What is the Best Dog Treat?

What is the best dog treat for your pup? Wow! That can be a difficult question. There are many times when we reward our pup with a yummy dog treat. But there are so many types available. Naturally, your dog’s needs are first and foremost when considering a dog cookie.

For example, I like to make my own dog treats for my dog, Henry, whenever possible. This gives me control over the ingredients. As such, I know what exactly my dog is eating and that it’s safe for him and his needs. Additionally, the bonus is with homemade dog treats, I generally save money.

Today, let’s dig in and discover the best dog treat for your pup no matter the occasion.

*Updated: April 9, 2024

best dog treats
disclaimer note
Budget Tip:

Yes, some store-bought dog treats can be pricey. However, you can bypass this by giving your dog more natural treats or homemade treats. These are my favorite kind of treats. You know exactly what's in them and you have more control over what you do or don't put into each batch. Moreover, a homemade dog treat can actually save you money. That's a super win-win (and yummy one too) for you and your dog!

Do you know that homemade dog treats can actually save you money? In this article, I walk you through the details.

When is the best time to give your pup a dog treat?

1. Training

best dog treats

There are a few different types of treats to consider when training.

  • High-Value Treat

If you’re trying a new trick or asking your dog to do something new, especially in a high distraction area (think other dogs, people, or anything that would pull your dog’s attention), then you would want to use a “high value” treat. Simply put, a high-value treat is a small, pea-sized, very smelly treat, which is not something your dog normally gets and will entice him to try this new trick.

This is a good homemade high-value treat you may want to try for your dog.

I also like to use dehydrated chicken. My dog will perform very well for this high-value treat. Plus, it’s just chicken.

  • Low-Value Treat

Another type of training treat is a low-value treat. These are treats you give your dog when he’s performing a trick that he knows fairly well, there are not too many distractions, and it’s just maintenance-type practice training. Again, this treat should be a treat your dog does not get any other time. It does not need to be as smelly as the high-value treat. Some people like soft low-value training treats. While others prefer more solid low-value treats. Either way, it should be very small as treats can be given many times during a training session.

Here is a low-value training treat is one you may want to try. 

2. Special needs dog treats  

dog treat recipe
  • Bad Breath Dog Treats

If you’re looking for a cookie for your dog that will also help with his doggie breath, then this is a good homemade treat to try. You can adjust the mint as you see fit.

  • Senior Dog Treats

Your senior dog may be a bit slower to move with arthritis, but these homemade treats with turmeric will help.

In this article, I discuss the scientific benefits of turmeric for dogs. Find out if it’s something your dog needs. 

  • Pill Pocket Dog Treats

Do you need to give your dog a pill, but want to use a homemade pill pocket? Then these easy homemade, dog-tested pill pockets are for you.

Do you struggle with giving your dog pills? In this article, I reveal how to give even the most stubborn dog pills.

3. Special occasion dog treats 

If it’s your dog’s birthday, then you may want to celebrate with a slice of cake. This is a yummy doggie cake, that will have your dog wagging his tail with approval.

In this article, learn how to celebrate your dog’s birthday on a budget.

4. Summer dog treats  

If you want to give your dog a cool treat in summer, this doggie ice cream is a good one to try. 

Additionally, my dog really likes frozen peas, carrots, blueberries, and green beans.

In this article, I talk about other fun cooling activities you can do with your dog in the summer. 

5. Long-lasting dog treats 

If you want your dog to be occupied for a few minutes, then these sweet potato jerky treats are perfect.

Recipe: Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2” – 2/3” strips, bake at 225F for 3-4 hours or until dried, let cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

6. The best dog treat for everyday  

treats for dogs

If your dog is overweight, diabetic, or has any health issues, or is healthier than an ox, these are truly the best treats. Why? Because they are fresh and have only one ingredient. They are delicious for both you and your dog. My dog endorses them all. Don’t use any canned version of these foods.

  • Apples – remove seeds & core
  • Banana – low cal and perfect for overweight dogs
  • Blueberries – these are great fresh or frozen
  • Carrots – these are great fresh or frozen
  • Cucumbers – low cal and perfect for diabetic dogs
  • English Peas
  • Pears – cored
  • Peas
  • Pineapples
  • Snow Peas
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon – remove rind and seeds

Another good time to give a treat is when you’re bonding with your dog. In this article, I talk about how to successfully bond with your dog. 

Tips about the best dog treat for your pup 

1. The key to treat giving is to give them ONLY as a treat.

2. Give only a few each day. Less than 5-10% of his total food.

3. If you’re training, adjust your dog’s food for the number of treats given.

4. Try to always give as pure a treat as possible.

5. Store your homemade dog treats in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze them. Frozen treats are great!

It’s also a great idea to give your dog a treat when you’re doing something new, like trimming your dog’s nails at home. In this article learn how to easily care for your dog’s nails at home. 

Henry loves a good dog treat!

I always tell my dog, if I had someone to watch what I ate and prepare my meals, I’d be incredibly healthy. We are our dogs’ caretakers. That means we need to take care of them the best we possibly can, including giving treats. While they may want the pizza or bag of chips, you know better. You are his caretaker. Give him some love and a carrot. He’ll thank you for a healthier life.

You may also want to give treats to your dog when your brushing his fur. Especially, if you’re working on a mat.
Learn all about dog brushing in this article. 

Related articles:

Summary of the best dog treats  

There are many times we may give treats to our dogs. We can give high-value or low-value treats when we are training our dogs. We may also want to give treats to help improve bad breath, help with mobility, hide a pill, celebrate a birthday, or cool off during the heat of the summer. There are even times that treats are great for occupying a dog for a few minutes.

I like homemade dog treats. They allow me to control the ingredients for each need.

My favorite dog treats, which my dog fully endorses, are fresh dog-safe fruits and vegetables. He likes them either fresh or frozen.

best dog treats

What kind of dog treat does your dog like best? Is it listed here?

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

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