Puppy treats are the go-to option for giving your new furry friend the heartiest welcome to your family. Be it for training, celebrations, or for rewarding good behavior, treats will brighten your pup’s mood and help you two in establishing a firm bond.
Puppies are given a special diet to fulfill their nutritional needs. However, their regular diet often doesn’t encourage them to perform or obey commands. As training begins, owners often turn to treats for puppies to provide an incentive for completing tasks.
But walking down the grocery store aisle and picking anything up won’t do the deed. Puppies need a good mix of nutrients disguised in the most appetizing dog treats there are.
What Are Puppy Treats?
Puppy treats are yummy foods for dogs. Now, they may or may not be healthy depending on the type of treat you’re buying. However, I’d advise you to always go with a simple and healthy option when it comes to dog treats.
Healthy treats even make up for nutrients not met in your dog’s normal diet. Though that’s not all about them. Treats are also used to train puppies and to help them develop good behavior.
Positive reinforcement is one of the most commonly equipped techniques in dog training. Through this, the dog gets rewarded for performing a task successfully. We all know that puppies need a lot of training. For that, you require treats that are low in calories but also appeal to your pup’s taste buds.
Moreover, these treats aren’t just rewards but offer many other benefits:
- Develop good behavior
- Allow for quick and easy training
- Help in improving the jaw by constant chewing
- Filled with loads of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
- Help in improving dental health
The list doesn’t just end here. In this article, we’ll teach you how to choose the right treats for your mutt and will also provide you with a list of some of the best in the market.
How to Choose the Right Treats for Puppies?
Puppy treats are the best way to show some affection to your pup. However, these yummy foods can be anything from homemade or bakery-made biscuits to protein-rich recipes to supplement your dog’s diet.
With so many options available for you to choose from, what do you pick? Here are some of the most important factors that can help you pick the best dog treats for your pup.
Puppy treats should be small in size so your dog can quickly digest them. However, if you use larger treats for training, your pup might lose attention and the training loses its purpose.
Rather, you should stick with smaller treats. This way, you can feed lots of treats to your pup in a single training session. Moreover, this makes the training efficient and minimizes the risk of overfeeding your puppy.
As much as you’d love to spoil your puppy with delicious treats, some of them contain unhealthy ingredients. So, the second thing you should look for on the treat’s packaging is the ingredients list.
If you ask me, simplicity is the best policy when it comes to puppy treats. What do I mean by this? Look for the healthiest puppy treats with just a single ingredient. For example, sliced coconut strips or beefy treats.
Secondly, they should be low on carbs. In fact, carbs should be kept to a minimum to avoid health problems in your pup. Homemade dog training treats have a clear advantage here because you get to choose what you want to add in them.
Treats should mean two things by default: flavorful and nutritious. Since treats are given on special occasions, they’re often made with special nutrients not commonly included in dog diets.
For example, if you keep sugary items out of your puppy’s diet, you can opt for sweet or carby treats. The bottom line is that you should keep an eye on your dog’s nutritional intake at all times. This way, you can avoid overfeeding in all forms.
Generally, dog treats and foods last many months before becoming unfit for consumption. However, their shelf-life depends on a few factors that you should know. Some of these factors are the ingredients, the type of treat, and its packaging.
Consider homemade high-value dog treats like soft peanut butter delights in comparison to frozen jerky treats. Although both sound incredibly delicious, jerky treats are the clear winners in terms of shelf-life. However, you should keep both of these in rotation.
Imagine your puppy struts up to the bowl, only to see the dog-version of raw kale in there. I can see your pup running back to where he came from. Why? Pups don’t realize (or care) how nutritious and nourishing their food is. All they care about is how good it smells and tastes! And freeze-dried treats are unbeatable at that, but they are generally bigger in size therefore unsuitable for most puppies!
It’s just like us! Smelly dog treats are not going to help your puppy learn anything. So, choose treats that pack a punch in terms of flavor, have a wonderful aroma and attract your pup in a minute.
Next, there’s junk food. Although these low-quality dog treats might cost less, they’re ultimately going to hurt your puppy’s health. Why not go for naturally palatable dog treats in the first place?
Top 10 Best Treats for Puppies
Why go through hundreds of product listings to find the right treat for your puppy? Just let us do it for you! By going through the best, the worst, and the hundreds in between, here’s our final list of the best treats for puppies:
1. Pet ‘n Shape Chik ‘n Skewers
If there’s one thing dogs love to eat, it’s chicken. Pet Cuisine’s snacks are long sticks made of rawhide with a layer of chicken. Moreover, there are three different flavors available for you to choose from. Excess fats are bad for your pup, that’s why these sticks are low-fat and high in proteins.
Most dogs are obsessed with swallowing their food which is why they don’t chew it in bits properly. With Pet Cuisine’s Dog Treats, customers raved about how their dogs loved to devour the chicken before chewing the rawhide.
A small concern some reviewers had was the amount of chicken on each strip. Although there’s little chicken wrapped around the bone, the snacks are still a steal at the price they’re available at.
2. Wellness Natural Grain-Free Puppy Training Treats
Have a picky eater? With choices between four premium proteins by Wellness, these treats will soon be your go-to food. Wellness offers these small, chewy treats in a combination of Lamb and Salmon or Chicken and Carrots. Since they’re small, your pup can devour many of these in a single training session. Want to store up? You have two bag size options; 3oz and 6oz.
With a balanced mix of healthy ingredients and the exclusion of fillers, owners can finally forget dietary issues with their pups. Not to mention, this targets picky eaters and helps them gain weight with a good mix of proteins.
However, a few dog owners reported their dogs having diarrhea or watery stools after having these treats.
3. Blue Buffalo Natural Training Dog Treats
Blue Buffalo needs no introduction. With four different flavors for your pup to enjoy, they have brought yet another delight to the game. Chicken, Bacon, Salmon, and Turkey are the flavors currently available in three bag options; 4oz, 6oz, and 9oz. The cherry on top would be their small bite-sized nature for short, effective training sessions for your pup.
Their size and aroma are clear winners for many dog owners. The jerky or other meats are fairly moist, small, and digestible for your pup to enjoy. Although they might be a little too small, they’re still chewy. This can help your pup really savor the taste before devouring it.
4. Good n Fun Triple Flavor Kabobs
Wagging tails, flipping ears, and rolling tongues. That’s what your pup will be busy doing with the Good n’ Fun flavored kabobs. These treats pack a wholesome punch of flavors. After the rawhide, there’s a coating of chicken, duck, and chicken liver; all nutritious ingredients. Moreover, there are four different pouch sizes and different count of kabobs for you to store up.
Picky eaters have a lovely time enjoying these treats. These dog training treats might keep your pup busy for hours due to the palatable rawhide and proteins. However, some are skeptical as to how safe it is for dogs to consume rawhides.
5. Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Treats for Puppies
Pups are die-hard fans of biscuits. With these mini biscuits from Old Mother Hubbard in your pockets, you can train your puppy on the go. These crunchy delights are oven-baked with many zesty and flavorful ingredients like apples, chicken bits, and others. These biscuits are available in three packet sizes ranging from small to large; and a wide variety of flavors.
What owners love the most is their size. They’re perfect for your puppy’s teeth and helps them enjoy without getting dental problems. Once your pup’s addicted to these, there’s no going back as the crunch will keep them coming for more.
A few dog owners received stale biscuits. However, the manufacturer usually refunds or sends a new batch in such cases.
6. N-Bone Puppy Teething Treats
N-Bone has packed everything in these treat boxes. From nutrients to flavor, aroma to minerals, they have everything. This fun, ring-sized treat is fortified with DHA, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various other minerals to keep your pup healthy. Since these are chewy and have loads of calcium, they’re excellent for your puppy’s teeth as well.
N-Bone’s solution to teething is adored by many pet owners. For some, chewy toys just don’t do the job. These treats are the perfect puppy training treats if that’s what you’re looking for. They’ll keep your puppy busy, encourage good behavior, and ensure proper training. With that said, a few owners reviewed that their puppies had diarrhea or stomach problems because of these treats.
7. Organic Human-Grade Training Treats for Dogs
Full Moon manufactures human-grade puppy treats that will leave your pup lickin’ its paw. The treats are available in two flavors of Duck and Chicken and two pouches of 5 or 6 ounces. Moreover, their natural ingredients all add up to a total of 3 calories per treat. This way, you can make the training delightful for your pup.
No one loves filler ingredients in their puppy’s food or treats. Full Moon’s best human food for puppy training has won hearts. They’re cut in small pieces and are easy to eat for puppies aged 8 weeks. However, this treat doesn’t have the longest shelf-life in the market.
8. Milk-Bone Puppy Biscuits
One thing’s for sure: Milk Bone’s flavored snacks won’t leave your puppy hungry. These crunchy, succulent treats are suitable for all dogs and puppies alike. Not to mention, each snack has a calorie count of 5 and is fortified with over 12 minerals and vitamins. Be it bacon, beef, or chicken, they’re all available in a few differently sized pouches.
You’re likely to spoil your puppy with these delicious treats. Many owners loved these and their dogs seem to go crazy for them. A few users didn’t like the smell of the treats, but I suppose that’s quite subjective.
9. Pet Botanics Puppy Training Rewards
Looking for treats that pack healthy ingredients along with a luscious taste? Pet Botanics treats are the ones. These soft, moist treats melt in your puppy’s mouth with an amazing flavor. It is available in five different flavors ranging from Chicken to Salmon. Moreover, they offer four different pouch options as well.
One of the best things about these treats from Pet Botanics is their calorie count. A single snack is just 1.6 calories. Owners loved how easy it was to train their pups with these high-reward puppy treats.
These treats contain garlic, which isn’t suitable for every pup. Make sure your pup isn’t allergic and can digest the treats easily.
10. Crazy Dog Train-Me! Mini Dog Treats
Last on our list is the Mini Dog Treats by Crazy Dog. For your puppy to be focused during his training, you need something extra yummy. That’s where these treats come in. With four different flavors and pouch sizes, you can get the best deals for your pup and store up. The best thing about them is that all variants have the lowest fat and calorie count, so you can indulge in training without a minute’s worry.
Pet owners love the size of these treats and how easy they are to serve. These small bites will keep your pup focused and ready to go for the next training session. The only downside to these treats was their smell. The smell might make the treats less palatable.
Puppy Treats – FAQs
I’m sure you must have questions before you head on to the final quest of feeding treats to your puppies. Without further ado, here’s a list of some of the most commonly asked questions about puppy treats.
Can puppies take training treats?
They absolutely can. Usually, a pup’s training starts when he’s almost 8 weeks old. So, how can you get on the right paw with your furry friend? Training treats are the answer!
These flavorful delights are going to make training easy and help them learn new commands. Food-motivated doggos can learn just about anything if there’s a yummy treat involved.
That is also known as positive reinforcement – you reward for good behaviors. If treats are bite-sized, that makes it even better. You can feed your puppy a few more of these treats as compared to larger ones, where you’re limited to a few.
When can I start giving my puppies treats?
You can use treats to train your puppy or as food as soon as they’re 6 weeks old. Treats are only sweet delights or special foods that are not included in a pup’s everyday diet. So, these delights keep them on their paws and encourage them to perform better.
Start off with tiny treats like shaped biscuits and gradually increase. It helps in the brain development of your pup and improves behavioral problems.
How many treats a day should I give my puppy?
You can feed your puppy treats such that they account for 10% of the pup’s diet. In the end, it all comes down to the calorie intake. Firstly, find out the calorie count on each food’s packaging.
Once done, calculate the calorie count you’re feeding your pup every day. Then, you can choose treats that make upto 10 percent of that number. Usually, cheese, potatoes, or sugary items are high in calories. If your pup doesn’t love veggies, you can opt for low-calorie puppy treats which include savory meat.
Obesity is a concern for dogs if you don’t pay attention to your puppy’s nutritional intake. Don’t use some of the worst dog treats available with no limit on nutrients.
Are all dog treats suitable for my puppy?
Suitable? Yes. Safe? Maybe not. Would you prefer an infant child biting into an apple? You won’t. Like that, some dog treats are just not right for puppies.
Treats could either be too big or contain ingredients or preservatives which are not suitable for puppies. If you do feed your pup some big dog treats, it might upset your furry friend’s stomach.
Also, puppies have underdeveloped teeth. Feeding hard, chewy items can cause further damage to your dog’s teeth. Treats for puppies under 3 months should be soft, small, and easily digestible.
Do puppy treats improve my puppy's teeth?
There are special dental treats that can improve your puppy’s teeth tremendously. These treats are specially made to target plaques, foul breaths, and other oral conditions. Though you shouldn’t pick hard-to-eat treats which can cause damage to the teeth.
Dental treats are available from several brands, in different shapes, and sizes. So, with a little trial and error, you can pick the right delights for your pup.
Also, if you’ve owned a pup before, you know how much dogs hate brushes. These yummy puppy treats can clean your dog’s mouth to a great extent without bothering your pup.