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What are the best and healthiest dog treats? This should be a simple question, but the endless selection of dog treat products make finding the answer incredibly complex. Choosing a high quality, natural, and healthy dog treat for your pup should not be so difficult!
Given the popularity of our article featuring "The Best Organic, All-Natural, and Grain-Free Dog Foods", we decided to thoroughly research the highest quality and healthiest dog treats currently available. Each dog treat featured below is made with high quality ingredients and ranked 5 stars by dog owners. A large number of the dog treats that follow are also organic, non-GMO, grain-free, and/or gluten-free (we always highlight when recipes meet these criteria).
A few of the dog treats on our list are flavored with honey, molasses, etc. We include many protein-rich alternatives that have ZERO added sugar and a limited ingredient list. These include dehydrated cod skins (Django’s personal favorite), organic 100% beef sticks, and Chicken Littles. Organix’s “Organic Cookies” are another great option if you want to avoid all sugar and sugar substitutes. Despite the name, these dog “cookies” contain no added sugar and are made with organic protein sources (organic chicken is the #1 ingredient).
It is worth emphasizing that ANY dog treat should be used in moderation and should never replace real, healthy, and protein-packed dog food. Dog treats are are called ‘treats’ for a reason!
We've been giving a selection of Spot Farms treats to our sausage dog Django for years and often recommend the brand to our dog loving friends. These treats contain nutritious, human-grade ingredients like antibiotic-free chicken, high-fiber brown rice and antioxidant-rich apples. Dogs absolutely love the rich meat flavor in these small bite-sized treats, and dog owners love Spot Farms' simple list of honest and high quality ingredients.
KEY FEATURES of Spot Farms Chicken Apple Sausage Recipe:
Our dachshund Django absolutely loves Polkadog Bakery's dehydrated cod skins. Since these treats are single ingredient (100% cod skins) and incredibly high in protein (crude protein measures 82%!), they are a fantastic option for dogs with allergies (meat, grain, and/or gluten), diabetic dogs, and overweight pups looking to curb calories. The scent of the cod is especially pungent and will drive your dog crazy.
KEY FEATURES of Polkadog Bakery's dehydrated cod skins:
Wellness Core's Beef and Venison Jerky Bites are a great example of a limited ingredient, minimally processed, and healthy dog treat recipe. The protein-rich morsels are soft and moist. The small square shape also makes these great for obedience training. With only 5 calories per treat, these jerky bites are relatively light and ideal for dogs that need to cut back on the calories.
KEY FEATURES of Wellness Core Beef and Venison Jerky Bites:
Blue Buffalo's Wilderness Trail Dog Treats are high protein, grain-free, and nutrition-dense. The recipe boasts 30% crude protein (higher than most dog treats on this list) given a high concentration of turkey and chicken meal. These treats also contain flaxseed, a good source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that supports healthy skin and a shiny coat. Other flavors in this line of dog treats include duck, salmon, turkey, potatoes and flaxseed.
KEY FEATURES of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Dog Treats - Grain Free Turkey Recipe:
Riley's Organics produces a line of healthy, organic dog treats including these peanut butter and molasses bite-sized dog biscuits. This particular recipe contains only 5 high quality ingredients, all which are human grade and USDA Organic Certified. The main ingredients are organic peanut butter, organic oat flour, organic oats, organic peanut flour, and organic molasses. Because the biscuits are on the small side, they make a great treat for training purposes and are especially ideal for small- and medium-sized dog breeds.
KEY FEATURES of Riley's Organics Peanut Butter & Molasses Dog Treats:
We (Mike and Steph) visited Polkadog's retail location with Django in South Boston just recently. We were both impressed by the quality of Polkadog's ingredients, their simplistic recipes, and the fact that every bag of Polkadog treats is made in the Boston area. Unlike other dog treat brands which outsource manufacturing, Polkadog Bakery owns and controls their own manufacturing facilities. Does your dog prefer fish instead of chicken? Try Polkadog's dehydrated cod skin sticks. Django LOVED these crunchy treats when we visited Polkadog in Boston, and we ultimately went home with a 2lb bag of them. Scroll up to #2 in our Top 5 to learn more.
KEY FEATURES of Polka Dog Bakery Chicken Littles Dog and Cat Training Bits:
Dog owners rave about these 100% organic beef sticks by Green Butterfly Brands. The limited, high quality ingredients are organic, human-grade, and American sourced, and the treats contain no artificial flavors, colors, fillers or preservatives. In addition to being packed with protein, these crunchy beef sticks are great for dogs of all sizes. Although the sticks themselves are a good size, they're very easy to break into bite-sized pieces for smaller dog breeds.
KEY FEATURES of Green Butterfly Brands Organic Grain Free Beef Sticks:
These peanut butter and banana organic dog treats by Wet Noses are a favorite among health-conscious dog owners and a top seller on Amazon (for good reason). All five ingredients are USDA Organic and non-gmo. Because the treats do not contain any animal protein (rather, organic pea flour is used as a source of protein), the crude protein content is slightly lower than other treats on our list at 15%.
KEY FEATURES of Wet Noses Peanut Butter Banana Organic Dog Treats:
Castor & Pollux's Organix lines of dog treats and dog food are wonderful, high quality organic options for dogs. We actually recommend this brand's 'Organic Grain-Free Small Breed' dry food recipe in our article "The Best Organic, All Natural, and Grain Free Dog Foods". The first ingredient of this particular Organix recipe is USDA Organic free-range chicken. In addition to being a favorite among dogs (and dog owners), a bag of these crunchy treats averages only $6-7 - a very reasonable price compared to other organic dog treat options out there.
KEY FEATURES of Organix Castor & Pollux Chicken Flavored Dog Cookies:
You know the treats are good when the dog food brand has to remind humans that their chicken nuggets are "for your pet to eat, not you!". Yep, these chicken nugget dog treats by Full Moon smell so good that the company has to include text on their packaging reminding us not to eat the dog food... Overall, these dog snacks are high quality, healthy, and a great source of protein. Although they are not organic, they are made with cage-free, USA-grown chicken raised without antibiotics. They are also grain-free and contain no allergy-inducing ingredients like wheat, soy and corn.
KEY FEATURES of Full Moon Chicken Nugget Human Grade Dog Treats:
These oven-baked crunchy treats are made with simple, healthy ingredients like pumpkin, ground oats, barley, and bananas. They are also bite-sized and therefore make an excellent snack or training reward. Every ingredient is sourced in the USA (unlike many other dog treats on the market which source ingredients globally), and the dog treats are made in the USA as well.
KEY FEATURES of Fruitables Baked Dog Treats in Pumpkin & Banana:
Old Mother Hubbard's Classic Oven Baked Dog Biscuits are some of the most popular dog bones out there. We actually have an open bag of these in our pantry now! The biscuits are crunchy and relatively small, making them a good training reward or intermittent snack. My only criticism of these treats is they're are not protein-oriented like other options on our list and therefore not as low calorie or even nutritious. The first three ingredients are whole wheat flour, oatmeal and wheat bran; chicken is listed as the fifth ingredient.
KEY FEATURES of Old Mother Hubbard Classic Oven Baked Dog Biscuits:
Threepaws Gourmet delivers high quality treats using only organic and locally sourced ingredients. This vegan recipe is dairy, egg and meat-free and contains no fillers or artificial ingredients. Ingredients: Organic coconut flour, organic garbanzo flour, organic coconut milk, organic peanut butter, organic coconut flakes, organic beets, hickory smoke powder, turmeric powder
KEY FEATURES of Threepaws Gourmet Coconut Bacon Bones:
Full Moon's Organic Chicken Training Treats are made with USDA organic chicken and 100% human grade ingredients. The tiny morsels are bursting with flavor. At less than 3 calories per treat, they're fantastic for small dogs and training purposes. Ingredients are 100% organic and include chicken, flax seed, celery, paprika, and rosemary extract.
KEY FEATURES of Full Moon Organic Chicken Training Treats:
Want to tell us your experience with one of these products? Have a dog treat recommendation that we missed? Leave a comment below!
Is the cargo area safe for pet travel? Will dogs too large for in-cabin pet travel be comfortable in the hold of the plane?
There are preconceived notions that cargo pet travel is unsafe, stressful, and something to be avoided. Rather than jump to this conclusion ourselves, we did a lot of research to better understand pet travel in cargo: what cargo pet travel actually is, potential risks and hazards with putting dogs or cats in cargo, and recent statistics on pet safety.