We researched for you and found the (best of the) best dog treats for puppies. Here are our favorites in 9 different categories.
CC Image “Did You Say Treat?” via Thomas Hawk on Flickr – thx Thomas!
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Jump directly to current prices & more information about the best dog treats for puppies:
Best Crunchy Treat: Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Natural
Best Chewy Treat: Pet Botanics Training Rewards Treats
Best Soft Treat: Wellness Bites Natural Grain Free Puppy Training
Best Stick Treat: Get Naked Puppy Health Dental Chew Sticks
Best Fruit Treat: Fruitables Crunchy Dog Treats
Best Grain Free Treat: Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Dog Treats
Best Jerky Treat: Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
Best Dental Benefit Treat: Greenies Original Dental Treats
Best Teething Ring Treat: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring
Some owners prefer to give crunchy treats, some prefer to dole out soft and chewy treat bits while still others prefer to only give treats during the training of their puppies.
The bottom line is that any of these are fine. As you are the puppy parent, it is fine to use your own discretion when deciding what is best for your puppy. Some owners also have to take certain allergies and conditions into consideration as well, and that can sometimes lead to a true hunt for the best available treats.
So today, we have a treat for you!
We are going to be going over the best treats based on many of these categories so that you will have a better, more rounded idea of what’s out there, what the benefits and drawbacks are and if there is anything you should look out for.
Here are the 9 best dog treats for puppies that will have your new family member like:
Best Crunchy Treat for Puppies: Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural Dog Treats
Old Mother Hubbard Crunchy Classic Natural Dog Treats is one of the best-rated crunchy puppy treats available on the market, while also being very affordable when compared to other major bands.
The company itself, which began in Gloucester, MA, has been in business since 1926 and has been using the same methods, all this time, for baking their wholesome treats. They are proudly made in the United States of America.
This puppy formula is available in a delicious chicken flavor that your puppy is sure to love and it is made with all natural ingredients including:
- Whole wheat flour
These treats are small, both smaller and thinner in size than a regular Milk Bone treat. The overall length is equal to about two dimes laid end to end.
This might seem like a put off at first, but dogs love them so much, they do not even seem to notice the size difference themselves.
An added bonus of this small morsel size is that you can treat them without worrying that you will ruin their appetite, yet enjoyable enough for an anytime snack.
They can easily be broken in half and used as treats for obedience training or as a special something every now and then. We know of many professionals who train service animals and other trainers as well, that use old Mother Hubbard treats with great results.
As with most treats, these are not meant to be fed as a normal kibble.
Old Mother Hubbard treats are also much harder than just about any other crunchy treat as well. This means that it will take a little longer for your puppy to chew them up and, in the process, it helps to clean the teeth. Puppies and dogs that have been fed these treats for any time at all rarely need their teeth cleaned professionally.
They are also great for sensitive stomachs and picky eaters, and dogs of just about any size can enjoy them.
We have found that sometimes, many of the biscuits are broken upon arrival. This can often be the case when treats are shipped long distances, but certainly does not happen every time. This can also be alleviated by purchasing the treats from a store in your local area.
Best Chewy Treat for Puppies: Pet Botanics Training Rewards Treats
Pet Botanics Training Rewards Treats are another high quality treat that is just perfect for puppies. The small, moist, meaty treats make them perfect for ongoing training, as your puppy is sure to enjoy the flavor as well as the texture and are not likely to tire of it quickly.
The Pet Botanics Company is located in California and has been in business for over 65 years in a manufacturing facility that is completely solar-powered. They are proud to say that meat is the very first ingredient in all of their products.
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While these treats are a bit pricier than some others, their recipes, flavors and nutritionally complete vitamin and mineral additions make it well worth it for your dog’s health and well being.
You get an added bonus from buying through Amazon: they are about three dollars cheaper than local dog food stores.
The flavor choices from Pet Botanics Treats include chicken, salmon and duck and bacon flavors, which include the following ingredients:
- Pork liver
- Dried whole eggs
Made in the USA, this great tasting dog treat is also grain-free, which is ideal for dogs that might have allergies or grain sensitivity, and has added omega acids to give your puppy a beautiful coat and healthy skin.
The delicious pork liver is an enticing and effective reward in training situations and is the perfect size for the job. At just 1.6 calories per treat, you can reward them over and over with no worries.
You will also be able to keep these treats nice and fresh in their zipper-sealed pouch for easy closure.
You will quickly find that your dog is willing to do just about anything anything for these treats, once they get a taste. This makes them a very effective training tool for obedience training, potty training and so much more.
As a matter of fact, they taste and smell so good, you may want to keep them out of easy reach if you have toddlers in the house who enjoy treats such as meat snacks.
The big drawback to these treats is that your dog could become hooked on them. Avoid the temptation to give in to them all the time, however, as they are only meant to be fed during training or for special occasions.
Best Soft Treat for Puppies: Wellness Puppy Bites Natural Grain Free
Wellness Puppy Bites Natural Grain Free Puppy Treats are made specifically with puppies in mind. They are perfectly sized, soft and moist and are great to use whether you are training your puppy or just rewarding him for good behavior.
Old Mother Hubbard is actually the parent company of Wellness, which came into being in the late 1990’s, when members of their team began working closely with animal nutrition experts, vets and scientists to formulate pet food recipes specifically geared for the revolutionary health and well being for pets. They have been going strong ever since, making treats that you can confidently give to your puppy.
Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients, Wellness Puppy Bites is in the same price range as many other treats, but you can save more money by purchasing the bigger package.
You also save on the original price of this item when you make it an “add-on” item, through Amazon, to an order containing other items as well.
Insider Tip: Cut them into halves or fourths for smaller breed puppies.
Specially formulated for puppies under one year of age, this product contains only premium ingredients with absolutely no meat by-products, corn, wheat, dairy or artificial colors or flavorings.
The ingredient list includes:
The specialized puppy formula makes sure to include DHA, which is important for healthy brain development, antioxidants for overall well-being and omega-rich superfoods such as blueberries and flax seed for healthy bones and joints.
You may actually find yourself feeding these treats to your dog well past the puppy stage, as they fall in love with the flavor and almost demand them.
The good news:
Uou can go ahead and indulge them because these treats are so healthy, there will be no ill effects of feeding them to a full-grown dog, no matter what the breed.
Many trainers and dog owners have been able to use these particular treats, even for dogs that are not as responsive to food type treats, because their puppies and dogs simply love these. They are also easy to tear apart into smaller pieces when just a bit will do for your purposes.
Be aware that there is a chance for vomiting or runny stools, especially if you are making a quick change in your puppy’s diet. While some dogs take a dietary change easily, some do not, and there are even some dog owners who cannot feed soft or wet food or treats at all.
Just like humans, every dog is different, so it may take a while to find out what works best for yours.
Best Stick Treat for Puppies: Get Naked Puppy Health Dental Chew Sticks
Get Naked Puppy Health Dental Chew Sticks for Puppies aren’t just your average puppy treat. These sticks, specially formulated for puppies, also help relieve sore gums and pain associated with teething and also cleans teeth as the puppy chews on it.
These sticks, which are shaped like a “+” sign, are twenty calories each and fortified with calcium, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as DHA, for healthy brain and cognitive development.
Some of the all-natural ingredients include:
- Organic brown rice flour
- Organic flax seed
In addition to only using natural and organic ingredients, these treats are wheat free, corn free, soy free and gluten free, for the healthiest snack you could possibly give your puppy. You will also be happy to know that they also contain cranberries, which are very beneficial to your puppy’s urinary health.
While these treats cannot readily be given in training situations, they work great for keeping your busy puppy busy and content for more than just a couple of minutes. The relief they will feel during teething by chewing on these will make them want more and you can feel good about giving it to them.
These dental chew sticks also work very well at controlling “puppy breath”, something that some dog owners simply cannot tolerate. With just a bit of peppermint in the recipe, it gives your pup minty fresh breath so he can get as close as he likes without turning your stomach.
Some puppy snacks and treats can cause gastrointestinal upset and changes in bowel movements, but these sticks will not. It is literally like having an edible teething ring that will give your puppy quite a bit of enjoyment while also keeping your slippers and furniture safe from growing puppy teeth.
Best Fruit Treat for Puppies: Fruitables Crunchy Dog Treats
Fruitables Crunchy Dog Treats will work great for your puppy, as they are delicious, healthy and baked in a certified organic facility in the USA. The price is not that bad, especially when you order this product through Amazon as an “add-on”.
Fruitables, a division of Vetscience LLC in Dallas, Texas, has a passion for advanced nutrition with a focus on natural ingredients.
One of the company’s founders, John E. Bauer, is a Professor of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and a member of the Intercollegiate Graduate Faculty of Nutrition at Texas A&M.
These treats are made with such all-natural ingredients that they smell like your favorite muffin, fresh from the bakery! (it might be best if you give this treat only after having a meal of your own, so as not to become too hungry)
It is a sensory experience that neither you nor your pet will get from any other packaged treat, with ingredients such as:
- Brown Sugar
You cannot go wrong with a treat that smells great, tastes fantastic and has a satisfying crunch, and the bite size kibble makes them perfect for training, rewards or just plain spoiling your puppy!
Each treat is packed with antioxidants and fiber, is under 9 calories per treat and it is a very sensible way to reward your puppy while still managing to avoid those hidden calories that can lead to obesity.
Taking into consideration the smell, taste and size of these treats, you can rest assured that you will be able to use them, with a good degree of success, for training your puppy.
They may even beg for them by continuing to do the “thing” you wanted them to do in the first place, including going outside to potty, so be prepared for a lot of work and play.
These treats also work extraordinarily well for puppies and dogs that have allergies or grain sensitivity, as they are grain free. There are also dogs that have allergies so severe that they cannot even have chicken, turkey or beef, a staple of just about every treat and food product on the market for your dog, and these treats are safe for those dogs as well.
When thinking of a “fruit snack”, we are somewhat preconditioned to immediately think that they are chewy, however these are not. Please be aware of that, especially if you have a finicky pet that does not care for crunchy treats.
Best Grain Free Treat for Puppies: Zuke’s Puppy Grain Free Naturals
Zuke’s Puppy Grain Free Naturals Dog Treats are the perfect treat for puppies that have a sensitivity to grain, they are only 3.5 calories per treat and they are protein packed to meet the needs of growing puppies.
These treats are on the pricier end of the spectrum, but your dog will love them, and so will you, considering all the benefits your puppy gains.
Zuke’s prides itself in a recipe that includes on the most natural ingredient, including:
- Sweet Potatoes
It also has a selection of added supplements that make these treats a super-healthy addition to your puppy’s diet, including Zinc, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and rosemary extract. So, not only are Zuke’s Puppy Naturals great for training purposes, but they are so healthy, you will never feel guilty about rewarding him often.
Patrick Meiering founded Zuke’s in 1995 after a hike in the Colorado Mountains. After giving his dog an energy bar that he had actually brought for himself, he realized, at that very moment, that dogs needed healthy all natural treats just like humans did, and that’s when the company was born.
All Zuke’s products are proudly made in the USA and New Zealand.
These treats work particularly well for small breed puppies and also those who tend to be picky eaters. While not every puppy will fall in love with Zuke’s, many of them do and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you are training or rewarding your dog with a treat that not only tastes great to them, but is just as healthy and good for them.
The small size of these treats make them great for repetitive training, as they are about the size, or a bit smaller than, a dime. A small handful will keep your dog’s attention for a decent training session length and you won’t have to keep going back for more treats.
You can also use these tasty treats as a “topping” for your puppies regular food if they happen to be a bit picky about what they eat, as it seems to make them eat quicker and finish their kibble more often than if the topping is not used.
As with any treat, however, make sure not to sprinkle on too much if you plan to use it for this purpose.
Best Jerky Treat for Puppies: Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats
Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats are slow smoked, delicious, tender and healthy, with absolutely no artificial flavorings or fillers such as corn, soy or gluten.
Because of the outstanding flavor of the product, it makes the perfect training treat. Realizing that he will get a treat as tasty as this one when the proper behavior is accomplished will make your puppy very excited to please you.
They have the actually smell and feel of a real piece of delicious beef jerky.
The bag says that these treats measure seven inches in length, but in reality, they are actually closer to eight inches long. At ¼ inch thick and ¾ inch wide, it’s easy to break these into squares for smaller treats, and to make them last longer for smaller breed dogs.
These certainly aren’t the thin, flat, flimsy strips found in many stores.
One of the more affordable jerky treat products, the ingredients are so natural that they can be summed up simply by saying they contain meat, whether beef, chicken or turkey, salt, sugar and spices.
You will be able to tell, immediately upon opening the bag, that you are holding a premium jerky snack and your puppy will, with his legendary sense of smell, be even more convinced than you are.
Rocco & Roxie Jerky Snacks are made right here in the USA, but that’s not all:
It is also sourced from the USA as well.
That means that all the ingredients, however few they might be, all come from the United States as their specific point of origin.
One of the things that makes it so easy to use Rocco & Roxie Jerky Snacks as a training aid is that you can simply reach into the bag and tear off a piece of the soft and pliable treat.
The meaty texture, that is sure to please you and your pup alike, is the result of a slow smoking time of about fifteen hours. They are worked in small batches so as not to mess up a single thing about the secret family recipe.
Best Dental Benefit Treat for Puppies: Greenies
Greenies are probably the most well known treats in the dog community and according to their website, they are “The #1 Vet-Recommended Dental Chew”.
They were specifically created for cleaning the teeth and gums of the puppies and dogs that use them which not only makes their oral health better, but it also gives them much fresher breath.
As to the affordability of Greenies:
You will easily pay twice as much (sometimes more!) from other stores for the exact same packaged item. When you add Amazon Prime (free 2 day shipping), you have a great deal on this product and no need to go shopping the aisles of your local pet food store.
Greenies, made by parent company Nutro, are chewy and pliable which allow the treats to contour to your puppy’s teeth for a deeper clean, all the way to the gums.
The flavor that is then unlocked becomes irresistible to your puppy, making the Greenie treat one of his favorites!
The soluble ingredients make them easy to digest and include added vitamins and minerals for complete and balanced nutrition.
They also come in four sizes, so that you can find one that fits your own puppy perfectly:
- Teenie, for dogs 5-15 lbs.
- Petite, for dogs 15-25 lbs.
- Regular, for dogs 25-50 lbs.
- Large, for dogs 50-100 lbs.
They can easily become a part of their daily oral hygiene routine, and they won’t even realize it. In addition to fresh breath, Greenies controls plaque and tartar as well. You can store them with confidence as they arrive in a bag that features a zipper closure, much like packaged shredded cheese from your local grocery store.
We have heard of people who are heartily opposed to Greenies, primarily due to nation wide recalls that occurred in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012 that hinged on tainted ingredients from China.
However, Nutro bought out the Greenies company from Nu-Tek and have since changed key ingredients included in the manufacture of the treats.
You will want to, as much as it is within your power, check to make sure the item is not out of date. Expired product cannot only have ill effects on your puppy, but can have mold on them as well.
Best Teething Ring Treat for Puppies: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring
The N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring comes in a delicious chicken flavor, helps to relieve the pain and soreness associated with teething and is completely edible and digestible. They also contain extra calcium for growing healthy teeth and bones as well as fortified with DHA and omega-3 fatty acids, for overall health.
The affordability of these teething ring treats makes them the perfect choice, even though similarly priced comparable products are available.
With other similar products, there is the chance that they can be chewed into pieces that are swallowed and can then cause an impaction within your puppy’s gastrointestinal tract. Affordability, when paired with safety, is always the better choice.
When the N-Bone company launched their first chews in 1998, they were among the first to offer treats that were edible and highly digestible. Today, they strive to continue the excellency of creating a puppy chew that is all natural and completely healthy for your special pups.
Some of those natural ingredients include:
- Rice flour
- Oat fiber
- Brewers dried yeast
These teething rings are not considered treats that would be appropriate for training or rewards, but they will certainly be a treat to your puppy in the midst of teething discomfort.
You can help ease the discomfort even more by placing the teething ring in the freezer for a while before giving it to your puppy.
N-Bone teething rings have a stronger consistency than Greenies, although they still remain fairly soft and pliable.
Make sure to monitor your puppy’s use of this teething ring however, and make sure to throw away any pieces that may have been chewed off that could be swallowed whole.
Conclusion (& a Tip!)
I hope we took some of the legwork out of your search and this helps you find the best treat for YOUR puppy.
Please get in touch with any questions, experiences (good or bad), or your favorites that we missed.
I want to take a moment to add a note about something that seems to disturb quite a few people in regards to dog treats:
Finding tiny bugs in the bag or treat container.
This can be remedied quite simply, if the product is not expired or if the bugs are not present when the treat is opened, by placing them in the freezer or refrigerator for 24 hours.
More often than not, these are what are known as “pantry bugs” or “weevils”.