Dog food and dog treats are garbage for most of what is offered today. Only the best single-ingredient dog treats are offering a nutritious experience that is free of preservatives, cheap fillers, processed grains, and so on.
Although single-ingredient treats for dogs are not necessarily natural or organic, they are nonetheless a huge upgrade for dogs in terms of quality and nutritional benefits. They are pricier but so much better that it should be a no-brainer. There are healthier chews out there (Himalayan and Antler ones) but shelves are still full of very low-quality everyday dog treats mainly made from corn or wheat.
Read our below reviews of the best single-ingredient dog treats and please: try them out! You will not regret it!
Choosing Single-Ingredient Treats for Dogs
Due to the lack of trust in most household pet brands, some more conscious manufacturers have come up with single-ingredient dog treats. No more endless lists of dodgy ingredients with dubious long-term consequences on our dogs’ health. Now, there is one ingredient in the list, generally meat or fish, but also veggies at times.
Over the last decades, food allergies have surged and a lot of dog owners think the horrible quality of some commercial dog foods has caused this spike. It is only natural that these same people pioneered very simple, yet very tasty, dog treats. Jerky is an example, but also dehydrated fish skins, raw bones for dogs, or freeze-dried liver treats. Plus, because there is only one ingredient, there is a lot less processing (if any) going on: nutrients are kept intact, and so are minerals, vitamins, and trace elements.
On the flip side, and this is the only bad news, single-ingredient dog treats are pricier than other regular dog treats. Sometimes, it’s five times more expensive. Yes, you could cut expenses by giving your dog diced cheddar, but because we love the convenience, it is better to deal with a dry matter that will remain fresh for a much longer time. Remember the more moisture, the shorter shelf life.
Top 6 Best Single-Ingredient Dog Treats
Single-ingredient dog treats, as the name suggests, are dog food made of just one ingredient. They are healthier and avoid all those bad ingredients used by manufacturers. With single ingredient dog treats, you can properly evaluate your dog’s nutritional intake, and avoid dozens of potential allergic reactions.
Single-ingredient dog treats can be of two types:
- freeze-dried with 98% water removed, or
- dehydrated dog treats with 75% water removed.
Let’s now look into a review of the 6 best single-ingredient dog treats for you to consider buying. Try them all, they aren’t that expensive!
1. Whole Life Natural Freeze-Dried Treats
— Most Popular Single-Ingredient Dog Treats
The Whole Life Natural Freeze-Dried Treats is one of the healthiest single-ingredient dog treats comprising 100% human-grade USDA-approved chicken breast. The product, sourced, produced and packaged in the USA, has a caloric content of 479 Kcal per 100g and 10 Kcal/treat, consisting of proteins mainly. It is available in 10-oz and 20-oz pack. This single-ingredient dog treat from Whole Life has slices of nutritious and pure chicken breast meat, offering a delicious dose of natural flavor and aroma. It is freeze-dried to perfection with 98% of its moisture removed, so it is convenient to store for longer.
The Whole Life Pet Pure Meal is prepared with the utmost care. It is cooked in small batches daily that are further tested and verified safe. The meal comes in the form of crisp treats that can be broken down into bite-size pieces, easy to consume by your dog, irrespective of his/her age or size. These delicious dog treats, however, have very low fat, carbohydrate and calorie content. As such, it can be used daily as a perfect and pure protein-rich treat for your dog.
These dried chicken breast treats have no other ingredient or preservatives and are, therefore, absolutely safe for dogs with food intolerances or allergic tendencies. As for ways of feeding, you can simply take these out of the bag and crumble over your dog’s favorite food and he/she will be excited for an interesting meal each day. The package must be stored in a cool and dry place.
2. Cod Skins Crunchy Sticks for Pets
— Best Fish Skin Treat For Dogs
The Polka Dog Bakery Cod Skins Crunchy Sticks for Dogs is one of the best dehydrated, locally-sourced and USA-made single-ingredient dog treats available out there. The crunchy sticks made of pure and healthy cod skins are highly recommended for dogs with specific protein allergies. The cod used in this single-ingredient treat are all wild-caught by local fishermen in Alaska. Thereafter, they are slowly and carefully hand-rolled and completely dehydrated with 98% of the water removed from each skin. All of this process is done in the Boston kitchen, making way for a healthy, savory snack your dog just can’t avoid.
The calorie content of this treat from Polka Dog counts to about 326 Kcal/100g, which is extremely low. It offers a single source of protein with very low fat, calorie and carbohydrate content. The product is absolutely natural with no additives or preservatives that have some of the other negative effects on your dog’s health. The treat is a perfect nutritional supplement for your dog as it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Above all, it is the crunchy texture of the treat that is so loved by pets including cats.
As a dog owner, it is good to remember that however tasty, the Polka Dog crunchy sticks are suitable for intermittent or supplemental feeding only and not as wholesome meals. Just treat them on this tasty and nutritious snack every now and then. The package should be stored in a cool, dry place so that the crunchiness remains intact even after the first use.
Bags of Cod Skins Crunchy Sticks are huge and bulky which explains the price.
3. Brutus & Barnaby Sweet Potato Dog Treats
— Best Vegan Dog Treats
The Brutus & Barnaby Sweet Potato Dog Treats are among the most-loved dehydrated single-ingredient dog treats that strike a perfect balance of taste and health. Made from the North American sweet potato, these thick-cut slices are highly recommended for teething puppies or adult dogs that are on diet.
The sweet potato dog treats serve as natural sources of vitamins and minerals because when dehydrated, the sweet potatoes preserve the antioxidants they embed. As such, this particular treat can serve as one of the most nutritious snacks you may give your dog.
While the sweet potato slices are thick-cut, you can cut them further into strips or chunks if that makes them easily consumable by your dog. Natural potato skins have good fiber content, which is helpful in balancing blood and sugar levels. That is why; the Brutus and Brutus & Barnaby Sweet Potato Dog Treats are suitable for senior diabetic dogs too. You can give this treat to your dog daily without worrying about his/her health because it is absolutely free of gluten, grain, fat or added sugar. With this treat, your dog’s nutritional requirements will be taken care of without any kind of side-effects.
The sweet potato dog treats are good for dogs that are sensitive to specific types of protein. Also, if your dog is on a specially-designed diet and is advised to take in a lot of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals instead of pure animal protein, this easily digestible product is the perfect one to keep your pooch healthy and happy. Especially in comparison to meat-based single-ingredient treats.
4. Odour-Free Angus Bully Sticks
— Odor-Free Bully Sticks for Dogs
The Odor-Free Angus Bully Sticks are among the healthiest single-ingredient treats suitable for medium to large breeds of dogs. Available in 6-inch and 12-inch sized sticks; these are made from free-range Brazilian Angus Cattle and are, therefore, high in protein content. These nutritious single-ingredient treats are low in fat and low in carbohydrates and absolutely free of unnecessary chemicals, hormones, and additives.
Each of the sticks in the package is hand-inspected to ensure that they do not vary in terms of quality or thickness. The sticks are dehydrated to such an extent that they are practically free of any kind of unpleasant odor. With nothing but fresh and pure beef served in a tasty way, the treat comes with a natural flavor that your dog will simply love.
The Angus Bully Sticks also serve as chews and the natural chewing action of your dog in savoring these sticks allows him/her to get healthy teeth and gum in return. These long-lasting chews also help in freshening the breath of your pooch. However, unlike most other chews, the Angus bully sticks are tasty enough to satiate your dog’s craving for good food and are easily digestible too.
As the name suggests, this dog treat is specially formulated to be odor-free and leaves no unpleasant smell on your hand, carpet, or furniture. Being hypoallergenic in nature, it is ideal for dogs that are allergic and sensitive to certain foods or protein sources. Overall, this healthy, digestible, tasty and pure single-ingredient treat and chews is a much-needed alternative to the traditional rawhide.
5. Whole Life Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
— Best Salmon Dog Treats
The Whole Life Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Treats is a popular and preferred single-ingredient treat that serves as a perfect snack for your dog. Made of 100% pure wild Alaskan Salmon, its calorie content counts to 465 Kcal per 100g and 6 Kcal/treat, with mostly proteins and high-quality fatty acids. This product from Whole Life is sourced, produced and packaged in the USA and promises to be a much-loved one especially dogs who are very fond of fish.
This Whole Life grain-free treat has fresh Salmon filet cubes with a strong flavor and aroma (it’s fish, after all.) With the Salmon treats having a firm texture, the treat is also full of the nutritious Omega 3 fatty acids that further make this treat extremely beneficial for your dog. The Salmon is completely natural and freeze-dried with no grains, gluten, preservatives or coloring agents added to it whatsoever. This one-ingredient dog treat is a pack of taste and nutrition merged right, and served for your demanding dog.
The Whole Life Salmon-Only Treats can be used in conjunction with your dog’s everyday diet because it is low in fat, carbohydrates and calorie content. This 100% wholesome treat is cooked in small batches, which are tested and verified thoroughly before packaging. Hence, this treat is absolutely safe for allergy-prone and food-sensitive dogs. As a dog owner, you might find the look of the salmon treats varying with each pack. However, this is because of the species of the salmon used. The earlier part of the fishing season brings you brighter Salmon while the later part produces pale ones. This is just about the look and the quality remains the same so you can use them for your dog throughout the year.
6. Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
— Best Limit-Ingredients Dog Jerky
The Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats come across as some of the best limited-ingredient snacks for dogs. Their business is run from a small, family-operated business that understands how precious a dog is to a household. The high-quality all-American beef meat is the primary ingredient of this treat, and it’s true that it has a few more ingredients but it is overall very limited.
What makes this product interesting is the family recipe that goes into it to bring the natural smoky flavor, so loved by dogs of all breeds and sizes. This recipe, which was tested and perfected over a long time, requires slow-smoking of the meat for about 10-15 hours. It finally leads to a healthy snack with a soft texture that can be easily consumed by your dog.
These jerky dog treats are available in three different types of meat: beef, chicken or turkey, depending on what your dog loves the most. The other ingredients include salt, garlic powder, rice protein and sodium nitrate in very less quantity. The calorie content of each stick counts to about 20 Kcal. This treat consisting of the 7-inch jerky sticks is absolutely safe for puppies because it is free from wheat, corn, soy, gluten, canines and any other kind of preservatives.
Unlike processed foods for dogs, this particular limited-ingredient dog treat does not leave behind any unpleasant smell or sticky residue on your hand. Since the sticks can be broken into smaller pieces easily; they can ideally be used as training treats too. The high protein (and low fat, carb, and calorie) content further makes it a suitable snack for your dog.
The packaging of this product has slightly changed than what it was before so, just check the package and make sure you are buying the right product.
There are several options when it comes to choosing single-ingredient dog treats for your furry one. Make sure getting those that are most suitable and loved by your dog.