The Best Healthy Dog Treats of 2021

Part of being a great dog mom/dad (and, in Meg’s case, aunt) is spoiling our babies. Who else deserves to be rewarded as much as dogs? They are our most loyal friends and are there for us unconditionally, with zero judgments, just pure love.

However, this doesn’t mean we should be secretly serving them bits of our human food underneath the dinner table as treats. Trust me; I am very guilty of doing this, especially when Scooby throws me those famous dachshund side-eyes. It’s tough to resist giving the little man everything he wants and more.

The only reason we shouldn’t be doing this is that we’re doing more harm than good. We are making them gain weight much faster than typical dog food because of the caloric intake and making their tummies upset.

But it’s all in moderation. A little human food never hurts (except chocolate), but don’t make it a habit. Your dog will begin to hate dog food and start a starvation rebellion. I speak from experience.

The alternative, healthy dog treats, will keep your dog at their average weight and happy that there’s food to be munched on. If you’re training your dog with snacks, remember to cut down on their meals just a little less than usual. Other than that, it’s up to you how often you want to treat your dog. I suggest keeping some treats next to you whenever you’re eating, so if the little beggar comes around, you can treat them and not feel guilty. It’s also a good idea to leave them with some treats when you’re gone to keep them busy and happy.

There are several benefits when we feed our babies treats: rewarding them for good behavior encourages them to repeat this behavior, weight control, mental stimulation, and they become even more obsessed with us. Remember, all in moderation! Always keep track of the caloric intake a day, especially if your dog is a little pudgier than usual these past few months. Like many of us, quarantine has expanded our dog’s snack palettes and stomach sizes. Please don’t bring it up to them. It’s a sensitive subject.

Your dog loves you more than you know. Please don’t feel guilty about giving them healthy snacks versus splitting that 2600 calorie five-course meal with them. They will be happy with whatever food you give them. They are just so glad to be yours! Dog’s are simple. Love, sleep, eat, repeat.

best overall

American Journey Lamb Recipe Grain-Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats

best value

DreamBone Churro-Style Mini Sticks

best splurge

Ava’s Pet Palace Salmon Snacks for Dogs

Best organic

Grandma Lucy’s Organic Dog Treats

best for puppies

Zuke’s Mini Naturals Training Dog Treats

best for small dogs

Nudges Jerky Chews

best for large dogs

Whimzees Brushzees Medium Natural Dog Dental Treat

Best for training

Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks

Best dental treats

Purina Veterinary Diets Dental Chews Canine Treats

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