April 08, 2022 4 min read

For some dogs, the word “treat” gets them excited enough to zoom a track around the house. However, they can’t distinguish between the words “treats” and “healthy treats.” Luckily for them, they don’t need to know that difference since we’re here to guide them- we’ll always be there to stop them from sneaking a bite of chocolate, grapes, or other not-so-safe snacks.

Like the dangerous snacks we prevent our pups from eating, there are some treats better left uneaten. We’re here to evaluate what exactly makes for a treat your dog should be eating and what makes for a healthy treat brand overall.

What to Look for in a Healthy Treat Brand

When you go to your local pet store, chances are there are hundreds of treat bags, all of varying flavors, brands, and compositions. What may shock you is that only a select few of these treats are actually beneficial for your dog- the rest doing more harm than good.

To pick out these ‘good’ treats, you’ll have to analyze the treats under several different categories: production, ingredients, and overall nutritional value.

dog eating chicken breast strip treats

A Healthy Treat Brand’s Production

The production of dog treats is where it all begins. If the treats are produced with little care, the quality of the treats will reflect that.

Many treats are produced in the same way kibble is made: by grounding the meat and grains into powder, molding them into shapes, rapidly baking it, and adding synthetic flavors and scents after it hardens. This kind of production is usually used to make dog biscuits and cookies, which are themost common treats fed in the US.

Although they are familiar and convenient, dog biscuits are not as delicious as they may seem. During the production process, the nutritional value of the raw ingredients is significantly reduced during the high-temperature baking process.

A healthier way to produce dog treats is by slowly dehydrating raw meat, allowing the nutrients to stay in the treat while it hardens. This can be done by air-drying, dehydrating, or even freeze-drying the meat. 

When looking for healthy treats production-wise, look for keywords like “air-dried” and “dehydrated.” These snacks not only consist of real, tasty meat for your pup, but they will also deliver more nutrients and fewer fillers.

healthy dehydrated dog treats

A Healthy Treat Brand’s Ingredients

The ingredients used when producing dog treats are a big factor in the treats’ overall nutritional value. The longer the ingredient list on your dog’s treats, the worse- this means that there are more fillers, preservatives, or chemicals involved. Optimally, you want to find a single-ingredient treat brand, like Crafted Dog Treats.

There are some ingredients that should make you rule out the dog treats altogether. Watch out for any of these ingredients:

  • Meat byproducts: These products are defined as a product other than flesh derived from an animal to be used in consumption. Meat byproducts are dangerous because they can include anything from chicken hair to pentobarbital- and you’ll have no idea.
  • Feed-grade ingredients:Feed-grade ingredients fail to meet the requirements for human consumption, so they’re used in our pet’s treats instead. This is very similar to meat byproducts in the sense that anything can be included.
  • Corn: Fillers are a common filler used in dog treats and kibbles, but it’s extremely difficult for them to digest. 
  • Artificial flavorings: Treats with artificial flavorings added usually don’t contain ingredients that would be appetizing for dogs since flavoring is needed to entice the dog to eat it. It’s better to go with treats that maintain the flavor of the real ingredients used.
  • Flour: Flour is another very common filler, containing massive amounts of carbohydrates. The large number of carbs in many flour-based treats can quickly lead to obesity and blood sugar issues since dogs cannot regulate their insulin at the same level as us.

For a more in-depth breakdown:What Ingredients To Avoid In Dog Food

These ingredients are easy indicators that the treats are unhealthy for your pup. A healthy treat brand will not have any of these qualities, which narrows down quite a bit of food in your pet store.

Instead of having a long list of processed food, healthy dog treats will usually have 1-5 ingredients (the fewer, the better) composed of real meat and real food. Examples include straightforward and specific ingredients like chicken breast, fruit and vegetables, and goat’s milk. Remember, single ingredient is the best!

long ingredient list dog treats


A Healthy Treat Brand’s Overall Nutritional Value

The overall nutritional value of your dog’s treats will go hand-in-hand with their production and ingredient list. If the treats are produced well and have high-quality ingredients, there’s not much for you to worry about. 

Depending on the type of your pup’s treats, the demands for a good nutritional value will vary. For example, if you’re looking for a small snack, organ meats will be your best bet since they’re small and are heavily packed with vitamins that will help to enhance your dog's diet and overall health. 

If you’re looking for a chew to keep your pup busy, tough muscle meats like bully sticksare great for keeping your dog busy and cleaning their teeth. You’ll want to avoid rawhide since theingredients used and its production is alarming to many pet parents.

All in all, if you pay attention to the ingredients and type of treats, you’ll be able to figure out the healthiest choice for your pup.

Our Recommendation For Healthy Treats For Your Dog

Finding a treat brand that meets all of these requirements can be a difficult task. Luckily,Crafted Dog Treats is not only high-quality but is also a delicious choice for your pup. 

With single-ingredient organ meat treats, hearty chewsfor high-energy pups, and muscle meat treatsfor small dogs, Crafted Treats promotes healthy snacks for all dogs. Dogs love these low-calorie treats, which are great for weight loss and as dog training treats.

If this sounds like something your dog would love, add some to your carthere!

crafted dog treats organ meat treats

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