The Best Dog Treats to Buy (or Make!) for Maximum Tail Wags

When our pup Elsie was a tiny puppy, she didn’t seem all that interested in food or treats. We were worried she wasn’t tummy motivated… but it turns out she just had to grow up a little bit. Now we can’t say the word “treat” without her perking up and demanding one. There are many store-bought options, but there are also some pretty easy homemade treat recipes we want to share with you. Whatever type of treat you settle on, they’re a great tool for training or rewarding great behavior!

Happy dog with a treat

The Furry Friends Guide to Dog Treats

Jerky-Style Treats

Dried meat can be an excellent and protein-rich type of treat for your furry friend. Make sure you get dog jerky for your pup though; human jerkies can have spices or ingredients that may be harmful.

Jerky Treats Dog Snacks
These beef jerky sticks also contain 15 vitamins and minerals (including omega 3 and 6 fatty acids) and are easy to break into small chunks. The container is a very generous size, and we have even spotted these treats occasionally at Costco.

Rocco & Roxie Supply Co Jerky Sticks
These jerky sticks can be broken into smaller pieces to reward for training. They are made without wheat, soy, corn, or gluten and come in beef, chicken, and turkey flavor.

Woodruff Pet Supply Dog Jerky Sticks
These jerky sticks come in beef and chicken and have only 8 or 9 ingredients. They also come with a satisfaction guarantee.

Homemade Option: Chicken Jerky
This jerky has a peanut butter soy sauce glaze that is delicious for dogs and humans alike.

Dog Biscuit-Style Treats

Another great (and often crunchy) option is a biscuit-style treat. Vets recommend that dogs should limit their intake of grains, so though we often think grains when we think of biscuits, there are several grain-free options.

Charlee Bear Grain Free Bear Crunch Treats
These grain-free treats are very light and airy and pack a great crunch. They are only three calories per treat, and come in many flavors including bacon & blueberry, turkey/sweet potato/cranberry, chicken/pumpkin/apple, liver, cheese & egg, and chicken soup & garden veggie. The biggest benefit of this type of treat is that they are dry enough to put in your pocket and do not make your hands smell like the flavor of the treat.

Cloud Star Tricky Trainers Crunchy Treats
These low-calorie treats are meant for training so that you can give your dogs multiple treats in one session – only 2.5 calories per treat. Tricky Trainers contain no wheat, corn, or soy and come in cheddar flavor as well as salmon and liver.

Zuke’s Crunchy Naturals
These crunchy treats are made with oatmeal, barley, and rice bran and come in pumpkin and sweet potato flavor, as well as berries and peanut butter & banana. They are corn-, wheat-, and soy-free.

Homemade Option: Grain-Free Peanut Butter Dog Treats
These treats have 6 ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to make.

Soft-Style Treats

For pickier pups, your dog may enjoy softer treats rather than jerky or crunchy biscuits.

Buddy Biscuits Soft & Chewy Dog Treats
These cute gingerbread-shaped chewy biscuits are free of corn, soy, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. They come in peanut butter, roasted chicken, grilled beef, and bacon & cheese flavors.

Cloud Star Chewy Tricky Trainers
As with the crunchy version, these training treats are low calorie (3 calories per treat) and come in cheddar, salmon, and liver flavor. They are small, do not dry out/crumble, and do not contain any wheat, corn, dairy, or soy.

Dingo Soft and Chewy Beef and Chicken Training Treats
Made with real beef and gluten-free, these treats are a good size for training and contain 3.19 calories per gram.

Homemade Option: High-Value Dog Treats
These treats contain just three ingredients: tuna, egg, and flour. They will have more of a scent since they contain tuna, and they only keep in the fridge for one week (you can freeze them for up to 3 months). If you are in a season of heavy training, these are a great low-cost treat option.

Emily writes our Furry Friends Guide to give other local dog-lovers the know-how they need to care for the furriest members of their families. Check it out to find other great resources, sponsored by Robert Hutchison, your local Realtor for the western suburbs!

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