Almost every dog loves getting a treat here and there as a part of his daily routine. We give our pets treats as a reward for good behavior or as a training method, but the truth is, many of us also do it simply because we love them!
There can be, however, too much of a good thing.
Normally, treats aren’t bad for your dog, as long as you use them in moderation. But how many treats are too many? In reality, it doesn’t come down to an exact number. You need to not only be aware of the calorie content, but also your dog’s weight and his activity level.
Generally, treats (and other snacks) should never account for more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet. If you notice your pup is gaining weight, you need to either cut back on the numbers of treats, or at the very least, switch to a low-calorie alternative.
While treats are an excellent part of a dog training program, they shouldn’t be used as the sole method. Instead, find other methods of positive reinforcement to go along with treat time, such as verbal praise, lavishing him with pets, and the like.
Below are some of the best store-bought dog treats.
They’re relatively inexpensive and great to use in training sessions and/or playtime. Plus, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors to fit any dog, large or small, and preference.
What Are the Best Store-Bought Dog Treats?
Note: Some of these products may contain raw meat, so make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after using them.
1. BIXBI Pocket Trainers Dog Treats Review
BIXBI Pocket Trainers aren’t only all-natural and free from artificial flavors, preservatives, grains, and gluten, but they’re also low-calorie. This means that you’re able to provide your dog with more treats without worrying about excess weight gain or his sensitive tummy.
Manufactured in the United States, these health-conscious dog treats come in four different flavors; bacon, salmon, peanut butter, and chicken, so you’ll most likely be able to find something to suit even the pickiest of pups. Also, the small size of the treat makes it a great option for training.
2. Blue Buffalo Stix Natural Dog Treat Review
There’s no doubt that most dogs love the taste of bacon. These treats by Blue Buffalo have real USA pork as the primary ingredient and their fun stick shape makes them even more pleasing.
The treats have a soft texture and they’re not as crunchy as other ones, which makes them ideal for older dogs or pups with dental problems. They’re also made from all-natural ingredients, which means there’s no chicken by-product or artificial preservatives, and they don’t contain any wheat, corn, or soy, so it’s a friendly choice even for dogs with allergies or other food sensitivities.
3. Buckley Trainers All-Natural Training Treats Review
With a semi-moist texture that’s pleasing to most dogs and only 4 calories per treat, you can feel good about using these bite-sized Trainers treats while traveling or training your dog on the go.
They’re available in chicken, peanut butter, salmon, or bacon flavor and don’t contain any grains or gluten. Likewise, there’s no need to worry about any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, as they’re made from all-natural ingredients. Simply stash a few in your pocket and use them whenever it’s necessary.
4. Cloud Star Tricky Trainers Treat Review
We already know that most dogs love the taste of meat, but some of them are also fond of eating cheese. These Cheddar flavored treats are all made with real cheese that comes from the United States, though they do offer a liver and salmon flavor as well.
The treats have no wheat, corn, or soy present, and also, the semi-soft texture prevents crumbling and messy residue left behind. In addition, each treat only has 3 calories, so you don’t have to worry about your dog gaining weight. These are most likely ideal for training, being an official treat of the AKC Canine Good Citizenship Program.
5. Full Moon Organic Human Grade Training Treats Review
This United States-based company prides itself on providing the highest quality ingredients, believing that we shouldn’t feed anything to our animals that we wouldn’t eat ourselves. These Full Moon dog sticks contain simple ingredients, such as slow-roasted duck, flaxseed, and organic cane sugar.
The meat here is key, as it’s a human-grade product rather than being full of by-products and meal. Additionally, there’s no corn, wheat, or soy inside, so it’s a good choice for just about any sensitive dog. The one drawback is that each treat has 47 calories, so you’ll want to give them sparingly.
6. Honest Kitchen Propper Toppers Review
We hear a lot about superfoods for humans, but how about superfoods for dogs? These toppers from The Honest Kitchen are just that and can be given as a treat or even sprinkled on your dog’s food for a powerful nutrition boost that’s also tasty.
These meal boosters use the same kind of meat we ourselves consume, so there’s no by-products or fillers to worry about. Likewise, they don’t use preservatives or any GMO ingredients. Available in cage-free chicken, free-range turkey, ranch-raised beef, and wild-caught fish, these vitamin & mineral packed treats are sure to be a hit.
7. Lucy Pet Hip to Be Square Dog Treats Review
While all three flavors of these limited ingredient dog squares utilize pumpkin for its nutritional value, the taste of real chicken, duck, or salmon gives your dog the meaty flavor he craves.
The treats are free from soy, corn, or wheat, so they’re perfect for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. Plus, the small size of the treats makes them very portable and convenient, so you can take them with you outside for training purposes or simply as a reward. As an added bonus, each bag of treats purchased benefits the Lucy Pet Foundation, which works against euthanizing animals awaiting forever homes in a shelter.
8. Merrick Grain Free Power Bites Review
As the name implies, these Merrick power bites don’t include grains or any kind of gluten, which is excellent for dogs with itchy skin and special food needs. Also, you can be sure your dog is getting the best quality available, as the primary ingredient here isn’t fillers or by-product meal, but rather real, deboned chicken.
The treats have a soft texture, which is best for older dogs and puppies, as it’s not as hard to chew. Likewise, the small size makes it a perfect enhancement to any training program that requires an ongoing effort.
9. Spot Farms All-Natural Dog Treats Review
Many store-bought dog treats have a lot of artificial preservatives and flavors in them with an ingredient list that seems to go on forever. This Kentucky-based product, however, contains simple, human-grade ingredients that are also suitable for human consumption.
Made from wholesome, all-natural foods, such as apples and real USA raised chicken, you can rest easy knowing your dog’s treats are never made from meat that has been given antibiotics, as well as corn, wheat, or soy. Besides, the delightful circle shape makes for a satisfying reward for almost every dog.
10. Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried Super Dinner Review
Dogs are naturally carnivorous creatures, so it makes sense that they crave meat in their everyday diet. These Stella & Chewy’s dinner patties are both appealing and nutritious, as they all begin with grass-fed meat, organically certified fruits, greens, and vegetables.
Rather than being mass-manufactured in some kind of plant, the treats are made with care in small batches to ensure the absolute best quality. In fact, all ingredients come from sustainable food sources located within the United States and contain zero added hormones, fillers, or antibiotics.
11. Wellness Natural Grain Free Puppy Training Treats Review
Let’s face it — anytime we get a new puppy, we need to be prepared for a lot of work. As cute as they are, there’s a lot of training that needs to take place in those first couple months and these Wellness puppy bites are a wonderful addition to any puppy obedience class.
The small size of the treats is perfect for tiny mouths, although the soft ones may be easier to chew. Also, the combination of chicken and carrots isn’t only nutritious, but delicious too. Moreover, this product is free from corn and soy, as well as any artificial preservatives or flavors, so you can be sure your pup is getting only the best ingredients.
12. Zuke’s Natural Training Dog Treats
These Zuke’s Mini Naturals treats are available in six different flavors, though 100% real meat or peanut butter is the primary ingredient in all of them. Without any kind of fillers or additives, you can count on these treats to be not only delicious, but super healthy as well.
The treats are made in the United States and incorporate only natural ingredients while being free from corn, wheat, and soy. As they only contain 3 calories apiece, you can use them for training or for rewarding smaller dog breeds or dogs who need to watch their weight.