With all the recent talk of contaminated jerky treats, you may be wondering which treats are safe for your dog. We at Yellow Dog Blog have got you covered! We filled our shopping cart with 11 safe and healthy treat options that are easy to find (we found all but one at PETCO). You’ll notice almost every package overtly says if the product was made and/or sourced in the United States. Please note we have not been paid for this article; all the treats selected are ones we feed Yellow Dog and Sundown, and they love ’em!
Freeze-dried treats are the motherlode of treats for your dog. They are as simple as it gets; one meat ingredient with water content removed.
There are several brands on the market but most major retailers carry PureBites. They are sourced 100 percent in the U.S. and have a very high protein content, as you might imagine. PureBites are about as healthy and natural as you can get!
The PureBites brand sells several flavors: beef, chicken, duck and cheese. We suggest avoiding beef because most dogs have difficulty digesting it. We also recommend buying in bulk; the bigger bags last much longer. You can score deals in the Bay Area at Pet Food Express with their forever “buy three, get one free” discount.
The caveat of freeze-dried treats: they crumble very easily. But you can use the crumble at the bottom of the bag as a healthy topper for your dog’s kibble…he’ll love it!
2. Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Treats
L.I.T. treats are a widely-available and relatively inexpensive treat option. Each bag retails for as low as $4 and can be found at major pet stores like PETCO or PetSmart.
The Potato & Duck and Sweet Potato & Bison are our flavors of choice, as they have a named meat ingredient in the first two ingredients, which increases the protein content.
The treats are also grain free and made without common allergens like corn, soy or wheat. This is the one package on our list that does not overtly say “made in the USA,” but Natural Balance is a brand we trust.
3. Charlee Bear
Charlee Bear Treats are a great low-calorie treat. At only three calories per biscuit, they are a great training tool. They come in multiple flavors like Cheese & Egg, Original Liver, and Turkey Liver & Cranberries.
Charlee Bears are also a bargain buy, considering how many treats your get per bag. Each bach retails for around $4 with about 1000 pieces per bag. Charlee Bear is made in the USA from all USA ingredients, and is also a limited-ingredients treat with a high protein content.
These are a great everyday treat and are designed for smaller breeds, measuring roughly half-an-inch in diameter. Big dogs can enjoy them too; just don’t get your finger chomped on!
4. Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Crunch
Carnivore Crunch is a limited-ingredient treat with a high protein content. It has just four ingredients and is made and sourced in the U.S.
This brand is a little more difficult to find; you can scoop some up at your local pet health food store like Pet Food Express. It is on par price-wise with PureBites, about $13 for a four-ounce bag.
Fruitables are a great way to add fiber to your pet’s diet. From Pumpkin & Cranberry to Pumpkin & Apple, each treat is packed with fiber at only nine calories per biscuit. They are made and sourced in the U.S. and are baked in a certified organic facility.
Fruitables are widely available and are pretty cheap, too. They go for about $4 per bag.
6. Natural Balance Healthy Bones
We must admit, this treat is newer on our list. We wanted to provide a list of easy-to-find treats and Healthy Bones’ quality meat ingredients caught our eye. It’s also a low-allergen treat, with ingredients like ground oats and barley, and it’s fortified with vitamins and minerals.
Healthy Bones retails for about $8 per bag.
7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Jerky
If you’re big on jerky, this is the way to go. A package that overtly tells you it is sourced in the United States and explicitly not sourced in China, so you know your dog is safe. Limited ingredients (in fact, only three) and a very high protein content, just what your carnivorous dog wants! Just remember to break the jerky pieces down into small bites so your dog doesn’t overload on jerky.
8. Blue Basics Limited Ingredients Biscuits
The YDB household is big on Blue Wilderness; it’s Yellow and Sundown’s kibble and we are happy to see it is carried in a wide variety of stores. The product line is highly rated as a top dog food. These biscuits are no exception. Grain-free and limited in ingredients, these cookies pack over 30 percent protein at 15 calories per biscuit. They are slightly more caloric than other treats, so you want to be careful how much you feed. You should break them in half or quarter them; they are big enough to do this by hand.
9. Merrick Lamb Training Treats
Another great high-protein treat option is Merrick’s Lamb Lung treats. And they are just that: lamb lung. With a 76-percent protein content, your dog is sure to love this all-natural treat. These treats are also made in the U.S.A. and it says so right on the front of the package!
10. BLUE Buffalo Health Bar Biscuits
BLUE Health Bars are all-natural biscuits fortified with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They are quite large and should be broken into pieces, especially at 30 calores per treat. They have more ingredients than other treats on our list but some of those ingredients are things like Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Flaxseed, carrots and apples, which are healthy additions. There are a number of flavors but our favorites are Chicken Liver and Banana & Yogurt for their higher protein content.
11. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Treats
These all-natural treats pack 40 percent protein but are also higher in fat content at 30 percent. The top five ingredients in the regular Raw Boost treats are chicken, turkey, turkey liver, turkey heart and pumpkinseeds; with mainly meat ingredients in the top-five, we can be confident of this product’s meat content. We recommend the Chicken over the Beef since many dogs have difficulty digesting beef. We also like these treats for the lack of multiple and/or questionable preservatives; there is only one listed preservative, which is a natural preservative. They’re also full of healthy ingredients like kelp, carrots, broccoli, apples and olive oil, which is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Each bag retails for about $10.
So now you’re armed with a list of treats that should make your next trip to the pet store worry-free, no matter your budget!