Best Dog Treats In 2021
They’re your best friend, your faithful companion, and they’re in need of a little present every now and again. Dog treats are not only used for training, but for rewarding your pup and fortifying the benefits of positive reinforcement. It’s a win-win: they get something they love, and you get to reward good behavior and make them happy at the same time.
Dog treats aren’t just tasty, though; they actually come with oral and digestive health benefits now. Thanks to plenty of dog owners advocating for better ingredients in the items they give their dog, this list is jam-packed with companies who have listened, made astounding dog treat varieties, and continue to produce great-tasting, healthy dog treats for Fido.
The Best Dog Treat
Greenies are hands-down the best dog treats out there. Beyond just being delicious, they provide some of the best dental benefits that your pup is going to get out of something that they consume. Designed with a fun toothbrush-shaped design with a bone on the bottom, these treats are designed to clean and protect your dog’s teeth.
In fact, that design has been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council just because it’s that good. Greenies are easy to digest for your four-legged friend, so even the uneasiest of stomachs will have an easy time with these. Greenies have accommodated numerous budgets, with package deals from six treats up to seventy-two treats depending on what you’re in the market for.
Apart from just cleaning your dog’s teeth, they’re also going to get a steady surplus of calcium, phosphorus, and niacin, but primarily, they’re going to get 30% crude protein with only 15% moisture. They’re built tough to scrape tartar and plaque buildup off of your dog’s teeth without hurting them, and for that, they’ve developed the perfect blend of nutrients to get the job done right. An ideal gift for dog lovers and owners.
Available in packs from 6 treats up to 72 treats
Adds vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to your dog’s diet
VOHC-accepted design for better oral health
Easy to digest
- Weight2.25 pounds
We just reviewed Greenies, and if you went to their sales page, then you’re aware of just how expensive they can be on an individual treat basis. Milk-Bone (which you’re going to see a lot of on this list) offers a great alternative without breaking the bank. They’re known for being a budget-friendly dog treat brand, but they’re also designed to clean your dog’s teeth just a bit while they enjoy them.
That is, Milk-Bone Original Dog Treats remove plaque and built-up tartar, but it should be noted that these aren’t a replacement for cleaning your dog’s teeth or giving them a VOHC-approved treat as well—Milk-Bone is just a great addition to their already diverse diet. You’re going to get a total of ten pounds of treats without having to hemorrhage your wallet, which is fantastic if you’re a bulk buyer like many of us pet owners are. When it comes to the health benefits, you’re looking at a rather low 15% crude protein content, but that’s not the only area Milk-Bone focused on while developing this treat. Your pup is also going to get trace amounts of iodine, zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium, as well as concentrated volumes of vitamins D, A, and E. Milk-Bone is an inexpensive way to augment your pup’s diet with a healthy burst of vitamins and minerals. For more great products for your pet, especially for cold winter days, check out our guide to the best hoodies for dogs.
Cleans teeth as your dog eats them
Value pack of 10 lbs for a low price
Comes in three separate sizes for different doggy weight ranges and sizes
- Weight10 pounds
The biggest problem with old-school bully sticks is that they were never designed to be fully edible down to the very last morsel. Best Bully Sticks (the brand) have changed that. You get a 25-pack of edible bully sticks each measuring six inches in length, so you can give them the treat that keeps on giving.
On top of being fully edible, Best Bully Sticks All Natural Dog Treats are also the best alternative to rawhide out there. Depending on your dog’s teeth, rawhide could actually be a cause for cracking, chipping and eventual breakage. Alternatives for rawhide have become increasingly popular amongst dog owners in recent years. Apart from just offering an excellent source of fun and nutrition, Best Bully Sticks are made for dogs, by dog owners—people who care about every little thing that goes into the process. That’s why there’s no hormones, additives, or artificial chemicals included in manufacturing in the slightest. Natural, edible, and while it’s a bit pricier than others on this list, it’s worth it. For more quality products that will help your dog remain healthy, check out our selection of the best dog joint supplements.
100% all-natural beef with no fillers
Completely digestible; does not need to be thrown out after chewing
Free from hormones, additives and artificial chemicals
- BrandBest Bully Sticks
- Weight1.2 pounds
Some dry treats just don’t do it for certain dogs. Pups can be picky, and for some, they like chews far better. EcoKind took an all-natural approach to safe chews for your dogs that won’t damage their teeth, and they did a bang-up job. While making these chewy treats easy on your dog’s teeth, they went with a different approach from the common softened rawhide: Himalayan yak.
I can almost guarantee that it’s nothing your dog has ever had before. EcoKind isn’t the cheapest option out there, but their chews last for ages while delivering a fresh and clean feeling to your dog’s mouth. There’s no gluten or filler ingredients in EcoKind 100% Natural Dog Treats, and the price reflects it. EcoKind put out a silent message that your dog deserves better, so they make treats up to the high standards of dog owners everywhere. You may also be interested in some of the best winter vests for dogs, so be sure to check them out.
100% all-natural approach to every one of their products
The unique flavor of Himalayan yak
Zero gluten or lactose ingredients
- BrandEcoKind Pet Treats
- Weight1 pound
Pedigree used to be the top dog (I couldn’t help myself there), and while they’re still a fantastic option, there’s been so much healthy competition for dog treats lately that it’s given us owners more to choose from. Their DENTASTIX are another teeth-cleaning treat that gives your pup something delicious to chew on without ever knowing that they’re actually preserving their teeth in the process.
Thanks to the unique X-shaped design, these treats clean along the gum line and scrape plaque and tartar off of your dog’s teeth in the process. It’s not just all about the oral healthcare benefits though, because Pedigree makes these in four separate flavors to appeal to every kind of dog out there: chicken, bacon, chicken and bacon combo, and beef.
However, the reason it’s not ranking higher on this list is that the crude protein content is only at 8%. That’s not the best, but if you’re supplementing your dog’s already protein-rich diet with these as a method of keeping their teeth clean, then it’s a good alternative to other dog treats. As one final note, Pedigree only makes these treats for dogs at thirty pounds or bigger, otherwise, there’s a choking hazard involved, so please be picky when selecting the right treat. To keep your pet always clean and protected, check out our selection of the best dog shampoos.
X-shaped design gets in all the nooks and crannies of your dog’s teeth and gums
Designed for ongoing oral healthcare for your pup
Comes in four tantalizing flavors; there’s something for every dog to love
- Weight1.72 pounds
Now we’re talking. This is what your dog really wants. Nudges makes these USA beef griller treats with a ton of flavor and a scent that will have your dog skidding across the floor to come and get their treat. As you might imagine, it’s not the cheapest treat, but that’s because they really focus on high quality over high quantity. You get 36 ounces worth of treats in a single package. I mention the ounces because the quantity of the Nudges Steak Grillers Dog Treats varies depending on the package, since these aren’t your average cookie-cutter dog treats. The good news is that due to the other ingredients they put in, these are pretty easy for you to tear apart if you pull out a treat that’s just a little too big for Fido.
When it really comes down to it, you know your dog is going to love the flavor, but the health benefits are what you’re interested in. There’s a high moisture content of 26% here, but it comes from the natural process that Nudges uses to make these tantalizing treats. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives or byproducts in here. No corn, no wheat, no soy—you get the picture, they like to keep it as all-natural as possible. With a high protein and fat content of 16% apiece, this isn’t an everyday treat. Nudges puts serving recommendations on the back depending on your dog’s size. Since these treats are tearable, just about any sized pup can enjoy them. To keep your dog/s paws warm and clean, check out our guide to the best dog booties for winter and pick your favorite pair.
US-grade beef and vitamins for a well-rounded diet
Designed to be torn into bite-sized pieces for easier portioning
Ultra-low price per pound
- Weight2.1 pounds
Sometimes even when your pup is getting the right amount of protein, they still gain weight. Every dog is different. Zuke’s treat was made to help with weight control while still offering good protein and overall nutrition to your dog, which is why their mini dog training treats come with just three whole calories each. For real: three calories.
These are measured by weight, but since the treats are miniature, you’re going to end up with a ton of little treats to help train your dog. This is the best way to use positive reinforcement without your pup blowing up like a balloon from a high-fat alternative treat. Every dog is going to learn differently, so you might as well make sure it’s done right. Because these are minis, they’re not as protein-dense as other treats. You get 8% crude protein for a 30% moisture content, but with that, there’s only 6% crude fat. Apart from being convenient and low-cal, you can choose from chicken, duck, pork, rabbit, salmon or peanut butter oat flavors to really excite your pup. You may also be interested in some of the best bark collars from our list, so be sure to check them out.
Comes in six flavors from salmon and chicken to duck, rabbit, and more
Only 3 calories per individual treat for perfect portioning
High moisture content and crude protein
- Weight1 pound
Now we’re going to see a lot of Milk-Bone making a comeback. Are they the number one choice for your dog? Maybe not, but they’re a good, quality pick without being too offensive to your available funds. Milk-Bone’s MaroSnacks use real bone marrow in each treat, giving you a chance to include some seriously powerful nutrients into your dog’s diet.
What’s more is that you’re going to get 40 oz for a relatively low price, while still grabbing something that your dog is going to absolutely love. Milk-Bone makes it easy to choose the right treat for your pet because they come in different sizes, as well as designs that are fit for all sizes of dogs, big or small. They’re able to keep the low moisture content of 12% while offering the exact same percentage of protein. With just ten calories per treat, you don’t have to feel guilty about rewarding your dog a few times throughout the day for their excellent behavior. It’s not going to be a diet-killer by any means. You may also be interested in some of the best dog water bottles from our list, so check them out.
Supplement of calcium for older dogs
Excellent price per pound
Made with real bone marrow
- Weight2.5 pounds
If you’re all about quality over quantity, to the point that price isn’t even a concern, Blue Buffalo has a seriously premium treat for your pup to enjoy. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats sell in four-ounce and ten-ounce bags and include 20% crude protein and 28% moisture on average. That, of course, depends on which flavor you choose for your dog: salmon, duck, or chicken.
Based on our research and the available nutritional information, the salmon is going to be your best bet, since it includes a few additional benefits as well. Your pup will get omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are the amino acid building blocks of the brain, promoting a healthier way of life for your dog. Chief among the reasons to go with Blue Buffalo is that it appeals to your dog’s wild side, offering flavors straight from nature that might otherwise be artificially created in their chow or other treats that they might eat. Blue Buffalo also promises zero grains and corn in their treats, so you’re giving your dog(s) everything they need, and nothing that they don’t. To keep your dog comfortable, check out our guide to the best dog beds and pick your favorite.
Omega 3 and omega 6 acids for a fortified diet
Comes in chicken, duck, and salmon
High crude protein content (generally 20% or higher)
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight0.16 ounces
Milk-Bone does have a premium side to them (don’t worry, it’s still inexpensive), and it’s best reflected in their Soft And Chewy Treats. You get a 25 oz jar of their filet mignon and beef chews for a reasonable price, but you also have the option to switch out to the chicken recipe. It should be noted that even though the chicken recipe has reduced protein over their beef option, it’s the same price.
Whether you have a senior dog with sensitive teeth, or you just know what they like, these have the perfect balance of moisture and sturdiness to last without being too abrasive. Due to the ingredient profile in these treats, they’re not going to possess any teeth-cleaning power, so you’ll still have to manually go in there and clean things up afterwards, or use a treat like Greenies to help you out. Utilizing a blend of 12 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, B12, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and more, these are like miniature super-charges of nutrition that slip their way into your dog’s diet in the most delicious way possible. Milk-Bone has been making dog treats for over 110 years, and we don’t anticipate them slowing down anytime soon. You may also like some of these deshedding tools from our list, so check them out.
Includes 12 vitamins and minerals to supplement any diet
Comes in beef and chicken flavors
High protein content for a low price
- Weight1.56 pounds
One last honorable Milk-Bone mention would be their Flavor Snacks, which comes with a ton of miniature treats in a big 36 oz jar. Instead of having to choose between different flavors, you get the option to give your pup a variety blend and keep them on their paws when it’s treat time. It’s a wildcard in there, and if you identify each treat on the label before you toss it to your dog, you’ll quickly learn which ones are their favorite based on their reactions.
Now, while it’s difficult to have beef, chicken and salmon treats each meet the same protein and moisture contents, Milk-Bone did a pretty good job of doing so. With each treat, regardless of flavor, your pup is going to get 15% crude protein with a low 12% moisture content. On top of that, there’s a surplus of vitamins E, D, E, and B12, alongside iodine, riboflavin, and other minerals to help fortify your dog’s diet. For those of you who keep your dog outside, check out our selection of the best outdoor dog houses and find the right one for your pet.
Extremely low price per pound
Includes 12 vitamins and minerals
15% crude protein content
- Weight2.25 pounds
I’ve rarely seen anything like it, but Good’N’Fun makes these treats with an unbelievable 55% crude protein in each treat, which is basically like giving a dog a protein shake. For young pups that are in the middle of growing up properly, Triple Flavored Rawhide Dog Kabobs promote strong muscle growth and function. Wrapped around the bully stick in the middle, you get three cuts of real meat that are dried and preserved to protection. Those include chicken, duck, and liver (which may be sourced from either chickens or ducks). Three pieces on each stick, and eighteen sticks to a bag, means that your pup is going to be set for quite some time.
These are long-lasting treats, so you don’t have to feel bad about giving them out to your pup, but you should beware of the calorie content. There are 54 kcals in each treat, and when you compare that to the average of 3 to 10 of the other treats on this list, it’s definitely something to watch out for. These might not be suitable for older dogs, but growing pups who can use all the protein in the world would benefit greatly. The reason this made it to the bottom of the list is that there are some ingredients to be wary of. Namely, yellow and blue food dyes. It’s not the all-time best treat for your dog, but it doesn’t hurt either. For more amazing products for your pets, check out our selection of the best dog agility tunnels.
Wrapped in real meat for a blend of flavors
Long-lasting treats give your dog something to chew on for a while
Extremely high crude protein content at 55 %
- Weight8 ounces
Dog Treat Buying Guide
Features To Look For In Dog Treats
Teeth Cleaning - The best dog treats will also actually clean your pup’s teeth. While their saliva does a good job of keeping those chompers clean, it can’t do everything. The rigid designs and perfect hardness levels help to scrape plaque, tartar, and old bits of food off their teeth, so you can feel good about giving them a treat knowing it’s positively impacting their oral health.
Natural Preservatives - Vitamins can be used as a natural preservative in dog bones, but you have to be careful. It greatly mitigates the shelf life as well as the flavor profile in each dog treat. You want to be careful with the preservatives associated with the dog treat, and be aware of dietary restrictions your pet might have.
Quality - Quality comes down to the source of ingredients, the grade of those ingredients, and whether they’re naturally sourced or not. To make things clear, just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good for your dog’s health. It’s important to do your own independent research on the individual ingredients listed on the packaging of the dog treats that you have in mind, so you can explain them on a biologically fundamental level before feeding them to your pup.