Best Puppy Treats - Comparison and Reviews
Puppies enjoy treats just as much as adult dogs, and from a pet owner’s perspective, treats have many practical uses.
They can be a reward for when a puppy completes a basic training task, offer a little extra encouragement to perform basic tasks or give positive affirmation for potty training success. Puppies will quickly learn if a treat is attached to a certain routine, and they will want to work to get their reward.
Treats can also be a way to bond with your dog. By offering a tasty snack, you can show your love in a way your new fur baby understands. Friends and other family members can give your puppy treats to build trust as well. This is important during the socializing process.
Just like toddlers, puppies go through teething. This is why they have a reputation for chewing up shoes and furniture around the house. In this article, you’ll find chewable treats that will help keep your puppy distracted, instead of destructive.
Some puppies might need treats to maintain their blood sugar. Treats can help a puppy in between mealtimes—though don’t overdo it and spoil dinner! Formulas are available for puppies’ specific nutritional needs. Puppy treats are often high in nutrients like calcium, which helps develop a puppy’s strong bones, or DHA, which ensures a healthy nervous system. Omega-3 and -6 super a smooth, shiny coat. A good puppy treat doesn’t just add calories into your pet’s diet; they also bolster growth.
We’ve assembled a list of some of the best puppy treats out there. Here, you’ll find nutrient-rich formulas made with all-natural ingredients, so you can feel good about giving your pet that little extra reward.
Best Puppy Treats 2019 - Reviews
1. Wellness Natural Training Treats
Wellness Natural Training Treats are specially designed to boost puppy nutrition. Rich in protein, DHA, Omega-3, and other amino acids, they support a young dog’s developing nervous system, and support a thick, shiny coat. Wellness Natural Training Treats are free of corn, soy, and dairy, artificial colorings and flavorings, as well as animal by-products.
Treats are available in both crunchy and soft varieties. The two most popular flavors are Wellness Crunchy Chicken & Carrots and Wellness Soft Lamb & Salmon.
The crunchy chicken option contains beta carotene, which helps prevent cataracts and heart disease. This flavor has also been picked as a premium choice for dogs with allergies and is effective at improving dental health.
The soft lamb and salmon is rich in healthy fats for good brain development. Owners of dogs with sensitive stomachs have been very satisfied with this product. It has shown excellent results for behavioral and potty training. Wellness Soft Lamb & Salmon treats can also help get picky dogs to take medicine.
Many owners have found that Wellness treats have made their dogs (and even on-looking cats) eager to go outside, into a kennel, or perform basic commands. Soft Lamb & Salmon treats can be purchased in 6-ounce bags, while Crunchy Chicken & Carrots are available in 3-ounce packages.
2. Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats
Blue Buffalo Blue Bits Natural Soft-Moist Training Dog Treats are an optimal choice for a growing dog, containing natural ingredients like A-grade chicken, brown rice, oatmeal, and flax. These treats can bolster puppy nutrition while encouraging good behavior.
Essential Omega-3 and -6 acids will ensure a healthy coat. Blue Buffalo treats do not contain meat by-products, corn, wheat, or soy, nor artificial colorings and flavorings.
Owners have commented that Blue Buffalo Blue Bits are better for small or medium dogs, though their large dogs were very fond of the flavor. Blue Buffalo Blue Bits come in a heart shape, which can be easily broken in half, to encourage your puppy’s obedience, but decrease his or her caloric intake.
Blue Buffalo Blue Bits are very soft and can be used for pickier dogs that do not like crunchy textures. While they have a smell that can easily attract a dog’s attention, these treats do not cause bad breath.
The formula for Blue Buffalo Blue Bits has recently been modified to include even fewer ingredients. Blue Buffalo Blue Bits are offered in 4-, 9-, or 16-ounce bags.
3. N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring
The N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring’s circular shape allows puppies to hold onto the treat easily while chewing. It contains DHA and calcium and is free from grains, so dogs with gluten sensitivity can enjoy. It does not contain nylon, rubber, or plastic. Ingredients are all-natural and edible.
This treat helps young dogs soothe the pain of teething. Puppies consuming this chicken-flavored treat will be distracted from chewing other objects in the house. As the N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring is made from soft, bendable material, it will not cause any damage to your puppy’s teeth.
N-Bone recommends that owners supervise their dogs at all times while consuming this product because small pieces could break off and cause choking or upset digestion. They recommend that owners throw away large pieces that break off from the ring.
While some owners were very satisfied with the N-Bone Puppy Ring as a solution to the destructive teething stage, others considered the danger of pieces easily breaking off a major disadvantage. A few remarked that the circular shape made the N-Bone teething ring better than regular chew sticks, which not all dogs can handle without their owner’s help.
N-Bone Puppy Teething Rings contain 107 calories per treat. They can be purchased in packs of 3 or 6.
4. Old Mother Hubbard Biscuits
Old Mother Hubbard Biscuits offer puppies a high-quality, all-natural treat. Every stage of production of Old Mother Hubbard Biscuits takes place in North America. The company boasts a 90-year tradition of making treats out of high-quality ingredients that owners can easily read. Old Mother Hubbard’s puppy formula contains essential vitamins and minerals for growing dogs.
These crunchy biscuits come in several different flavors, made from a mix of protein, fruit, and vegetables. The primary ingredients of Old Mother Hubbard Biscuits include whole wheat flour, chicken, oatmeal, and wheat bran. The biscuits do not contain any artificial preservatives.
While Old Mother Hubbard Biscuits are made in different sizes, some owners complained that the treats were a bit small for larger dogs. Many celebrated Old Mother Hubbard Biscuits as an option for sensitive stomachs and recommend them as a feeding solution for dogs with chronic illnesses. Old Mother Hubbard Biscuits can also be a solution for pets with a choosy palate.
This is one of the most affordable puppies treats on our list. They are also available in large 20-ounce bags.
5. Nylabone Healthy Edibles Puppy Chew Treats
Nylabone Healthy Edibles Puppy Chew Treats are geared towards teething puppies. These chew bones are entirely edible, made without artificial preservatives, flavors, or colorings. Nylabone aims to provide a chew treat friendly to the puppy’s delicate digestive system.
These puppy-friendly Nylabones come in two flavor varieties, Turkey & Sweet Potato, or Lamb & Apple. Nylabones come in different sizes, based on the dog’s weight: Mini, Petite, or Regular. They contain Omega-3 and DHA, necessary for a puppy’s development.
Nylabones are a USA-made product. They contain all-natural ingredients and do not have any added sugars or salts. Nylabones should only be offered to puppies older than three months. Nylabone recommends that owners buy the treat’s puppy version until their pet’s adult teeth have developed. Nylabone Healthy Edibles can be used to reward puppies, fight against youthful boredom, or relieve the pain of teething.
Users of Nylabones Healthy Edibles were happy to find a digestible solution to their power chewer’s habits, though many commented that their dog chewed away the bone too quickly. One pet owner suggested limiting the puppy’s time with the bone so that he would not consume too many calories.
Nylabone Healthy Edibles Puppy Chew Treats come in packs of four.
- Made from all-natural, meat and vegetable-based ingredients
- No artificial additives, extra sugars, or salts
- Relieve teething and boredom
- Different sizes are available
- Some owners felt their dogs ate the bone too fast
- Contain more calories than training treats
- Owner supervision is recommended
- Should not be given to puppies less than three months old
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Training Treats
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Training Treats are marketed to dogs of all ages. They provide a healthy, all-natural alternative to owners. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Training Treats are rich in Omega-3 and -6, which ensure a healthy coat, as well as DHA, which supports the development of young nervous systems.
As a company, Blue Buffalo Wilderness is proud of its legacy as a family-run organization, which originally sought to provide a healthy recipe for a sick pet. Blue Buffalo Wilderness products are grain-free, without added preservatives, flavors, or dyes. Their treats are produced with high-quality, USA-sourced meats.
Trainers were satisfied with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Training Treats, because of their softness. Puppies can eat them quickly, without being distracted by crunching. Since these treats are small in size, they are apt for petite dogs. Owners that have pets with sensitive stomachs were also a fan of this product, as Blue Buffalo Wilderness treats do not contain grains that easily agitate the digestive system.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Training Treats come in two flavor varieties, Salmon or Chicken, and can be purchased in 4 or 10-ounce bags.
7. Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats
Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats are a USA-produced, grain-free treat. They are high in protein and Vitamins A, C, and E, meanwhile, their richness in DHA and EPA supports puppies’ cognitive development. Zuke’s provides owners a treat with an ingredient list they can read and understand—no artificial additives.
Zuke’s recommends Puppy Naturals Dog Treats for training or bonding. A very small, low-calorie treat, Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats can also garnish regular dog food at mealtime. Zuke’s markets their treats for outdoor activities, stating that these meal supplements help dogs absorb nutrients better overall.
Many owners prefer Zuke’s because the treats are low calorie, and can be used frequently, without upsetting the puppy’s diet. Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats are a good option for trainers, because they are soft, and can be consumed quickly during routines.
Some critics of Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats claim that the treats are too small in size, particularly for larger dogs. Others see this as an advantage because they can be used frequently during training.
Zuke’s Puppy Naturals come in three different flavors, Salmon & Sweet Potato, Lamb & Chickpea, and Pork & Chickpea. They are sold in 5-ounce bags.
8. Greenies Puppy 6+ Month Dental Dog Treats
Greenies Puppy 6+ Month Dental Dog Treats are chew sticks that help keep puppies’ teeth clean and healthy. Greenies are produced in Kansas City from natural ingredients. They promote puppy’s jaw strength and prevent plaque build-up. In general, Greenies offer a solution to dogs with dental problems. Their spearmint flavoring helps ward off bad breath.
Greenies claim to be gentle on the dog’s digestive system. Their primary ingredients include wheat flour, so they are not grain-free, but they are made from natural components. Greenies Puppy Dental Dog Treats are high in calcium, to boost puppies’ bone development. Their aim for good dental hygiene is reminiscent in their toothbrush shape.
Greenies Puppy Dental Dog Treats are not recommended for puppies below six months of age. Greenies recommend that dogs consume only one treat a day and that owners supervise their pet during chewing, as any chew treat can cause choking.
Many owners find their dogs eager to get a hold of Greenies treats, though some regret the price. Greenies Puppy Dental Dog Treats are offered in 12-ounce packages.
9. Get Naked Grain-Free Puppy Dental Health Chew Sticks
Get Naked Grain-Free Puppy Dental Health Chew Sticks are a no corn, soy, wheat option for teething puppies. They are made in the USA from all-natural ingredients. Get Naked Dental Health Chew Sticks help relieve pain from teething, but they also remove tartar and plaque from the puppy’s teeth. Rich in Calcium, DHAs, Omega-3 and -6, these treats help bolster cognitive and skeletal development in young dogs.
Get Naked Dental Chew Sticks are an option for puppies with sensitive digestive systems. The treats are potato-based, instead of wheat. Each stick contains only 27 calories. Get Naked Dental Chew Sticks are a more affordable variety of Dentastix, sold in 6-ounce packages.
Owners prefer Get Naked Dental Chew Sticks because they are less expensive and have lower calories. Some also like that Get Naked is grain-free and does not contain ingredients that would irritate their dog’s digestive system. Many feel like the product is successful in relieving their puppy’s pain from teething, and also gives their dog minty breath.
As with any chew treat, it is recommended that owners supervise their dogs so that they do not break off any piece too big to digest or swallow.
How to Choose the Best Puppy Treats
Different puppy treats have different purposes. When choosing puppy treats, you need to keep mind what you want to use them for. Are you looking to reward your puppy’s good behavior? Do you want to teach him some new tricks? Are you hoping to keep him from chewing things around the house? Or do you just want a little gesture to show your puppy how much you love him?
What type of Puppy Treats to Buy
Training treats are small, bite-sized snacks to reward your puppy for good behavior. Puppies are still discovering the world around them and rewarding them with treats can help remind your pet about your expectations. With this tool, you can walk your puppy through some simple commands, like sit, stay, lie down, or heel. However, training treats can be used for much more.
Training treats can help your puppy become acclimated to sleeping in a kennel or relieving himself outside. By placing little treats inside his crate, you teach him that it’s a safe, friendly space. Giving a treat to your puppy every time he comes back inside from doing his business helps him understand that he’s done something right.
Training treats tend to be small and have fewer calories. This allows you to give affirmative cues without interrupting his meal schedule. Many trainers like to use soft treats because they believe it keeps the dog free from distractions. Crunchy treats take longer to chew, and afterward, the dog wants to sniff around for crumbs.
The training treats reviewed on this site tend to be high in protein, grain-free, and made from all-natural ingredients. Some treats, like Zuke’s, are as low as 3.5 calories per bite. It is better to use small, low-calorie training treats, as experts recommend that these little snacks don’t consist of more than 5-10% of the puppy’s diet.
Teething treats can relieve discomfort during the teething stage. Puppies are known to chew because just like toddlers, they experience pain as their teeth grow in. Teething treats keep puppies from destroying objects around the house, though some owners also use them to reward behavior. Check out the best dog dental chews that can help your puppy with teething.
Dog food suppliers recommend that owners supervise their puppy at all times while he or she chews on a teething treat because pieces can break off that are too large for the animal to swallow or digest.
A lot of products used for teething are non-edible and are made from nylon, rubber, or plastic. The teething treats featured here do not include any materials that are unsafe for a puppy to eat. They get their shape and composition from a gelatin or glycerin base and are made up of other natural materials, such as grains, dried meat, and vegetables.
Teething treats tend to be higher in calories than other treats, so owners should regulate their puppy’s use. Some owners restrict their puppy’s time with a chew ‘bone’ so that they do not consume the whole treat in one sitting.
‘Dentastix’ is a kind of treat that helps clean teeth and keep breath smelling good, while also relieving teething discomfort. Greenies are a popular brand of Dentastix that use spearmint flavoring so that you don’t catch a bad whiff from your dog’s mouth.
Just like people eat snacks to hold them over between mealtimes, sometimes puppies need a bit of extra food to carry them through the day. Some puppies also can’t keep a stable blood sugar without a snack between meals.
Experts recommend that puppies eat three meals a day. Most of the puppy’s nutrition will come from their regular food, so it is not recommended to give him too many snacks. Puppies should not get ‘human food,’ or table scraps, because these tend to be higher in calories, and do not provide the nutrients the animal needs. Giving your pet table scraps can also teach him to beg and encourage bad behavior later on.
Treats Just to Make Your Puppy Happy
Sometimes you want to give your puppy treats because you want to see him happy. This is fine; it will even encourage a good bond. However, make sure that you aren’t overdoing it, and spoiling his appetite for regular food.
It’s always a good idea to have your puppy perform a trick, even if you want to give him a treat just because. This keeps him from begging and will prevent him from expecting to automatically receive something from you. Even asking your dog to sit or lie down before giving him a treat can go a long way in teaching manners.
When can Puppies start having treats?
Puppies do not finish weaning until they are six weeks old. They only start eating solid food at four weeks. While treats are a tool for training, it is important to remember that most of the puppy’s nutrition will come from his or her regular food.
Chewing treats are recommended to older puppies. When buying a chew treat, you should check the label to see what age dog they are recommended for. Nylabone suggests that puppies be at least three months old before chewing on Healthy Edibles, while Greenies suggests they be at least six months of age. Most suppliers that offer chewing treats recommend that the owner supervise their dog while chewing because the puppy might break off a piece that is too large for him to digest or swallow.
If you are unsure about when to start introducing treats into your puppy’s diet, you should ask your vet for advice.
How many training treats can a puppy have?
Treats are a supplement to a dog’s diet. With puppies, you need to especially careful that they have balanced nutrition. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends that treats consist of only 5% of the puppy’s caloric intake. Others suggest that treats consist of no more than 10% of a puppy’s daily calories.
Puppies should eat three meals a day. Treats are for between mealtimes. It is important that you don’t feed your puppy too many treats and interrupt his eating schedule. Most of his nutrition will be coming from his regular food.
Many of the smaller treats featured in this article contain 3-15 calories per bite. Some softer treats can be broken into smaller pieces, so you can continue to reward your dog, while still regulating his calories.
Soft Treats vs. Hard Treats: Which One is Better for a Puppy?
That depends on preference. Some owners prefer soft treats for training, because their puppy can consume them quickly, and won’t be distracted by chewing or sniffing around for crumbled pieces. Soft treats tend to have a stronger smell, which attracts the dog’s attention. They also tend to contain fewer calories than hard treats.
On the other hand, hard treats are good for puppies’ teeth, because it exercises their innate instinct to chew. Some sources suggest that hard treats can reduce plaque, but this does not replace brushing. Hard treats do exercise the jaws and gums, which are good for healthy teeth.