The 7 Best Healthy Dog Treats to Buy in 2018

Reward your pup with a delicious, nutritious snack

Training dog
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Dogs are undeniably important members of the family. Though they’ll love you either way, a delicious treat can be a great motivator and reward for your pet.

Whether you’re training a new puppy or rescue dog or you simply want to give your pup a treat to applaud his model behavior, there are countless options for treats out there. In fact, your choices are so vast that it can be hard to know which ones are good for your dog’s health.

Most veterinarians recommend that only10 percent of your dog’s daily calories should come from treats. Plus, some commercial dog treats have additives and preservatives that can upset your dog’s stomach, so it’s important to find a healthy treat your dog loves.

To make the choice easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best healthy dog treats your pooch will love—without causing him to pack on pounds.

  • 01 of 07

    Best for Training: Natural Balance Mini-Rewards Dog Treats

    Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Natural Balance Mini-Rewards Dog Treats are a great motivator for dogs of any age.

    With fewer than five calories per treat, you won’t feel guilty tossing these to your pup while training him to sit, shake, or roll. You can choose from lamb, duck, or chicken; each treat is made up of 10 percent protein, 6 percent fat, 5 percent fiber, and 28 percent moisture. The first ingredient is the protein source and Nature Balance never adds wheat, corn, or artificial colors or flavors.

    Reviewers say the texture is great for dogs of any age, whether it’s a teething puppy or a senior with sensitivities. Owners also report that their dogs go crazy for these mini treats, and, though you should still watch your dog’s intake, you can safely give your pup a few without overloading him.

  • 02 of 07

    Best Jerky: Rocco & Roxie Jerky Sticks

    If you think your dog isn’t food-motivated or interested in treats, a delicious, healthy dog jerky will definitely change that. Rocco & Roxie Jerky Sticks are all-natural beef, chicken, or turkey jerky treats that your dog is sure to devour.

    Made in small batches, these 6-inch jerky sticks are perfect for training (or purely as a treat) and contain no soy, wheat, or artificial flavors. Each stick is made up of 20 percent protein, 4 percent fat, 2 percent fiber, and 25 percent moisture. They can easily be broken up into small bites during training sessions as well.

    Each 16-ounce bag contains roughly 25 treats. The company also offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

    Amazon reviewers say even the pickiest of dogs adore Rocco & Roxie treats and come running when they hear the bag open. Additionally, they won’t leave a smelly residue on your hands and won’t upset your dog’s stomach.

  • 03 of 07

    Best for Puppies: Wellness Grain-Free Soft Puppy Bites

    Puppies are constantly growing, and this means they have different nutritional needs than adult dogs. From training to “just because​”, Wellness Soft Puppy Bites are a great choice for any young pup.

    The salmon and lamb flavor contains no corn, soy, artificial colors or flavors and is grain-free, so it won’t upset your puppy’s stomach. Each treat is made of 14 percent protein, 16 percent fat, 2 percent fiber, and 30 percent moisture. These treats also contain an array of omegas, DHA, and antioxidants to help develop your puppy’s skin, teeth, and bones.

    Each package of Wellness treats comes with a money-back guarantee if for any reason it doesn’t work out for your pup. Amazon reviewers say the texture is perfect for puppy teeth, and agree it works well as motivation during potty training.

  • 04 of 07

    Best for Allergies: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Treats

    If your dog suffers from allergies, introducing new ingredients into the diet can cause an additional upset. Feeding only limited ingredient foods, like Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Treats, is a good way to limit the food sources while still giving him a treat he’ll love.

    These treats come in six different flavors, each one with a limited number of protein and carbohydrate sources, such as sweet potato and lamb or potato and duck. Each flavor is grain-free without any additives or preservatives and protein is always the first ingredient. Each treat is made up of 13 percent protein, 3 percent fat, 5 percent fiber, and 12 percent moisture. They also come in small breed-size, so your little one can safely enjoy.

    Many Amazon reviewers say Natural Balance has been key in solving their dog’s itchy, dry, allergy-induced skin issues. They’re great for training or as rewards, and dog owners say their pups come running when they hear the bag opening.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best for Chewers: SmartSticks Rawhide-Free Dog Chews

    Most dogs love to chew, but rawhide can be surprisingly dangerous because it can easily get stuck in your dog’s throat and cause choking. SmartSticks Rawhide-Free Dog Chews are a great alternative for your pup that loves bones, giving him a treat he’ll go wild over without the dangers of rawhide.

    Choose from chicken, sweet potato, or beef, all available in sizes ranging from five to 10-pack bags. These easy-to-chew treats are composed of 9 percent protein, 0.2 percent fat, 1.5 percent fiber, and 14 percent moisture. They are the perfect snack to keep in the glove compartment during those long car rides home with your pup.

    SmartSticks are definitely a dog-favorite, and many Amazon reviewers say their pups go crazy for them. They don’t last very long—about five minutes for the average chewer—but they’re a treat your dog will love.

  • 06 of 07

    Best for Cleaning Teeth: Greenies Flavors Dental Dog Treats

    Doggy breath is a nuisance, but tooth plaque and decay can be a real health concern. Though vets recommend thorough brushing and regular dental cleanings, Greenies Flavors Dental Dog Treats are a great way to keep your dog’s teeth healthy between vet visits.

    Made from all-natural ingredients, Greenies work to clean down to the gum line and reduce plaque and tartar. They come in blueberry and fresh mint flavor, and four sizes ranging from teenie to large. Greenies are made from highly soluble ingredients like flour and oat fiber; reviewers say even sensitive dogs digest them well.

    Though these treats aren’t the best choice for training, they’re a great way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy without a fight. Dog owners rave about their cleaning abilities, noting that most of their veterinarians recommend and love Greenies to solve common mouth issues.

  • 07 of 07

    Best for Seniors: Zuke's Hip Action Dog Treats

    The fact that you’re no longer training your senior pup doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a treat. Zuke's Hip Action Dog Treats are created with your aging dog in mind.

    Each treat is infused with 300 mg of glucosamine and 50 mg of chondroitin to protect your dog’s joints and bones as he ages. They come in chicken, peanut butter, and beef flavors, and are free of corn, wheat, and soy. The first ingredient is always the protein source, and they’re infused with antioxidant-rich berries to help your dog stay healthy. Each treat has 10 percent protein, 8 percent fat, 3 percent fiber, and 30 percent moisture.

    Amazon reviewers love giving their senior pups Zuke’s. Many say they’ve added pep to their aging dog’s step, and note that even picky eaters love them. As your dog ages, adding a glucosamine-rich treat to his diet is a great way to reward him and keep him healthy.