Life

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Made with pork and all-natural ingredients, this gourmet dog treat has 11 grams of protein per serving and very few calories. Packed in a resealable bag, it’s a good snack to take along on any outing, because jerky won’t crumble on the trail.

Does your dog suffer from chronic pain?

CDB dog treats, just like CBD gummies for people, are suddenly very popular. Made from an oil derived from hemp plants, CBD treats won’t get your dog high, but they seem to be effective in treating chronic pain in many dogs, and also anxiety in some. Because dogs are actually more sensitive to CBD oils than we are, you need to give them CBD treats for dogs.

Best CBD Dog Treat: HolistaPet Hemp Calming Chews for Dogs

Best for Stress

Formulated to soothe anxiety, these gummies combine CBD with calming chamomile. HolistaPet Hemp

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Made to help dogs cope with separation anxiety and loud noises, or to take a dog’s aggressive behavior down a notch, the active ingredients in these soft CBD dog treats are combined with peanut butter and pumpkin to make them irresistible.  Each jar contains a one-month supply.

Is your dog overweight?

Fat dogs like treats, too, and you can still enjoy bonding by giving healthy dog treats even while counting calories.  Being overweight or obese can cut up to two years off of a dog’s already too-short lifespan so it’s important to find a low calorie reward for your pal. Unless they are working hard, dogs don’t need many calories. A 50 pound dog only requires a little over 700 calories per day. Remember two things: when seen from the top or the side, your dog should have a visible waist and you should be able to feel its ribs. And, no matter how much you and your family like feeding a dog, overfeeding it shortens the time you’ll have with it.
Choose treats that fit in with a weight loss diet.

Best Weight Loss Treat: Fruitables Skinny Mini Dog Treats

Under three calories apiece

These sweet potato dog treats contain natural apple and bacon flavors Fruitables

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Made without any corn, wheat or soy that might upset a dog’s digestive system, these small, low calorie healthy treats are great for a snack or for training without wrecking your dog’s diet.

Does your dog like to chew?

The right treat can satisfy a dog’s need to chew and keep it occupied and away from things you don’t want it to get. Throwing a chewy treat into a dog’s crate is a good way to win yourself some time away from dogs, too, and to reinforce the idea that the crate is a happy place.

Traditional rawhide chews aren’t the safest treats. They are hard to digest and if a dog eats one instead of chewing it, the large pieces can cause a dangerous intestinal blockage. You can find more readily digestible treats and your pet will love them.

Best Dog Chews: EcoKind Yak Cheese Dog Chews

Made of Yak Milk

Hard to believe these chewy treats started as milk, but they will keep dogs chewing happily and safely EcoKind Pet Treats

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These large chew sticks are made to last at 6-8 inches long and 1-2 inches wide, yet they are totally digestible. The lactose has been removed to make these soothing for even sensitive stomachs. A 5-pound bag contains about 16 long-lasting chews.

Do you want to stick to a budget?

Everything about dogs costs money, and if you need to cut costs here, look for a proven brand. Buying in bulk helps, too, although be aware that dog biscuits do expire, so you don’t want to buy more than you can responsibly feed your dog. Less expensive biscuits means they may contain wheat and other ingredients that may be hard on some dog’s systems so be careful what you buy.

Best Budget Dog Treat: Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits

Classic dog treat

Dogs have loved Milk-Bone dog treats since 1908. Milk-Bone

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The best-known name in dog biscuits is the best bargain, too. These crunchy bone shaped treats do contain wheat, but they are fortified with vitamins, as well. Dogs have eaten them happily for over 100 years.

FAQ: people also ask

Is cheese bad for dogs?

Cheese isn’t harmful to dogs, although it contains no fiber, and if dogs eat too much it can lead to constipation. The greater danger to your dog’s health is that cheese contains a lot of calories and fat, and overfeeding cheese to a dog may cause it to gain weight. Cheese can be great to put in a Kong toy, but don’t overdo it.

How many treats should I give my dog a day?

How many treats you give your dog in a day depends on the caloric content. Most vets recommend that dog treats should make up only 10% of your dog’s diet. You can find internet calculators that will give you an estimate of how many calories your dog needs each day, or you can ask your vet. Take ten per cent of that number, divide by calories in each treat, and use that figure as a guideline.

What are high value treats for dogs?

Simply put, high value dog training treats are snacks your dog will go nuts over. Some dog trainers suggest using a low, medium and high value tier system for treat training. High value treats are useful when teaching a dog a new task, or when you need to get its attention in a distracting environment like a training class or at the dog park. Pieces of chicken and beef count as high value treats. Medium value treats like jerky and soft chews, as well as low value treats like bits of dog kibble have their place in training, too.

How to choose the best dog treats for your dog

Dog treats are important. They help you bond with your dog, and they are a very important training aid, especially when dogs are young. It’s always good to be able to reward a dog of any age with kind words and a treat, too, to reinforce desired behaviors.

Your dog’s health should always be your main concern, so dog treats should be easily digestible and not cause an upset gut or other problems. Some dogs are more sensitive to grains, gluten and lactose than other dogs. Try to find treats without dye, preservatives or too many sweeteners. You may have to try different treats to find one that your dog loves and that it can easily digest. 

The other important health concern for your dog is weight. You can love a dog without overfeeding it. Keeping a dog’s total calorie intake down to a healthy level is one of the best things you can do to be sure you have as much time as possible to spend with your dog.