With all the different brands and formulas of dog treats you can choose from today, how can you tell which ones are the best and worth every last cent you're going to be paying for them?
Regardless of the reason why you're looking for the best dog treats on the market today, whether that's because you're trying to make use of these treats in a positive reinforcement training technique you're following with your dog, keep them going with something small until it's time for their next meal or whatever else reason that may be, this article will cover the best dog treats of today that have stood the test of time and have proven their worth with hundreds of thousands of pooches time and time again.
Before we get into the details of each and every one of our picks for the list of the best dog treats, let's have a quick look at them in a table just in case you're short on time and want a quick answer for what you're searching for.
Our List Of The Top 6 Dog Treats - (Updated List For 2018)
Top Pick: Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
Pick #2: Zuke's Mini Naturals Dog Treats
Pick #3: Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats
Pick #4: Blue Buffalo Dog Treats
Pick #5: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Grain Free Puppy Training Treats
Pick #6: Zuke's Hip Action Dog Treats
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Best Dog Treat Reviews
Pick #1 - Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
3 Tasty Flavors: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co are offering you the choice to choose between three of the most favorite flavors that dogs love the most, being beef, chicken and/or turkey flavors.
Beef is one of their most popular options as of this writing, and one that has proven to get even the most lethargic and lazy of dogs upbeat and motivated again in training due to how delicious these dog treats really are.
100% Natural: Not only has Rocco & Roxie Supply Co developed one of the best tasting dog treats ever with this variety, they've also done so with a 100% natural approach, and should be highly praised for doing so.
The usual artificial flavoring that you would normally find in other dog treats is none existent in this one, meaning this dog treat is all the more healthy for your dog.
Extra Soft: One of the top reasons why these dog treats have resonated so well with dogs all over the community is because of how soft they are, an amazing selling point that has given Rocco & Roxie Supply Co the ability to blow much of their competition out the water since dogs go crazy over that tender and soft texture that's associated with beef.
Perfect Size: As is apparent from the "Mini" in the name Zuke's have given to these dog treats, what you'll be getting are perfectly small sized treats you can give to your dog that will be consumed in mere seconds so they can get right back to training without being too distracted from the main objective.
Low Calorie: If, for any reason, you're worried about your dog over-consuming on calories and gaining weight because of the treats you're feeding them whenever they deserve some, then worry no more.
These dog treats from Zuke's contain only a lousy 3.5 calories per piece!
This way you can ensure your dog gets through the entirety of the training session (even the entirety of the day) without having consumed a sizable surplus of calories that will lead to weight gain down the line.
Pick #3 - Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats
High In Calcium: It's always awesome to see dog treat producing companies take care of the overall nutritional profile of their goodies, and this is exactly the case with these dog treats from Milk-Bone.
If you want to boost the overall intake of Calcium in your dog's system for any reason, these dog treats are the perfect option for you to go with since they've been specifically produced with higher calcium levels than you would normally find in other dog treats on the market.
Just like our #1 pick above from Rocco & Roxie Supply Co offers your dog 100% real All-American beef in the treats they'll be eating, these treats from Milk-Bone offer your dog the health benefits of 100% real bone marrow.
By feeding your dog these treats from Milk-Bone, you don't have to stick to only giving them calcium supplements, you can now increase their overall calcium intake via delicious dog treats as well - a win win situation.
Teeth Cleaners: Besides being one of the best dog treats out there because of how rich in calcium these little pieces of love are, they also excel in cleaning your dog's teeth because of the crunchy feel/dry texture they've got to them.
Unlike all-soft dog treats that don't have this added benefit to them, crunchy dog treats help out a ton when your dog chews on them since they're able to help remove the likes of plaque forming in specific area in your dog's teeth.
Best Treats For Puppies
Specifically Designed For Puppies: For those of you looking for the best dog treats for puppies, whether that be for training purposes or just a casual treat and you want to feed your pooch something that has been specifically designed for growing puppies that are less than 1 years old like them, these puppy bites from Wellness are your #1 option.
Bite Sized: Just as you would expect when talking about the best puppy training treats, Wellness have ensured that the size of these treats is small enough to accommodate the small size of your puppy and their ability to only consume so much volume at a time.
Diarrhea Controversy: A quick word of caution should be noted if you plan on grabbing a bag of these puppy bites from Wellness and it's the first time you're feeding some of these to your puppy, as we've seen a fair bit of controversy going around when it comes to this product and diarrhea in puppies.
Some dog owners that proceeded to feed their puppies whole pieces of these treats right from the get-go have noticed that it gave their puppies diarrhea, since it proved to be too much for their tiny little systems right from the start.
A workaround for this that has proven to do the trick perfectly well for such cases is breaking down the piece of these puppy bites you're planning to give to your puppy into multiple smaller pieces (around 5 smaller pieces is best), and giving your puppy these smaller sized, broken-down pieces instead of the whole piece that comes in the bag.
With time, and as your puppy grows older and their digestive system becomes more mature and capable of handling "bigger game", you'll be able to gradually move towards feeding them whole pieces that come in the bag as they are, without having your pup experience any problems with diarrhea or the like.
You just have to get through this initial "break in" phase at first so your puppy's digestive system can get used to these treats, that's all there is to it.
Best Treats For Senior Dogs
Pick #1 - Zuke's Hip Action Natural Dog Treats
Excellent For Senior Dogs: For those of you with senior dogs at home that are starting to suffer from one of many different joint problems that comes with advanced age, these dog treats are the absolute best you could give to your older dog.
Even if your dog suffers from certain conditions such as hip & elbow dysplasia and is still not old enough to be considered a senior dog yet, these treats are still some of the best you could ever give them to help heal their condition.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin: Whenever joint problems in dogs are mentioned, especially when it comes to older aged dogs, Glucosamine & Chondroitin supplementation (just like we talk about in this article about the best joint supplements for dogs) is almost always the way to go if you're looking to rid your dog of their pain and improve joint function.
Well, besides Glucosamine & Chondroitin supplementation for your dog that's suffering from joint pain and isn't able to move as freely as before, you'll be glad to learn that these dog treats come with a whopping 300 mg of Glucosamine and 50 mg of Chondroitin with every treat!
What Makes The Best Dog Training Treats?
When looking for the best dog training treats to give to Fido when they deserve it, the following factors are the most important ones which you have to keep an eye out when choosing between dog treat A and dog treat B.
Nutritional Value: Obviously enough, one of the most important factors (if not THE most important factor) that go into determining the best dog training treats is the nutritional value these treats are able to offer your dog.
If the dog treat you're having a look at boasts a well-balanced nutritional profile overall, then you can proceed to evaluate how it stands when it comes to the other factors we'll be talking about in this list, while if the dog treat you're having a look at has a very poor nutritional profile that's similar to the ones you'd find in junk food, then immediately put that item away and look for a different brand/formula since there are far much better options out there for you to be feeding your dog.
Is the dog treat brand/formula you're looking at rich in vitamins? Is it rich in minerals?
The nutritional profile of dog treats is most certainly nothing to be taken lightly, since every little detail in your dog's diet will eventually add up with time and will either boost their overall diet quality or make it worse.
Caloric Value: When looking for the best dog treats for YOUR dog, you should determine beforehand whether you're fine with your dog's weight as it is now, want to decrease their weight a bit so they somewhat slim down or want to have them gain a bit of weight because they're a little bit too skinny.
If your goal is to provide your dog with an overall diet that's relatively high in caloric value because you want them to gain weight, then it's best that you choose high calorie dog treats to aid with the caloric surplus.
On the other hand, if your goal is to maintain or decrease your dog's weight for whatever reason that may be, it's best that choose low calorie dog treats to ensure that your dog isn't eating more than their body is burning, and/or to aid with the caloric deficit if that's what you're looking for.
Taste: This factor is a little bit relative, and you're going to have to know your dog quite well in order to come up with the best decision for it.
Some dogs may go absolutely nuts for a dog treat that tastes like watermelon, while other dogs may be very indifferent to this taste and much prefer a dog treat that tastes like chicken or beef that they usually get from the dog food they eat on a daily basis.
Even if you buy the best dog treats out there but they just happen to taste a certain flavor that your dog doesn't like, your dog will simply refuse to eat it and give you a very hard time.
This is why it's very important to know what flavors your dog enjoys best and look for dog treats that have those flavors.
In any case, the manufacturers of the best dog treats will usually have a wide variety of different flavors you can choose from so you won't be facing a shortage of options to make Fido happy.
If you're still a new dog owner and don't have much experience/information when it comes to your dog's favorite flavors and which ones they dislike, you can always buy dog treats in small units in order to have your dog try them out and learn afterwards which ones they like most and which ones they like least.
Adequate Size: When looking for the best dog training treats, the top options will always be relatively small in size.
The whole point in giving your dog a treat is to help them focus better by rewarding them with something that takes only a few seconds to eat but gives them a tremendous motivational push because of how tasty it is. If you were to give your dog a large sized treat, it'll take your dog way too much time to eat all of it and they'll lose focus in the process.
Cleanliness: If every time you wanted to give your dog a well deserved treat during training you'd have to clean/wash your hands because of all the grease the treat has left on your hands, how efficient would that be? Not efficient at all, of course.
You want the process of grabbing the treat, feeding it to your dog and getting back to training to be done in minimal time in order to remain as efficient as possible.
This is why the best dog training treats will leave no grease or noticeable smell on your hands, allowing you to carry on with your training schedule without any bumps and stops on the road.
Why Should I Give My Dog Training Treats?
Effective Training: It's a very well known and proven fact by now that making correct use of dog training treats when training dogs of any age or temperament goes a long way in making the entire process a much more effective one, especially when coupled with other positive reinforcement training techniques as well.
When you give your dog treats they find very yummy after they did something that made you happy/you asked them to do, this will serve as motivation for your dog to keep doing whatever good behavior you want them to do, since that will mean more and more yummy treats down the line.
Dog training treats are just a very effective motivational tool that every dog owner should be using in their training toolkit.
Besides motivation, dog treats do a tremendous job in giving your dog that extra boost of energy right when they need it most, especially during the more demanding training sessions you may be having them go through.
Time Saver: Let's face it, most of us are already very busy in our day to day lives as it is, and the last thing we have time for is to be preparing homemade dog training treats for our pooches.
If you're passionate about cooking homemade treats for your dog that you can use during training sessions, have enough experience and knowledge about this and have enough free time to finish such a task, then by all means go ahead - I'm an advocate of "homemade always beats commercial if you know what you're doing".
You also won't face a shortage of recipes if you do a little search online, there are tons and tons of websites solely dedicated to providing recipes for baking homemade dog treats that you can feed your favorite buddy.
However, since the majority of us don't have the required knowledge/skill to partake in such a thing and are already swamped with time as it is, the option of buying a readily available and high-quality bag of dog treats is a very lucrative option.
A Quick Note About Dog Treats Given In A Day
Before you go ahead and start incorporating training treats in your dog's diet, you should make sure you do the math first as far as their nutritional requirements/caloric needs are concerned.
This is absolutely essential that you do, since a dog that weighs 20 pounds should certainly not be fed the same amount and calories worth of dog training treats that a dog weighing 120 pounds is consuming a day.
On 10 pieces of dog training treats a day, the first dog weighing 20 pounds will certainly put on a whole lot of noticeable extra fat in no time, while the second dog weighing 120 pounds may get by unscathed since one has much higher caloric needs a day than the other.
So, the takeaway from this section is that you should know, beforehand, how well your dog's metabolism is fairing and how much calories they burn a day vs. how much calories they need to eat a day, since this is the safest approach by which you'll be able to determine how much calories worth of dog treats they're able to consume on a daily basis without putting on any excess fat.