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These veterinarian-approved healthy treats will impress even the pickiest of pups. Natural Dog Canned Food
If you've got a food motivated pup or are looking for a little incentive during training, the right dog treats can make a huge difference (along with the right dog toys). While the main thing to keep in mind is making sure you're paying attention to your dog's personal dietary restrictions, a lot comes into play when picking out the right munchies for your pooch. Though you may be used to handing over small nibbles of your own meals to your pets as treats, this can be dangerous, especially if you're not well-versed in which food products are potentially harmful to dogs.
The Good Housekeeping Institute regularly tests pet products to recommend only the best ones that keep your furry friends interested and happy. In finding the best dog treats, our product experts sifted through countless five-star options, chatted with real pet parents and spoke to expert Megan Conrad, M.B.B.S., a veterinarian at Hello Ralphie and associate vet at WellHaven Pet Health. While picking our favorites, we consider flavor, ingredients, price, brand and more. No matter what type of dog you have or their flavor preferences, we've found treats that will totally wow them. Our picks are made up of our experts' favorites, plus ones with rave reviews from real pet parents and vets. Here are the best dog treats of 2022, according to vets and reviewers.
Keep reading to learn more about how we chose the best dog treats and what to consider when picking out the right ones for your pup. Looking for something else to help train your pup? Check out the best dog harnesses and pet GPS trackers.
Something about these treats entices pups of all sizes and breeds. While reviewing, our experts found that these treats are great for training and rewards due to their strong smell and small size (two things Dr. Conrad recommends when it comes to training). They're easy to toss as a reward and can be chowed down on by pets of all sizes since they're soft, chewy and small. Plus, you don't have to worry about overfeeding your pup since you're unlikely to give them enough of these that it will amount to too much.
Bocce's Bakery has a huge variety of snacks for your pup, so you won't have any trouble finding a flavor your furry friend is drawn to. This treat is made with bacon and peanut butter, so you know all the tastiest food groups are included. We spoke to two pet parents whose pups adored these snacks. "My dog goes crazy for these treats," one says. They're soft and chewy so older pets or those who don't like the crunch will appreciate it. However, if you have smaller dogs, these treats come in one size so you'll need to manually break them up for your pet to safely consume them.
These meat rolls are a favorite of our experts and the dog trainers their pups work with. The treat comes in one large roll, so it's easy to cut off the correct amount for training before use and that means you can personalize the size of the treats to your pet. They're soft and chewy, which Dr. Conrad explains is an important aspect of treats for training since your pup can choke on anything too large or hard while they're excitedly chomping down. They're a great high value option for pups that may have a hard time focusing while in a training environment (or other places with lots of distractions). But, if your pet has a sensitive stomach, this is one treat you may want to stay away from.
If you've got a slightly older furry friend, these treats do double duty by rewarding your pup and potentially helping their joints. "My dog loves these and I love them too," says one pet parent we spoke to. "They're great for joint health which gives me peace of mind as she has a knee issue." Unfortunately, unlike some other treats, their smell and flavor isn't as enticing, so they might not be exciting for your pup. But, these supplements are designed for older dogs that may not be as spry as they once were, and are soft enough that you don't need to worry about them choking even if they don't have all their working teeth.
These single ingredient snacks are especially good for picky pets (or picky pet parents). Dehydrated lamb lungs are a great option for pet parents who prefer treats with fewer ingredients, according to Dr. Conrad. These crunchy treats come in a few different bag sizes and are great for pups on very specific diets. While they're not ideal for training and can be troublesome for smaller pups due to their larger size and crunchiness, they're good for everyday rewards and "just because."
Clean their teeth while giving them a treat with a bag of dental chews from Virbac. One of our expert's pets adored these treats that helped clean their teeth and improve their breath while giving them a tasty snack. Available in a variety of sizes for different dogs of all breeds, the brand recommends giving your pup one chew a day to reduce their tartar buildup and improve doggy breath. Plus, they're created in a unique shape so they can reach even those far back molars. But, since they're longer and harder than some other treats, keep an eye on your dog while they chew to ensure they don't choke.
Puppies need treats too, and these soft lamb and salmon bites are great for tiny teeth and training. One pet parent we spoke to had a puppy that couldn't get enough of these snacks, and found they were a great incentive for helping a new furry friend learn tricks and basic house rules. They're small enough that your pup won't be overfed (and easy to break into little pieces for smaller breeds) but tasty enough that they're a high enough reward to encourage Fido to behave. Their soft texture is great for training, but can cause a bit of an issue in the bag since they crumble so easily.
If you've got a fretful pup, this peanut butter may be just what you're looking for. "I have an anxious pup so this treat does double duty," says one pet parent we chatted with. "It's a treat for both of us." Since you can choose how much or how little you give your furry friend, this treat is great for dogs of all sizes and can easily be added on top of their meal, slathered on a toy for some added fun or licked right off the spoon. Keep in mind if you have a picky pup, they might not be instantly attracted to this treat.
These surf and turf single ingredient snacks give your pooch the best of both worlds, even though it also comes with a hefty price tag. This snack is comprised of three different types of jerky that are made with a single ingredient each, so you don't have to worry or wonder what your pup is ingesting. We appreciate that it comes in a pack of three so your furry friend gets the opportunity to taste a few different flavors and figure out which one is the best for them. One pet parent we spoke to likes that these treats have limited ingredients with no additives, and their pup loves the added crunch.
You may have a hard time getting your picky pup to chow down on their kibble — enter the meal mixer. Meal mixers help spice up boring old dog food, add a bit more nutrition and turn it into something your pet will drool over. This freeze-dried chicken mixer is easy to add on top of your pet's meal and is great for pups of all sizes since it comes with easy-to-follow feeding guidelines. One pet parent we spoke to said that their pup loves this topper so much they also use it as a stand-alone treat for rewards. Some pet parents noted that while storing it in the bag the mixer was crumbly and dry.
The Good Housekeeping Institute reviews pet products of all kinds, from cat toys to comfy dog beds for lounging around. Our experts scoured top-rated picks and reviews to ensure we only suggest the best (and healthiest) dog treats for our readers and their furry friends.
When making our choices, we consider flavor, texture, dietary restrictions, purpose and more. We spoke to a veterinarian about which ingredients are best in treats and what to consider when picking the right ones for your pup to chow down on. We also spoke with a number of pet parents about which treats their furry friends love the most. These picks are made up of our product pros' favorites and popular brands with rave reviews from real pet parents and vets.
✔️ Ingredients: Luckily, you don't have to worry too much about whether or not the treats you pick are safe for your pet. "Most dog treats on the market are fine in regards to ingredients," Dr. Conrad says. "There aren't any 'best ingredients' per se but it more so depends on preference." So if you or your pup are more interested in something with a shorter ingredient list, pet parents lean towards treats like dehydrated animal lung, liver or meat. "Since treats shouldn't make up more than 10% of [your] dog's diet, ingredients aren't too much of a concern, especially if it's a commercially-made treat," she says, aside from your pet's personal preference, of course!
✔️ Purpose: If you're trying to find the right treat as a reward for training, look for something soft and small. "Dogs get excitable while training so a soft treat avoids any crumbs that may go down the wrong tube and cause them to cough," Dr. Conrad says. "Small, smelly, super tasty treats will give the best results so make sure you choose a treat your dog really loves so they'll work hard for their reward." If you're just looking for something that your dog can chew on for fun after a long day, larger, tougher treats are okay as well.
✔️ Health: It's important to avoid ingredients that you know your dog is sensitive to, and make sure you only purchase treats that are the correct size for your dog breed. "Make sure treats are easy to chew and digest and not too big for your dog to avoid any choking hazards," says Dr. Conrad. "Feed small amounts to avoid an upset stomach as too many treats can potentially cause GI upset." In general, treats should only make up 10% of your pup's daily diet, so don't overfeed them.
One of the biggest dangers when it comes to treats is when pet parents decide to try their hand at homemade dog snacks. "There are a lot of toxic foods that can potentially cause issues for your dog," Conrad warns. "Be mindful of looking up recipes online and double check ingredients to ensure you're not making anything that could be a problem for your dog," she says. "Also, avoid any ingredients that your dog may be sensitive or allergic to." Those cute, trendy recipes you find online may not always be what's healthiest for your pet. Overall, commercially made pet treats are unlikely to cause any harm to your pet unless it's a personal sensitivity or allergy, but if you do decide to move forward with making your own treats, speak to your vet to ensure you aren't using any toxic ingredients.
Chicken Dog Snacks For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute has been providing expert reviews and advice on everything a pet parent needs, including dog treats. In her role as Parenting & Pets Reviews Analyst, Jamie Spain brings years of journalism experience to the GH Institute, having reviewed pet products for Good Housekeeping like indestructible dog toys and dog car seats, as well as BuzzFeed, while also previously working in the parenting and pets sphere at People. She spoke with Megan Conrad, M.B.B.S., a veterinarian at Hello Ralphie and associate vet at WellHaven Pet Health.