The Best Healthy Treats

Dogs love treats and they’re excellent rewards for good behavior, but too many could cause your dog to put on weight, plus some treats simply don’t contain quality ingredients. This is where healthy treats come in. These healthy dog treats may be low in calories, be made from organic ingredients, or contain natural ingredients only. By choosing healthy treats, you can rest assured that you aren’t compromising your four-legged friend’s health and well-being.

We reviewed dozens of healthy treats to identify the best of the best. Some of the main factors we considered include ingredient quality, artificial additives, calorie content, treat type, and average customer reviews.

Best Healthy Treats Overall
Wag Jerky Dog Treats
These tasty jerky treats are made from quality ingredients, plus you’ll get 40% off your first subscribe and save order as an added bonus.

Wag Jerky Dog Treats stood out to us as the clear best healthy dog treats overall. Depending on the flavor you choose, they contain just two to six ingredients, all of which are natural, so you won’t find yourself trying to decode a huge ingredient list.

The 5 Top-Rated Healthy Treats

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Healthy Treats OverallWag Jerky Dog Treats4.6
Best Crunchy Healthy TreatsBuddy Biscuits Oven Baked Healthy Dog Treats4.6
Best Budget Healthy TreatsMerrick All Natural Kitchen Bites Wingalings4.6
Best Single-Ingredient Healthy TreatsWholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews4.1
Best Freeze-Dried Healthy TreatsPupford Freeze-Dried Chicken Training Treats4.5

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Healthy Treats Overall: Wag Jerky Dog Treats

When buying healthy treats for your dog, you want them to contain recognizable, natural ingredients, and that’s certainly true of Wag Jerky Dog Treats. You can choose from four flavors: chicken breast, chicken and flaxseed, turkey and sweet potato, and duck. Of these, these chicken breast option has the fewest ingredients, being made up of just chicken breast and vegetable glycerin. The others have a few more ingredients, but none have more than six ingredients, all of which are natural.

These treats are made in the USA from American-sourced ingredients, which gives some buyers more peace of mind about their quality. They’re not exactly low calorie, with just under 30 calories per treat, but these are fairly large 10-gram treats, so you wouldn’t want to feed your dog too many. Alternatively, you can chop them into smaller pieces if you only want little treats for training.

Each 1 lb bag of jerky treats costs roughly $13. However, you can currently get 40% off your first subscribe and save order of these treats or any other Wag products of your choosing, meaning you’re getting a true bargain.

Wag Jerky Dog Treats Key Features: 

  • No added grains, corn, or soy
  • Free from any artificial additives
  • Whole meat is the number one ingredient

Best Crunchy Healthy Treats: Buddy Biscuits Oven Baked Peanut Butter Healthy Dog Treats

Best Crunchy Healthy Treats
Buddy Biscuits Oven Baked Peanut Butter Healthy Dog Treats
A blend of peanut butter and heart-friendly wholegrains equals some of the simplest, healthiest treats.

We love how short the ingredient list of Buddy Biscuits Oven Baked Peanut Butter Healthy Dog Treats is. These treats contain just wholewheat flour, natural peanut butter, and canola oil, plus some natural vitamin E-derived preservatives. You can’t get much more wholesome than that. While some pet owners believe grain-free is better, wholegrain wheat is actually extremely nutritious with heart-healthy properties. So, unless your dog is allergic to grains or gluten, wholewheat flour is a healthy ingredient.

Since these treats are oven-baked in the USA, they’re the next best thing to homemade. We’re specifically focusing our attention on the peanut butter treats, which have the simplest ingredients, you can also buy bacon and cheese, chicken, and an assorted flavor box. A generously-sized 3.5 lb box costs roughly $12, which is a great value when you consider how many treats you’ll receive.

Buddy Biscuits Oven Baked Peanut Butter Healthy Dog Treats Key Features: 

  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Vegan recipe that’s also suitable for dogs allergic to meat proteins
  • Satisfyingly crunchy for dogs who prefer crispy treats to chewy ones

Best Budget Healthy Treats: Merrick All Natural Kitchen Bites Wingalings

Best Budget Healthy Treats
Merrick All Natural Kitchen Bites Wingalings
Tasty chicken treats with surprisingly high-quality ingredients considering their low price.

If you’re looking for healthy dog treats at a reasonable price, look no further than Merrick All Natural Kitchen Bites Wingalings. With deboned chicken as the first ingredient, you can tell from the offset that they’re packed full of healthy nutrients. Look at the further ingredients, such as sweet potato, peas, carrots, and apple, and you’ll see even more healthy ingredients on offer. That said, we’d prefer they didn’t contain added sugar as it shouldn’t be necessary for a dog treat.

Each treat contains approximately 16 calories, which is a little high for dogs that struggle not to gain weight or if you’re feeding a large number of these treats during a training session, but they’re large enough to break into a few pieces. Though we’re focusing on the Wingalings, you can choose from a handful of other healthy treats in the Kitchen Bites range, including Grammy’s Pot Pie and Cowboy Cookout. Each pack of 9 ounces costs a little under $6, so you don’t have to spend out too much at once, though you can find cheaper treats, ounce for ounce.

Merrick All Natural Kitchen Bites Wingalings Key Features: 

  • No fillers or artificial additives
  • Most buyers report dogs find them palatable
  • Decent levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids

Best Single-Ingredient Healthy Treats: Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews

Best Single-Ingredient Healthy Treats
Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews
Incredibly healthy chews that contain nothing but sweet potato.

It’s natural to worry about what’s contained in your dog’s treats, especially when looking for a healthy option, but Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews are made from 100% dehydrated sweet potato and absolutely nothing else, so there’s no mystery about what your dog is eating. While they’re not every dog’s favorite treat (though the same could be said for almost any dog treat), the majority of pups love the slightly sweet flavor and chewy jerky-like texture. Each chew contains about 46 calories, but they’re quite large and take a minute to chew through, so you’d probably only give your dog one or two a day, depending on size.

Though you might not think of feeding them to your dog, sweet potatoes are extremely nutrient-rich, containing significant amounts of fiber, iron, vitamin C, and a range of B vitamins. These nutrients are even more concentrated when the sweet potatoes are dehydrated since all the water is removed. What’s more, the low processing temperature preserves vitamins and minerals far better than cooking at a high temperature. These treats cost around $8 for an 8 oz pack, $15 for a 16 oz pack, and $25 for a 32 oz pack.

Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews Key Features:

  • Skins left on for an even greater amount of nutrients
  • Suitable for dogs with all common allergies
  • Made in the USA

Best Freeze-Dried Healthy Treats: Pupford Freeze-Dried Chicken Training Treats

Best Freeze-Dried Healthy Treats
Pupford Freeze-Dried Chicken Training Treats
Limited ingredient freeze-dried treats with less than one calorie a piece.

Pupford Freeze-Dried Chicken Training Treats come extremely close to being single-ingredient treats, containing just chicken and a natural preservative. We’re focusing our attention on these chicken treats, but you can also choose from salmon, liver, or sweet potato treats in the same range. The small size and low-calorie content of these treats makes them the ideal option for training sessions. At less than a calorie per treat, you can give your dog a large number before you start spoiling his dinner.

The freeze-drying process helps these treats fresh for longer, plus it preserves nutrients versus cooking with heat. Since they’re essentially pure chicken, most dogs consider these to be high-value treats and are willing to work for them. Although they’re a little on the pricey side by weight, costing $16 for a 4-ounce pack, you get approximately 475 treats in a bag so they last a long time.

Pupford Freeze-Dried Chicken Training Treats Key Features: 

  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Free from the majority of common allergens
  • Made using chicken sourced from the USA

Who Should Buy Healthy Treats

Any and all dog owners should buy healthy treats for their canine companions. After all, the alternative by definition is to buy your dog unhealthy treats, which obviously isn’t ideal. Making sure your dog’s treats are healthy, as well as the food he eats at mealtimes will help maintain his health for years to come.

Though dog treats might not be 100% necessary, they’re great for rewarding your dog during training sessions and simply as an added extra for your dog to enjoy.

If your pup has any special dietary needs, then you may also consider checking out The Best Dog Food For Allergies.

Best Healthy Treats Overall
Wag Jerky Dog Treats
These tasty jerky treats are made from quality ingredients, plus you’ll get 40% off your first subscribe and save order as an added bonus.

Important Features to Consider

Healthy treats should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting healthy treats for your dog:

  • Ingredients. It’s important to read over the ingredients carefully to determine whether or not a treat really is healthy. Fresh meats, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains (such as wholewheat or brown rice) are all healthy ingredients. Unnamed meat ingredients (such as “animal fat” or “meat meal”) should be avoided, as should any treats that contain unnecessary filler ingredients, excessive salt or sugar, artificial additives, or a long list of ingredients that you can’t identify.
  • Calories. Some dog owners, when searching for healthy treats, are looking for low calorie treats. Of course, not all healthy treats are low in calories, and not all low-calorie treats are healthy, so this something worth pondering. It’s wise to keep an eye on your dog’s calorie intake so he doesn’t gain weight, which is why low-calorie treats can be useful, especially when training your dog and using treats as rewards as calorie intake can soon add up.
  • Artificial additives. Dog treats can contain artificial additives, usually colorings, flavorings, and preservatives. These kinds of artificial ingredients aren’t necessary and tend to be the hallmark of an unhealthy treat. There are plenty of natural ingredients with which to color, flavor, and preserve dog treats, so there’s no reason for a quality treat to contain artificial additives.
  • Treat type. You can find many types of healthy dog treats on the market, such as crunchy biscuits, soft chews, dental treats, and jerky. None is inherently better than the others, but you may find your dog has a preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

What treats do vets recommend? 

Though some vets may have a particular brand of treats they recommend, most don’t. Instead, they just recommend you keep treats to a minimum, as a reward rather than an indulgence. They tend to recommend small, low calorie treats so you can give them to your four-legged friend without any serious risk of weight gain.

What’s a good natural treat for my dog?

You can find many healthy dog treats made with all-natural ingredients, so you have plenty of choices. If you want to keep things simple, look for single-ingredient dog treats that are made from one ingredient only, such as dehydrated sweet potato or freeze-dried chicken breast. Whole carrots also make great natural treats for dogs if you don’t have any commercial treats to hand.

How many treats can my dog eat each day? 

Treats can be part of a healthy diet, though they shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake and this should be accounted for at mealtimes (for instance, if your dog eats 50 calories of treats, he should have 50 calories less of his standard dog food). You don’t have to figure this out precisely, but just work out the average amount of treats your dog eats and adjust accordingly.

What are the healthiest treats for dogs? 

There’s no single healthiest treat, so it’s up to you to use your judgment and think about your dog’s needs. Some treats, for instance, may contain healthy ingredients but have too high a calorie content for a small dog or a dog who needs to lose weight. Always read the ingredient list carefully, as this is the biggest indicator of whether or not a treat is healthy.

Other Healthy Treats We Reviewed

Best Healthy Treats Overall
Wag Jerky Dog Treats
These tasty jerky treats are made from quality ingredients, plus you’ll get 40% off your first subscribe and save order as an added bonus.

We looked at 20 other healthy treats. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best healthy treats list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Healthy Gluten-Free Treats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats

These treats contain a blend of healthy ingredients, with real salmon and chicken meal for a protein-packed snack.

Key Features: 

  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Available in two package sizes
  • Other flavors also available

Cost: $6 to $12

Cloud Star Wag More, Bark Less Grain Free Peanut Butter and Apple Soft and Chewy Treats

Cloud Star Wag More Bark Less Grain Free Soft and Chewy Treats

Tasty treats made with a blend of peanut butter, chickpea flour, and apples, although you can choose from several other flavors, too.

Key Features: 

  • Oven-baked in the USA
  • Pleasantly soft texture
  • No artificial additives

Cost: $6 to $16

Full Moon All Natural Human Grade Dog Treats

Full Moon All Natural Human Grade Dog Treats

Not only do these chicken jerky treats contain minimal ingredients, but the added glucosamine and chondroitin are also beneficial to joint health.

Key Features: 

  • Two size options
  • Made in the USA
  • First ingredient is chicken

Cost: $8 to $14

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Jumpin’ Stix Dog Treats

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Jumpin' Stix Dog Treats

With limited ingredients, these treats are great for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs. You can choose from three flavors and two sizes.

Key Features: 

  • Formulated for joint health
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Can be divided into smaller pieces

Cost: $7 to $8

Spot Farms All Natural Human Grade Dog Treats

Spot Farms All Natural Human Grade Dog Treats

These chicken apple sausage dog treats have the ingredient quality of a human snack and are made from simple, natural ingredients. They contain brown rice but no gluten.

Key Features: 

  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Made in the USA
  • Chicken reared in the USA

Cost: $15

Wellness Natural Wellbites Soft Dog Treats

Wellness Natural Wellbites Soft Dog Treats

The moist and meaty texture of these grain-free treats makes them highly palatable to most dogs, plus they contain healthy whole fruits and veggies.

Key Features: 

  • Wide range of flavor options
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • No meat by-products

Cost: $9 to $20

Organic Healthy Dog Treats

Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Dog Cookies

Castor & Pollux Organix Organic Dog Cookies

Chicken flavor “cookies” that are USDA certified organic and cooked in an organically certified kitchen in the United States.

Key Features: 

  • No artificial additives
  • Free from corn and soy
  • 12 oz bag

Cost: $7

Grandma Lucy’s Organic Baked Dog Treats

Grandma Lucy's Organic Baked Dog Treats

If your grandma made dog treats, these are what she’d turn out. They’re made using healthy USDA certified ingredients, such as pumpkin, though we could do without the added sugar.

Key Features: 

  • Vegan recipe
  • Oven-baked
  • Easy to break into smaller pieces

Cost: $8

Riley’s Organic Dog Jerky Treats

Riley's Organic Dog Jerky Treats

These chewy jerky rolls are available in three flavors, so you’re bound to find one that your dog loves.

Key Features: 

  • USDA certified organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $13 to $20

Riley’s Organic Dog Treats

Riley's Organic Dog Treats

Another USDA organic offer from Riley’s, but these are in the form of crunchy baked bone-shaped biscuits. They’re made for dogs but contain nothing a human wouldn’t be happy to eat.

Key Features: 

  • Three flavors
  • Two treat sizes
  • All-natural ingredients

Cost: $10 to $13

Wet Noses All Natural Dog Treats

Wet Noses All Natural Dog Treats

These USDA certified organic treats come in three flavors: peanut butter and banana, peanut butter and molasses, and pumpkin and quinoa.

Key Features: 

  • Huge 5 lb box
  • No artificial additives
  • Easy to break into smaller parts

Cost: $30

Crunchy Healthy Dog Treats

Blue Buffalo Health Bars

Blue Buffalo Health Bars

Dogs can’t get enough of these natural, crunchy dog biscuits, which are available in six flavors, plus a three flavor variety pack.

Key Features: 

  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Wholesome ingredients
  • Mini size also available

Cost: $5

NUTRO Natural Crunchy Dog Treats

NUTRO Natural Crunchy Dog Treats

These small crunchy treats come in three fruit flavors, as well as chicken and carrot, and peanut butter flavors. You can choose between 10 oz and 16 oz packets.

Key Features: 

  • Non-GMO
  • No artificial additives
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $4 to $7

Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy P-Nuttier Dog Treats

Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy P-Nuttier Dog Treats

We love these peanut butter flavor dog treats made from natural ingredients including healthy fruits and vegetables. Other flavors are also available.

Key Features: 

  • Large size
  • Slowly oven-baked
  • 3.3 lb bag

Cost: $13

Low-Calorie Healthy Dog Treats

Fruitables Skinny Minis Apple and Bacon Flavor Dog Treats

Fruitables Skinny Minis Apple and Bacon Flavor Dog Treats

These small soft treats contain just 3 calories a piece, so you can give your dog plenty without filling him up.

Key Features: 

  • Two package sizes
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Soy and corn free

Cost: $5 to $11

Nulo Freestyle Trainers Dog Treats

Nulo Freestyle Trainers Dog Treats

With only 2 calories each, these are the ideal treats for training. They have a superfood boost of fresh fruit and veg.

Key Features: 

  • Three flavors
  • Grain-free
  • 4 oz bag

Cost: $6

NUTRO Mini Bites Dog Treats

NUTRO Mini Bites Dog Treats

Mini bone-shaped soft treats containing 3 calories each, perfect for training, small dogs, or dogs who need to lose weight.

Key Features: 

  • Non-GMO
  • Three flavors
  • 8 oz package

Cost: $6 to $7

Pet Naturals of Vermont Superfood Treats for Dogs

Pet Naturals of Vermont Superfood Treats for Dogs

With 7 calories in each treat, they’re a little more calorie-dense than some but still on the low end of the spectrum

Key Features: 

  • Three flavor options
  • Each pack contains 100+ treats
  • No corn, wheat, or soy

Cost: $7 to $9

Raw Paws USA Natural Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Raw Paws USA Natural Sweet Potato Dog Treats

These treats are made from nothing but dried sweet potato, making them extremely wholesome. Each treat contains roughly 3 calories.

Key Features: 

  • Completely natural
  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Great for dogs with food allergies

Cost: $13

Zuke’s Naturals Training Treats

Zuke's Naturals Training Treats

These palatable little treats contain less than three calories a piece. You can choose from seven flavors, including a calming hemp option.

Key Features: 

  • Soft and chewy texture
  • Made in the USA
  • Three size options

Cost: $6 to $14

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Lauren Corona