Best dog treats 2023: Dental chews and meaty morsels

Best dog treats
(Image credit: Getty)

While they may seem like an unnecessary expense, the best dog treats are well worth investing in if you're looking for a way to reward your pup for good behavior - whether it's at home or when you're out and about. 

Whether you're potty training, crate training or teaching your pup to walk properly on their lead, dog treats are an excellent way of offering positive reinforcement when your canine companion does what you ask them to do. And just like the longest lasting dog chews (opens in new tab), when it comes to treats, you really are spoiled for choice.

When it comes to selecting the right treat for your beloved bundle of fluff, we recommend you don't worry too much about the nutritional value. Just like with us humans who love the occasional ice cream or piece of chocolate, treats for our dogs are very much that - treats, so as long as the bulk of your pup's diet is made up of the best dog food, snacks that comprise less than 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake are a great way to add in some variety. 

So what kind of treats should you choose? Well, it very much depends on how you're going to be using them. If you're looking to train your dog to walk on a lead, then you will want treats that go down quickly to focus their attention and ensure they know what they're being rewarded for. For crate training, however, we recommend something longer lasting to help keep your pup calm and occupied.

It's also well worth checking out the best dental chews for dogs if you're looking for a way to both reward your canine companion for good behavior and keep their teeth in tip-top condition at the same time. These treats feature an abrasive outer shell that acts like a toothbrush of sorts, sweeping away plaque and tartar and freshening the breath. 

With all of that in mind, we've rounded up the best dog treats lining the shelves in 2022, with options to suit even the fussiest foodie fur baby. Let's take a look....

PetsRadar's pick of the best dog treats

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Lily's Kitchen Dog Treats Mini Beef Burgers

(Image credit: Lily's Kitchen)
Best overall dog treat

Specifications

Contains: 80% beef
Ingredients: : Sustainably sourced
Packaging: Eco-friendly
Recipe: vet-approved

Reasons to buy

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Simple recipe with natural ingredients
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Eco-friendly packaging
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Vet-approved

Reasons to avoid

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Not many treats per bag

According to the company, Lily's Kitchen Dog Treats Mini Beef Burgers are the ‘best ever’. While only dogs can truly be the judge of that, it seems these treats go down a storm with dog owners.

Each little round burger is 80% freshly prepared beef. Other ingredients – all sustainably sourced – include pea protein, antioxidants, kale and chia seeds, which are high in omega 3, which has been linked to bone health in dogs. And they’re oven baked, too, supposedly for better taste.

They’re 383 calories per 100g and each individual treat is made up of 43% crude protein and 2.5% crude fibers – that’s a lot of ruff-age… sorry!

You can feed your dog up to five of these treats a day, according to Lily’s Kitchen, and they’re suitable for dogs four months and older. They’re not tailored to any particular breed or need, but they seem to go down particularly well with dogs with sensitive tummies.

You can buy them in 70g bags, as well as in multipacks of eight if you trust your dog won’t find a way to go rifling through the treat drawer after dark. Lily’s Kitchen says they’re the perfect snack for training, in-between meals or ‘just because’.

You’re not going to get the absolute best value for money with these treats, but they go down a storm with customers’ dogs, and they’re full of healthy ingredients for your dog.

Click here to read the full Lily’s Kitchen Dog Treats Mini Beef Burgers review.

Merrick Power Bites

(Image credit: Amazon)

Merrick Power Bites

Best budget dog treats

Specifications

Contains: Real beef
Protein: 15%
Fat: 7%
Fiber: 5%

Reasons to buy

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Real beef
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Soft texture
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Gluten and grain free

Reasons to avoid

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Treats are larger than image shown 

If you're looking for a deliciously soft and chewy treat for your canine companion that's also incredibly affordable, these power bites from Merrick are well worth considering.

Made with real beef and packed full of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, these meaty morsels come with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and are high in protein to keep your pup feeling satisfied.

Free from grains, gluten, corn, wheat and soy, they're ideal for dogs that suffer from allergies or have sensitive digestive systems. While pet parents report that these power bites are larger than pictured on the packet, their soft texture makes them ideal for training purposes and for pups with dental issues who find chewing a challenge. 

Best dog treatsPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)
Best premium dog treats

Specifications

Ingredients: All natural
Contains: No artificial additives
Hypoallergenic: Yes
Recipe: Oats, molasses, banana, coconut, buckwheat flour

Reasons to buy

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Created to human food standards
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Contain healthy supplements
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Biodegradable bag

Reasons to avoid

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Not the cheapest treats

These dog treats have been created to human food standards and while we wouldn't particularly munch on them ourselves, your dog is sure to love their taste. Containing no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, each treat has been created with organic and human-grade ingredients. 

The main one is organic ground oats and you'll also find real bananas and coconut in these. What's more, they're only 16 calories per square so you don't have to worry too much about obesity so long as you're moderating a pooch's intake.

We like how the treats also contain Omega-3 fatty acids which is great for a dog's joints and immune system. There's Omega-6 fatty acids, too, supporting your dog's skin and coat, as well as plenty of fiber. 

All of the ingredients are sourced in North America and the treats are gluten free and non-GMO which will ensure they'll go down well with dogs who have allergies. The company has even thought about the environment with packaging that's biodegradable for clean waste disposal.

Best dog treats - Hill's Healthy Weight Dog Treats

(Image credit: Amazon)

Hill's Healthy Weight Dog Treats

Best dog treats for weight management

Specifications

Contains: Cereals and vegetables
Recipe: High fibre
Recommended for: Overweight dogs
No: Artificial ingredients

Reasons to buy

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Vet-recommended
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Contains vegetables
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Enriched with vitamins and minerals

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most exciting to look at

According to recent research, most dog treats on the market exceed the recommended daily allowance for dogs.

Whether your dog is on a diet, or needs a low-fat diet for health reasons, there’s no reason they have to miss out on treats every now and again. There’s a great selection of low-fat and low-calorie options out there for slimming pooches – including Hill’s Healthy Weight Dog Treats.

These little bone-shaped treats are made with cereals, vegetables and meat derivatives, and are specifically designed for overweight and obese dogs, and those prone to putting on weight.

Each oven-baked treat contains 22% protein and 3.8% crude fiber, and is only nine calories – the perfect snack for dogs watching their waistline, and for dogs that like a good crunch, too. They’re also enriched with vitamins and minerals so that even dieting dogs don’t have to miss out on their nutrients.

Hills uses scientific research to inform the creation of its dog foods and dog treats, and the brand describes itself as a global leader in nutritional healthcare for animals.

The low-calorie dog treat market is rather limited. While Hill’s aren’t the lowest calorie dog snack on the market (some weigh in at just three calories per treat), Hill’s dog treats fare much better than most for the quality of its ingredients, especially as they contain no additives.

These little bite-size, bone-shaped treats come in bags of 220g, and are suitable for dogs aged eight weeks and over.

Best dog treats - Whimzees Brushzees Natural Dental Dog Treats

(Image credit: Whimzees)

Whimzees Brushzees Natural Dental Dog Treats

Best dental dog treats

Specifications

Fights: Plaque and tartar
Promises: Fresh breath and clean teeth
Ingredients: Grain-free
Contains: No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, gluten or meat

Reasons to buy

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Made with natural ingredients
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Meat free
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Freshens breath
+
Long lasting

Reasons to avoid

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Contains yeast

Is your dog the very definition of bad breath every time they give you a slobbery kiss in the morning? They are not alone. Most dogs suffer from a build-up of plaque and tartar on their teeth over time and without regular removal it can cause tooth decay and that unwelcome meaty stench when they breathe all over you. Don't worry, WHIMZEES dental chews are here to help.

Made using vegetable products like potato starch, glycerin and cellulose powder, they give your four-legged friend's teeth a good workout, removing tartar, plaque, bacteria and stains as they chew. Regular users have been impressed at how clean these treats get their dog's teeth, even when compared with a professional teeth clean at the vet or pet groomers.

Designed to last three times longer than competing dental chews, these 3 1/2" long toothbrush shaped treats are made with all natural, gluten free, hypoallergenic, non-GMO and vegetarian ingredients with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They are also produced in a much more sustainable way than meat-based dental treats. They are good for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities, but do note they do contain yeast, so if your dog is yeast-sensitive it may be worth only giving them sparingly when you first introduce them.

So, if you want to save the planet, your dog's dental bills and your long-suffering nose, these long-lasting dental treats may well be for you!

Hill's Natural Dog Treats pack shotPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Hill's Natural Dog Treats, Soft-Baked Naturals with Chicken & Carrots

Best all-natural dog treats

Specifications

Contains: Grain-free chicken
Ingredients: Real chicken and carrots
Packaging: Eco-friendly
Recipe: Vet-approved

Reasons to buy

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Grain-free ingredients
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Low-calorie
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Mini size ideal for training
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Good price

Reasons to avoid

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Recommended for adult dogs only
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Small bag

If you’re after an all-natural snack packed with nutrition and flavor, Hill’s Dog treats offer the perfect balance. Made from grain free chicken and carrots, not only will this tickle your dog’s tastebuds, but also provide a low-calorie snack. This will help keep the pounds off so your canine companion will always stay fit and healthy. 

These snacks are recommended for adult dogs, so may not be suitable for younger pups. However, their mini-sized bites are ideal for rewarding seniors and are easy on the teeth.  These snacks are also ideal for dogs who suffer from allergies, as its grain-free formula doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy or any added artificial flavors or preservatives.

One thing to note is the texture states soft-baked, while a few users have mentioned that they are actually not as soft as expected. But these were still soft enough for older dogs to happily chew on and enjoy the flavors. 

Overall, this is a highly nutritious and tasty treat option that will keep your pooch healthy and happy!

Best dog treats: Wellness Crunchy Puppy BitesPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Wellness Natural Crunchy Puppy Bites Chicken & Carrots Recipe

Best dog treats for puppies

Specifications

Contains: Chicken and carrots
Ingredients: Sustainably sourced
Packaging: Eco-friendly
Recipe: Vet-approved

Reasons to buy

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Two kinds of fresh meat
+
All natural ingredients 
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Compact size

Reasons to avoid

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Pricey for a small bag

These puppy bites may be small but they pack a powerful punch. Specifically formulated for dogs under one year of age, these mini, crunchy puppy treats are bursting with all the nutritional value, goodness, and tasty flavors your pup will need to thrive. 

Made from fresh, premium chicken and all-natural ingredients, including sources of DHA and Omega 3, they’re free from artificial colors, wheat, dairy, and meat by-products. From fresh carrots and apples to flaxseed and blueberries, this formula contains the necessary nutrients to support your pup’s development.  

Your pup will enjoy the miniature shapes and delicious crunchy texture. In fact, these bite-sized treats are perfect for training sessions or simply for spoiling your pooch. Another bonus is that the snacks are suitable for all breeds and sizes. 

Some customers have mentioned they’re a little on the pricey side, considering the bag is only 6 ounces. However, if you’re after top-notch, organic quality for your puppy, then this is certainly worth the splurge.  

How to choose the best dog treat for your dog

When it comes to choosing the best dog treat for your dog, there are a few things to bear in mind.

First, if your dog has any special dietary requirements or health needs – such as gum disease or being overweight – consider opting for a treat that is specific to them. A low-calorie treat for a dog that needs to watch their waistline means they don’t need to miss out on rewards, while a treat specifically aimed at fighting plaque will help dogs with gum and teeth problems get the best of both worlds.

Similarly, for dogs with digestive issues, or just sensitive stomachs, try testing them out on one of the many dog treats on the shelves that specifically promise to be kind on digestion.

When it comes to ingredients, the same rules generally apply to dogs as they do for humans. The fewer and fresher the ingredients, the better.

There’s a lot to consider when picking the right treat for your dog – and, ultimately, they will usually get the final say. But if you can manage to find a dog treat that your pet doesn’t turn their nose up at, and that has some great ingredients to supplement their diet, you’ll be in their good books forever. 

For extra brownie points, you could try and make your own homemade dog treats.

Jessica is a freelance features journalist. When she isn't writing, she's chasing after strangers' dogs in the park.