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.
Our top picks:
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.
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Best Overall Dog Treats
Mini Naturals Peanut Butter Training Dog Treats
Best Value Dog Treats
Bac’n Nutty Treats
Best Dog Treat for Training
Beef Meat Roll
Best Dog Treat for Joint Health
Dasuquin Soft Chews Joint Supplement for Dogs
Best Single Ingredient Dog Treat
Pet Center Lamb Crunchys Dog Treats
Best Dog Treat Dental Chew
Veggiedent Dental Chew
Best Dog Treats for Puppies
Lamb & Salmon Soft Puppy Bites
Best Calming Dog Treat
Calm Peanut Butter Jar
Best Dog Treats Combo Pack
Chicken Strips, Cod Skins and Haddock Snack Pack
Best Dog Treat Meal Mixer
Stella & Chewy’s
Chewy’s Chicken Meal Mixer
How we chose the best dog treats
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.
What to consider when picking dog treats
✔️ 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.
Can you make your own dog treats?
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.
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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.
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