Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies

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You want to start your puppy off right by feeding healthy and natural food and that includes treats. With so many treats to choose from, it can be overwhelming for any dog parent to find treats that don’t contain any bad ingredients.

Well, I am here to help you. I have compiled a list of healthy dog treats for puppies that are safe, all-natural, don’t contain any chemicals or artificial ingredients, and of course, taste great!

Puppies are a handful and certainly know how to keep you entertained! Training your puppy is a must or you’ll end up with a dog that doesn’t listen and misbehaves! Using treats to teach your puppy new skills and manners is going to be your best tool.

Puppies need a lot of training, and you’re going to need a lot of treats! Healthy treats are your best option to make sure your puppy grows into a healthy developed adult.

Are Dog Treats Good For Puppies?

Close up of a Chocolate Labrador Retriever Puppy.

Feeding your 8-year-old dog is different than feeding your 8-week old puppy. Puppies have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs. [To find out more about what to feed a puppy, check out this article on WebMD.]

Puppies are still growing and developing and require a lot of nutrients to help them do so. Puppies need more protein, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals than adult dogs do.

Therefore it is important to feed your puppy food and treats specifically designed for their growing bodies. Treats and food meant for adult dogs may not have the necessary balance of fats, nutrients and calories that puppies need.

Also, puppies have sensitive stomachs and can’t always handle certain ingredients found in many dog treats. Too many ingredients and switching foods can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. It is always best to stick to healthy treats with fewer ingredients.

Certain dog treats can pose a safety risk for puppies. Some treats are just too big for puppies smaller mouths, and some are too hard for their puppy teeth and could cause them to break. It is important to choose treats appropriate for your puppy’s size.

How Many Treats Are Too Many For A Puppy?

Corgi Puppy looking up.

Puppies are cute and adorable, and you probably want to give in to all that cuteness by handing out treats like crazy!

Don’t get into that habit! Treats regardless of how healthy and small they are, add up in calories and fat!

Sure, chubby little fluff balls are cute, but soon your fluff ball will become an obese adult dog. Overtreating your puppy can lead to obesity, heart disease and diabetes later on.

It is important to use treats in moderation and only for training and reward purposes. Puppies need a lot of training and therefore choosing healthy treats is even more important.

Treats should only make up 5-10% of your puppy’s daily calories, the other 90-95% should come from food that provides complete and balanced nutrition.

Feeding your puppy too many treats is not only unhealthy but eventually, the treats will lose their value as a training reward.

What To Look For In Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies

  • Protein: Protein should be listed as the first ingredient. Great sources of protein include chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, lamb, pork or duck.
  • Fatty Acids: Omega 3 fatty acids are especially important for puppies because it helps with their vision and brain development. Fish, fish meal and fish oil are great sources of Omega 3.
  • Vitamins & Minerals: Puppies need a lot of nutrients, and providing treats that have added vitamins and minerals are perfect for their growing bodies. Treats with added calcium and phosphorous will help promote bone growth.
  • DHA: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an Omega 3 fatty acid that is essential in the healthy development of your puppy’s brain, vision and central nervous system. Puppies get DHA from their mother’s milk, but after being weaned your puppy needs to be supplemented with DHA. Common sources of DHA include fish, eggs and organ meats.
  • Small & Bite-Sized: Small bite-sized treats will allow you to keep your puppy’s training session moving along. Smaller treats also mean fewer calories which is helpful for your pup’s waistline especially when you will be needing a lot of treats for training.
  • High-Value Treats: Sometimes you really need to get your puppy’s attention and to remain focused on you, like during training, as well as recall commands. High-value treats are treats that your puppy loves more than others. They’re usually smellier and tastier. Treats like liver, chicken or cheese are good examples of high-value treats.
Australian Shepherd puppy looking up and focused.

What To Avoid When Choosing Treats For Your Puppy

  • Added Sugar: Your puppy’s sweet enough! You don’t want to give treats that contain added sugar. Sugar can lead to diabetes and obesity later on. Corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, dextrose and fructose are all sugar.
  • Artificial Ingredients: You shouldn’t have a hard time pronouncing or recognizing the ingredients in your puppy’s treats. If you can’t pronounce it, chances are it’s not good for your puppy. Artificial colours, flavours and chemical preservatives are often found in dog treats and should be avoided as they are not healthy.
  • Corn, Wheat & Soy: All 3 of these ingredients are used as fillers and offer no nutritional value to your dog. Dogs are not designed to be able to digest these ingredients, and they could cause allergic reactions.
  • Meat By-Products: Avoid these cheap ingredients because they add no nutritional value whatsoever, and your dog will have trouble digesting them. They are leftover remains of animals and are unfit for human consumption, so why would you even think of feeding it to your dog?
  • Treats Made In China: Avoid buying treats that are made in China or any other country that has poor quality control.

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies [My Top 7 Picks]

1. Blue Bits Soft-Moist Training Treats by Blue Buffalo

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies - Blue Bits Tasty Chicken Training Treats.
  • Made and sourced in the USA.
  • Soft and moist training treats.
  • Protein-rich Chicken is the 1st ingredient.
  • DHA to support a puppy’s cognitive development.
  • Omega 3 and Omega 6.
  • No By-products.
  • No artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
  • No corn, wheat or soy.
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

Likes:

Blue Bits are soft and moist making them ideal for your puppy’s teeth. They are packed with protein, chicken is the first ingredient, and they have DHA Omega 3 fatty acid in the form of fish oil to support your puppy’s cognitive development.

Flaxseed is also an ingredient that is a great source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 to promote healthy skin and coat.

These tiny heart-shaped bites are not only healthy and nutritious but they are the perfect size for training and rewarding your puppy.

Your puppy will love the taste of these treats or you get your money back.

They are available in 4, 9 and 16-ounce resealable bags.

Dislikes:

These treats contain cane sugar and salt. They are best to use in moderation.

2. PureBites Freeze Dried Beef Liver

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies - PureBites Freeze Dried Beef Liver treats.
  • Made and sourced in the USA.
  • Single-ingredient training treat.
  • 100% pure beef liver, freeze-dried.
  • High in protein.
  • Low in calories, 5 calories per treat on average.
  • All-natural.
  • No added preservatives.

Likes:

PureBites are exactly what their name implies, they are pure and natural made from one ingredient, 100% pure beef liver that is sourced and made in the USA.

These treats are high in protein which puppies need, and they are low in calories. They are crunchy, tasty and small in size. They are easy to break into smaller pieces as well.

Puppies and dogs love the smell and taste of beef liver, and these treats can certainly be classed as high-value treats.

Single-ingredient treats are great for puppies with sensitive stomachs, and these beef liver treats do not contain any preservatives. They are freeze-dried to preserve their nutrients.

Different sizes are available, and these tasty treats come in a resealable bag.

Dislikes:

These treats easily crumble, and you can be left with crumbs in the bag.

Beef liver is high in Vitamin A, and too much of these treats can cause Vitamin A toxicity. It is best to use these treats in moderation and also rotate your puppy’s treats to have a variety.

3. PureBites Freeze Dried Chicken Breast

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies - PureBites Freeze-Dried chicken breast.
  • Made and sourced in the USA.
  • Single-ingredient training treat.
  • 100% natural, pure chicken breast freeze-dried.
  • High in protein.
  • Low in calories, only 3 calories per treat on average.
  • No preservatives.

Likes:

Only one ingredient is in these treats, 100% pure chicken breast that is sourced and made in the USA.

These treats are a great source of protein and they are low in calories. Their size makes them great for training and reward purposes. They are crunchy and tasty and easily break apart if you need to make them smaller.

Single-ingredient treats are gentle on your puppy’s stomach and they are easy to digest. PureBites do not contain any preservatives, they are freeze-dried to lock in their nutrients and aroma.

Different sizes are available and these tasty treats come in a resealable bag.

Dislikes:

These treats crumble easily. Quite a few reviews mention that the top half of the bag is fine, but the bottom is all crumbs.

4. Zuke’s Mini Naturals Training Treats

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies - Zuke's Mini Naturals.
  • Made and sourced in the USA.
  • Soft and tender mini bites.
  • Low calorie, less than 3 calories per treat.
  • Healthy and natural.
  • Made with high-quality proteins & grains.
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals.
  • No corn, wheat or soy.
  • No artificial flavours or colours.
  • No By-products.
  • Available in Chicken, Duck, Rabbit, Pork, Salmon, or Peanut Butter.
  • Real meat or peanut butter is the first ingredient.

Likes:

These bite-sized treats are soft and tender and make the perfect training treat for your pup. At less than 3 calories per treat, you can feel good about handing these treats to your pup during your training sessions.

There are many different tasty flavours to choose from, each recipe is made with real meat as the first ingredient, or peanut butter. Peanut Butter and Chicken seem to be the most popular flavours.

There are no bad ingredients in these treats, they are healthy and natural. They are enriched with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your growing puppy.

Available in either 6 ounces or 16-ounce resealable bag.

Dislikes:

Salt is one of the ingredients listed in these treats, it is listed further down so it is a tiny amount.

Many of the reviews mention that the meat flavoured treats leave a smell on your hands. This doesn’t happen with the Peanut Butter flavoured treats.

They tend to dry out if they are not properly sealed in their bag or container.

5. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies - Wellness Soft Puppy Bites.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Soft and chewy.
  • All-natural.
  • Real Lamb and Salmon are the first ingredients.
  • Natural source of DHA.
  • Packed with protein, fruits and vegetables.
  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Contains Omega-rich flaxseed.
  • No corn, wheat or soy.
  • No artificial flavours or colours.
  • No meat By-products.
  • Great taste guaranteed.

Likes:

Wellness soft puppy bites are all-natural and do not contain any bad ingredients. They are packed with protein, fruits and vegetables. Lamb and Salmon are the first ingredients.

Salmon is a natural source of DHA which is essential to your puppy’s healthy development.

These treats contain blueberries and sweet potatoes which are rich in vitamins and minerals, they are superfoods and rich in antioxidants.

Omega-rich flaxseed helps your puppy to have healthy skin and coat.

These Wellness bites are soft and chewy making them ideal for your puppy’s teeth. They are great for training and can be broken into smaller pieces if you wish or you can use them for rewarding your puppy.

If for some reason your puppy doesn’t love the taste of these treats you get your money back. That is the great taste guarantee.

Dislikes:

Salt is listed further down on the ingredient list.

Some reviews mention that these treats are a bit big especially if using them for training.

6. Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies - Wholesome Pride Sweet Potato Chews.
  • Made and sourced in the USA.
  • Single-ingredient treat, farm-fresh sweet potato.
  • 100% all-natural.
  • Rich in nutrients and fibre.
  • Chewy texture.
  • No additives or preservatives.
  • Grain and gluten-free.
  • Safe for sensitive stomachs.

Likes:

Sometimes your puppy needs to have a chewy treat, and these sweet potato chews have a chewy texture that your pup will love. They are soft enough to be gentle on your puppy’s teeth.

These treats are 100% all-natural and made with only 1 ingredient, farm-fresh sweet potatoes that are sourced directly from U.S. farmers. They are dehydrated to preserve their nutrients.

Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. They promote healthy skin, coat, eyes, and muscles. They are a tasty and healthy treat for your growing puppy.

Single-ingredient treats are great for puppies with sensitive stomachs, and puppies with allergies. These treats are easy to digest.

These treats are low in calories and fat, so you can feel good about giving them to your puppy.

Dislikes:

These sweet potato chews vary in size and texture. Some pieces will be larger and some smaller, and some could be chewier while others are a bit crunchier.

They are a bit pricey.

7. Old Mother Hubbard Classic Crunchy Natural Biscuits

Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies - Old Mother Hubbard Classic P-Nuttier Biscuits.
  • Made in North America.
  • Trusted for over 90 years.
  • All-natural.
  • No artificial preservatives.
  • Mini bone-shaped biscuits.
  • Made with peanut butter, apples, carrots, and oats.
  • Great for training or treating.
  • Satisfaction guaranteed.

Likes:

These treats are tasty and contain wholesome ingredients such as peanut butter, oats, apples and carrots.

They are crunchy mini bone-shaped treats that are great to give your puppy as an everyday treat. Puppies love the taste of peanut butter, and these treats satisfy.

They are a great price for the number of treats that you get in the bag.

They are mini biscuits that are a great size for puppies. These treats are oven-baked to preserve their flavours and to give them the crunchiness that dogs love.

Dislikes:

One treat has 10 calories, not the lowest calorie treat, so it is best to give in moderation.

These treats are not wheat-free, they contain whole wheat flour and wheat bran.

Chicken fat is listed as one of the ingredients. If your puppy has sensitivities to chicken, it is best to avoid these treats.

Final Thoughts

There are many healthy dog treats for puppies available to be found, although sometimes finding them can be difficult. You really have to read the ingredients carefully.

The treats that I have listed above are all great healthy choices to use for training or rewarding your puppy. Your puppy will let you know which treats are preferred!

For more healthy treats, be sure to check out my article on the best treats for Golden Retrievers.

Besides treats, your puppy will also need some appropriate chew toys during that teething phase! Check out my article on the best teething toys for puppies.

What About You?

Does your puppy have a favourite healthy treat? What treats do you use to train your puppy?

Share your thoughts and comments below. I would love to hear from you.

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I am the proud owner of a Golden Retriever named Ellie. She keeps me busy, and when she is resting, you can find me working on my blog. She is always close by though. I live in Peterborough, ON Canada with my husband, and we both enjoy the never a dull moment life with our Ellie.

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2 thoughts on “Healthy Dog Treats For Puppies”

  1. Greetings Jenny!  You really organize your site well!  The information and value are very thorough.  Healthy dog treats for puppies is an important topic around our home also.  We rescued a pit/whippet puppy who was so adorable..and we have put in a lot of work to train her.  We introduced her to our two cats..and they would not leave our daughters room for what seemed like ..almost two months… she was so and still is at times…ruff!  

    Cats are so delicate…and she just is not.  We took her to obedient school and taught her through the use of a clicker and treats…Wow…I have to tell you… the combination of using treats, clicker, and the right commands…she really is so much better… They all eat together now…get along mostly… but another cool thing is that we used treats to bring them together.  Every day, and still to this day.. they are all fed twice a day..and after they have all eaten… they get pretty close together and enjoy treats.  

    We use healthy treats… and I did not see them here..but greenies I think they are called?  What are your thoughts about them?  Well..that is our experience with treats…and they work..you have a lot to choose from..and we are going to bookmark your site and order some.  Thank you for caring and sharing. 

    Reply
    • Hi Patrick,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and kind words.

      I am happy to hear that you have had great success with using treats as one of your tools for training.  Treats really are a powerful tool when used properly (not overtreating), and using healthy treats.

      You mentioned that you give your pets Greenies, well here are my thoughts on these treats:

      I am not a fan of Greenies because they contain a lot of ingredients.  They are not wheat or gluten-free, which causes a lot of problems for dogs with allergies.

      They do claim that they contain natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals, however, I would much rather have my dog chew on a single ingredient treat that helps clean teeth and improve oral health.  Great examples of dental chews with only one ingredient are fish skin rolls, dehydrated duck feet, or raw bones (not chicken).

      One of the ingredients listed in Greenies is glycerine.  Glycerine offers no nutritional value to your dog whatsoever, it is used to make the treat chewy.  Again, I simply prefer to feed dental chews with only one ingredient.

      The opinion on Greenies is my own, and for my dog’s dental health I offer single-ingredient dental chews, and I would much rather use all-natural methods for brushing my dog’s teeth such as 100% pure coconut oil.

      I hope my thoughts on Greenies have not deferred you from using them.  They are very popular, and if you are happy with them and your pets enjoy them then that is great.  

      I want to thank you again for taking the time to comment, and if you have any questions please ask.

      Take care,

      Jenny.

      Reply

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