Best Healthy Dog Treats (With Natural Ingredients) – Our 2017 Reviews & Top Picks
Be very careful with dog treats.
They can be very unhealthy, especially if you are not aware of the ingredients that go into making them. Did you know that the current market is flooded with unhealthy dog treats that contain too much sugar and saturated fats?
This often leads to obesity and further health complications in your dog.
It is also always important to follow the 10% rule. Dog treats should only make up to 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake, never more.
That's why we have decided to compile a list of the best healthy dog treats available in the market right now. We made sure that the list consists of products that use natural ingredients (organic and USDA Certified whenever possible) and with guidelines from accredited veterinarians.
Note: Dog treats are not meant to be eaten by dogs as their daily meals.
Comparison Table of Healthy Dog Treats
Old Mother Hubbard Classic Natural Dog Treats
Natural wholesome with no preservatives
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Hill's Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals
Chicken, Carrots Whole grains and multivitamins
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Blue Buffalo Health Bar Treats
Whole grains and nutritious vegetables
Pumpkin and Cinnamon
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Zuke's Mini Naturals Healthy Moist Training Treats
Cherries, rosemary and turmeric
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Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
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Wellness CORE Marrow Roasts Natural Grain Free Dog Treats
Real bone marrow
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Blue Dog Bakery Natural Low Fat Dog Treats
All-baked natural ingredients
Bacon and Cheese, Grilled Chicken, Natural Cheese, Peanut Butter and Molasses
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Well, it's hard to deny Old Mother Hubbard Classic Natural Dog Treats as our top-rated pick.
What makes it so special? Here's why:
- Made in the USA? Check.
- Oven baked to Perfection? Check.
- No artificial preservatives? Check.
It's filled with so much natural goodness and natural wholesome ingredients that dogs really love the taste of it.
Shaped in the form of a dog bone, these dog treats are oven-baked to retain the nutrients and flavors that pets need.
It comes in various flavors too!
These treats come in a variety of flavors that make these healthier versions of snacks irresistible. The flavors range from peanut butter and molasses to apples and carrots. The natural crunch that comes along with these treats enhances the flavor.
These crunchy biscuits rank high on the nutritional value because they are not preserved with artificial preservatives but with Vitamin E.
- Table of Contents
- Comparison Table
- Our Top Pick
- At A Glance
- #1: Old Mother Hubbard Classic Natural Dog Treats
- #2: Hill's Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals
- #3: Blue Buffalo Health Bar Treats
- #4: Zuke's Mini Naturals Healthy Moist Training Treats
- #5: Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
- #6: Wellness CORE Marrow Roasts Natural Grain Free Dog Treats
- #7: Blue Dog Bakery Natural Low Fat Dog Treats
- How We Review
- Buyers Guide – Healthy Dog Treats
- Final Words – Healthy Treats To Keep Your Dog In Shape!
- Old Mother Hubbard Classic Natural Dog Treats
- Hill's Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals
- Blue Buffalo Health Bar Treats
- Zuke's Mini Naturals Healthy Moist Training Treats
- Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
- Wellness CORE Marrow Roasts Natural Grain Free Dog Treats
- Blue Dog Bakery Natural Low Fat Dog Treats
That's what your dog will say after eating the Old Mother Hubbard Classic Natural Dog Treats!
These top-rated treats are as delicious as they are healthy.
Made of all-natural ingredients, the flavor and the crunch are also sourced from natural products. You will no longer need to feel guilty about treating your pet more often than you should.
Did you know that it is suitable as treats for your puppy as well?
Old Mother Hubbard has a mini version which they have specially created just for them!
The best part about these crunchy flavorful snacks is the fact that they can be enjoyed by your full-grown dogs as well as by your puppies.
No matter how old or young your dogs might be, they will thoroughly enjoy these treats anywhere and any time of the day.
What's more. The name itself caught our fancy because it has a typical old world charm that makes you want to believe in the product. However, we were not lured simply by the name but absolutely by the ingredients and the promise of quality that is never ever compromised by this brand.
We recommend this product because it is bound to make training and treating your dogs an absolute pleasure with its variety of flavors, natural crunch and nutrient-packed formula.
- All-natural ingredients.
- A wide variety of flavors.
- Crunchy texture to make snack time more interesting.
- A small minority of dogs didn't enjoy the taste of the treats.
No corn, wheat or soy.
Free of artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
That's what the Hill's Ideal Balance Soft-Baked Naturals dog treats promise on its labels.
The question is, does it live up to it? We think it does. Here's why:
Upon inspecting its label carefully, we found that it only consists of 100% natural ingredients such as chicken, carrots and other wholesome grains to make a significant difference to your pet's eating habits.
A lot of dog owners we met told us how this dog treat helped in retaining lean muscles and way more effective than the dog food that they were offering earlier.
This is because the product is grain free, does not contain corn, wheat, soy and other additional preservatives that tend to add to the calorie intake of your pet.
It's the perfect balance of natural ingredients.
Every bag of this dog treat provides all the key nutrients in an optimal range so that your pet is not only healthy but also filled as much as it should be.
Your dog will love these chicken flavored treats as much as he used to love cheesy chews and what's more, transitioning from your usual scraps and bones to these will not be as difficult as it seems.
Sounds impressive, right?
There's more. Hill's Ideal Balance has been in the industry since 1939 and they have been balancing the nutritional needs of dogs and puppies effortlessly. However, what we call effortless is not as easy as it seems. They develop products while balancing 50 nutrients according to lifestyle, age, size and special needs. Their products are neither deficient nor have an excess of proteins, vitamins, fats, minerals and fiber.
We recommend this product because it strikes an ideal balance between nourishment and flavor while offering all that a healthy treat can possibly do.
- Balanced nutrition.
- Regular consumption helps to form lean muscles.
- Boosts natural defenses.
- These treats could be hard to chew for some dogs.
You must be thinking:
A pumpkin & cinnamon flavored dog treat?
It's quite a nice tasting combination actually. Not to mention, getting your dog to eat pumpkin and cinnamon does bring about health benefits for them too.
This is exactly what the Blue Buffalo Health Bar Treats does.
It comes in a flavorful pack of pumpkin and cinnamon which promises health and deliciousness combined together in dog treats. When you want to feed your dog like family, you need to ensure that whatever you are offering is high on nutrition and taste at the same time.
They are a perfect combination of irresistible flavors and crunchy textures that your dog will much away with much delight.
The best part about these health bars is the fact that they can also clean your dog's teeth while he/she is munching away on them.
There is nothing like complementing your dog's wholesome diet with a treat that is tasty and healthy at the same time. You can actually relax while offering these treats to your pet because you know perfectly well that these are good for them.
To retain nourishment and fill the treats with homemade goodness, they are oven-baked. Baking them in ovens helps to preserve and lock the nutrients of the ingredients present. These health bars consist of Omega 3 fatty acids and other essential antioxidants to help enhance your dog's immune system.
And guess what?
You will also not have to worry about allergies because the common allergens like corn, soy and wheat are absent in these treats, thus making it more nutritious.
We recommend this because they are not only healthy but also full of flavors that help your pet's digestive system and his/her immune system as well.
- Enhances immunity.
- Oven-baked to preserve more nutrients.
- Fortified with Omega 3 fatty acids.
- These might not be suitable for dogs that have gluten intolerance.
What is all flavorful and has chicken as it Number 1 ingredient and is yet moist enough for all breeds and ages of dogs?
Zuke's Mini Naturals Healthy Moist Training Treats are all that you need to add essential vitamins and minerals to your dog's diet.
Yummy, it's made out of all natural ingredients.
Made from real chicken, seasonings and whole food, these treats contain ingredients like cherries, rosemary and turmeric to enhance lifestyle and dietary habits.
The roasted chicken flavor makes them absolutely irresistible and your dogs are sure to lap them up as soon as you offer. These treats will not contribute to more than 31/2 calories of your dog's dietary requirements.
It's small and packs a punch too.
What makes them a dog owner's favorite snack is the easily manageable size and the intense flavor that are perfect for training purposes.
With the help of these treats, you can teach your dog a new trick, give it as a healthy snack, sprinkle on food or simply serve as an appetizer. With the exclusion of wheat, soy and corn, these are perfect to avoid potential allergies.
We recommend this because these mini treats make training a whole lot of fun than you would usually have without them.
- Eases training purposes.
- High on flavor.
- They tend to dry out if stored in the refrigerator.
You are out in your backyard, roasting meats and the aroma of the BBQ surrounds you.
Well, that's exactly what the Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats did to us.
From the moment you open this pack of treats, you can expect your pet to fall in love with these fragrant smoked meat flavored treats.
Made from All-American turkey, these are 100% natural and of high quality. These treats have been slow smoked for hours in small batches to result in soft, pliant and a chewy, meaty texture that your dogs will simply love.
These are perfect training treats and even the most finicky dogs have been known to love them. Guess the best part about them? No greasy, smelly hands because these are not artificially enhanced.
We recommend this because of the amazing texture, the real meaty flavor and the ease of training it provides.
- Intense taste & aroma.
- Real, meaty, chewy texture.
- No greasy hands after handling them.
- These treats are quite expensive.
What more could your pet ask for when they have crunchy and grain-free biscuits made of real meat marrow to snack on?
The Wellness CORE Marrow Roasts Natural Grain Free Dog Treats are made of premium and natural ingredients like real turkey, it is free from potential allergens like wheat, corn and soy.
These are irresistible bite-sized biscuits with two textures and a burst of savory bone marrow flavor that can treat or train dogs over a year old.
We recommend this because of its grain-free goodness and a burst of flavor that is a perfect combination for your pet's snack time.
- Two-textured crunchiness.
- Real marrow roasts.
- These treats could be too rich for some dogs.
The very term, assorted flavors, catches our fancy so imagine what a wide variety of them could do to your dog! That's what we like about the Blue Dog Bakery Natural Low Fat Dog Treats.
Your furry best friend will be spoilt for choice with flavors like bacon and cheese, grilled chicken, natural cheese, peanut butter and molasses. These treats help clean teeth and keep your pet's breath smelling fresh.
These are also all-natural and low in fat so you can be absolutely sure of their baked goodness. The fact that these are freshly baked is evident from the moment you open the pack of treats.
We recommend this because of the range of flavors and the freshness of the treats.
- Wide variety of flavors.
- Oven-baked goodness.
- Helps maintain oral hygiene.
- The food coloring seems unnecessary.
Now, how do we recommend the best and review them for you?
We do the research and we speak to as many experts in the field as possible.
For example, while reviewing healthy dog treats, we spoke to experienced dog owners and veterinarians who assisted us in finding out the products that are the most popular in the current market.
While speaking to them, we also found out the essential qualities that a healthy dog treat should have.
But you know what else?
Our research team scours product marketplace places such as Amazon to get first-hand information.
At minimum, we read at least 550 reviews for each product that we review.
It's all about our readers really.
We want you all to have all the knowledge required to make the best decision for your pet. After all, we are pet lovers too and we only want the best for our bets. We collated the information received from different places and added bits and pieces of our own opinion about the products and came up with a review article, just for you.
It also includes a Buyer's Guide that maps out the essential features you should look for in a healthy dog treat. Here's hoping that our reviews help you to buy the best product for your dogs and puppies.
How often do you find yourself giving into those puppy eyes and offering a treat or two even if you feel that they have had too much already?
If you find yourself doing this quite often, it is time to take a couple of steps backward and analyze whether you are doing the right thing or not.
While offering that odd treat could help you and your pet bond better, it might not always be the healthiest option. Pets, especially dogs, should have a feeding pattern and that should include wholesome meals to enhance strength and keep them in good health.
However, we are all aware of the fact that occasional treats and snacks go a long way in keeping your pet happy and content.
While we are not suggesting constant vigilance as far as treats are concerned, we would still recommend offering healthy dog treats to inculcate healthy habits as early as possible.
As we had mentioned earlier that we intend to hold your hand through the entire process of finalizing on your healthy dog treats, given below is a Buyers Guide that will assist you in the process.
In this guide, we will talk about the dangers of unhealthy dog treats, the importance of natural dog treats and how to choose them.
Dangers Of Unhealthy Treats
If you thought that simply walking your canine companion twice a day or letting him run around in the evenings in your backyard would help prevent obesity, think again.
It has a lot to do with the kind of food you offer and most of it is caused by the amount of sugar and preservatives present in dog treats.
Not only do overweight dogs face the risk of various types of cancers but are also more prone to developing heart diseases. Obesity-related disorders and diseases are hard to heal, expensive and involve painful procedures as much in pooches as in humans.
The only way to avoid these problems is to prevent causing it in the first place and getting rid of the factors that might be causing obesity.
Given below are some of the risks that obesity could expose your pet to.
Difficulty In Breathing
Excessive fat restricts the lungs from functioning properly.
Intolerant To Heat
Unwanted fat cells disrupt the body's heat regulation system.
Compromised Liver Function
Liver tends to store excess fats and this could lead to conditions like hepatic lipidosis.
Obese dogs have reproductive problems and need veterinarian help to give birth.
Fat stores impede natural immune system to cause more bacterial and viral infections.
Skin tends to fold and collect fungus and bacteria in between the folds. This leads to shedding of hair and skin infections.
What Is Importance Of Healthy Treats?
This makes the treats even more tempting because we are all drawn towards more sugar that tend to give us instant sugar spikes.
To understand the importance of healthy dog treats, it is essential to know that different breeds of dogs have different calorific needs. When you offer an unhealthy snack, you might as well be covering more than a quarter of his/her calorific requirements with empty calories and food with low nutritional value. It makes matter worse when you offer too many treats at the same time that tends to happen with all of us.
While speaking to veterinarians, we came to know that dog snacks and dog treats should not contribute to more than 10% of your pet's total diet. This is on similar lines as humans who should not obtain more than 10% of calories from crisps and chocolates.
The primary motive is to avoid as much fat content as possible. For example, dried chicken strips are way healthier than cheesy chews because the latter is not only high in saturated fats but is also heavily processed.
Always Make Sure – All Natural Ingredients
The best kind of dog treats and dog food include natural ingredients that enhance the health and well-being of your pets. Most dog owners prefer snacks like celery, yams, green beans because these are few of the best that you could offer to your furry friend.
The trick is to understand the changes in your pet's health and behavior after experimenting with dog treats.
However, you would be better off if you can avoid these following ingredients:
These tend to have toxic effects on your pet. Dogs can consistently refuse to have vegetables because they were essentially designed to have meat but if this is inculcated as a habit early in life, you can expect your meat-lover to thrive on vegetable snacks.
Avoid Cooked Bones & Scraps As Treats
It is a common practice to throw bones and scraps at your pet before or after meals but this is not healthy at all for it in the longer run. This is because it can have behavioral impact on your pet who will gradually feel conditioned to ask for it often during the day.
If it is impossible for you to keep your dog away during family mealtimes, try opting for healthier treats instead of throwing greasy chicken wings at him.
It is popularly believed that a dog should chew on cooked scrap bones but that is not such a good idea. This myth has been debunked lately when veterinarians discovered the link between dog bones and dental decay. Your dog might easily break one of his molars or even worse, swallow bone splinters that can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Instead, try healthier options like chicken liver and chicken chews instead.
Dogs cannot make intelligent decisions about their diet. It is the pet parent's responsibility to ensure that the food offered is healthy, nutritious and delicious at the same time. Habits need to be formed early so that nothing has to be forced.
Dogs will want to eat whatever they are naturally attracted to but it is our discretion to offer balanced meals that have a little bit of everything.
We have discussed a large selection of natural and organic treats for your best friend and we hope that these reviews will help you to make an informed choice.
The transition from unhealthy treats to healthy snacks could take some time and you might feel that it will never happen but it eventually does.
The problems associated with obesity are many and you would rather go the long way than put your pet through a painful and disease-ridden life. Inculcate healthy habits early so that they opt for healthier treats all by themselves.
All the products listed here are top picks and whichever you choose to buy, you will guarantee your pet a healthy lifestyle.