You love your dog. And because you love them, you want to give them the best of the best—and that includes the best dog treats.
Dog treats are a great training tool, an awesome way to reward your dog for a job well done, and a tummy treat for your pup to enjoy (hence the title “treat”).
But not all dog treats are created equal! While most dog treats will taste fine to your pup (let’s be real—dogs don’t have the most discerning palettes), some aren’t exactly great for their digestion or overall health. And if you want to keep your dog happy and healthy, it’s up to you to figure out which treats to give your pup—and which dog treats to avoid.
But how do you know? What dog treats should you avoid? And how do you ensure your dog treats are high-quality, healthy, and safe to give your pup?
Dog Treats To Avoid
So, first things first—let’s talk about what ingredients to look out for on dog treat packaging that will show you the treat is not a healthy choice for your dog.
Dog treats to avoid include treats with:
- Added sugars. There are plenty of treats out there that contain added sugar (which might be listed on the ingredient list by alternate names, like corn syrup or sucrose). But just like humans, added sugars aren’t good for your pup. There’s no nutritional value to sugar, and having too much sugar in their diet can cause a host of health problems for your pup, including diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity.
- Added preservatives. Adding preservatives to food products, including dog treats, can lengthen their shelf life, which is why they’re a popular choice for food manufacturers. But preservatives aren’t natural or healthy for your pup—so the fewer preservatives in your dog treats, the better.
- Soy. Some treat manufacturers use soy as a substitute for meat protein. But soy has a lower nutritional profile than meat—and it’s also a fairly common allergen.
- Grains. Grains like wheat and corn are “filler” ingredients; they don’t add any nutritional value for your pet and can actually cause digestive issues, especially if they’re allergic.
If a dog treat has any of these ingredients—or worse, all of them—you should definitely consider them dog treats to avoid.
The Best Dog Treats For Your Dog
So, now that we’ve covered what dog treats to avoid, let’s talk about the alternatives—the treats you can give your dog that will keep them happy and healthy.
When shopping for dog treats, you should look for treats that are:
- Full of nutritional value
- Made from high-quality ingredients
So what, exactly, are the best treats to give your pup?
Jerky Treats, like the Roasted Duck NYC Jerky Chews or the NYC Roasted Duck Jerky Bites, are definitely a treat you’ll want to give your pup. Not only are they grain-free, but they have a ton of nutritional value and flavor—especially when you consider their small size! Jerky treats also have a tougher texture, which your dog will love chewing—and is great for their oral health.
Jerky is great if your dog likes a rougher treat. But if your pup is on the market for something a little on the softer side, Soft-Baked Treats are a great option. Soft-baked treats (like Winner Winner Chicken Dinner) are a little easier on your pup’s chompers—but still have all the nutritional benefits (and yumminess!) you’d want in a treat.
If your dog is head over paws for flavorful treats, Freeze-Dried Treats are a great option. Freeze-dried treats (like Stink, Steak, Stunk!) have everything your dog could want in a treat. They’re packed with both flavor and nutrition and are free from any of the “nasties” (like wheat, corn, and soy) you want to avoid when choosing dog treats.
If you want to keep your puppy stocked with the best in healthy, nutritious treats, it’s time to subscribe to BarkBox. With BarkBox, you’ll get a carefully curated selection of toys, chews, and treats (including two bags of high-quality, nutritious treats free of wheat, corn, or soy) delivered straight to your door every month. With so much goodness packed into every BarkBox, it’s not just a treat for your pup—it’s a treat for you, too! Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! 🙂