The Best Dog Treats in Canada: A Full Guide
When it comes to spoiling your furry best friend or teaching them how to behave as a puppy, it can be daunting to figure out what the best treats to give them are. With our curated list, we can help alleviate some of that concern and keep you informed on what you might be looking for best.
In our article below, you’ll find the best dog treats in Canada to keep your four-legged best friend happy and healthy for a long time. If you are a first time dog owner, this article might give you some helpful advice.
Our top choices
What to look for in dog treats
When you’re looking for dog treats, keep these in mind:
Ingredients – Xylitol, vegetable oil, corn syrup, and Brewer’s rice are just a handful of the ingredients that you should watch out for in dog treats as they can be harmful and are toxic to your dog. Most dog treats you can purchase in the market are fine but it’s always good to keep an eye out. Good ingredients are natural flavours and colours, such as pumpkin, and treats that are 100% freeze-dried meat, etc.
Rawhide – Rawhide is dangerous for dogs, and while a lot of owners have had no issues before, it still goes without saying that they are a choking and digestive hazard, as it doesn’t break down like it should in the dog’s stomach – especially if bitten off in chunks. It’s much safer to forego it entirely.
Size – Depending on the type of treat, you can break them into smaller chunks which can make it easier to digest and lasts longer for you. Be sure that the treats you purchase are the right size for your dog to ensure a safer experience as well – you don’t want your small dog choking on a treat that’s meant for larger breeds on accident.
Expiry date – Contrary to belief, dog treats (and dog food) do expire. Especially if they’re naturally made and don’t contain any sort of preservatives. Freeze-dried treats can last for quite a long time compared to other treats. Be sure to keep an eye on the dates before feeding your dog.
Feeding guidelines – Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily intake of food, so keep tabs on how many treats they’re getting a day and how big the portions are. It’s easy to spoil our furry best friends but it’s in their best interests to keep them healthy and happy for their entire lives.
The best dog treats in Canada
PureBites Liver treats
PureBites are freeze-dried dog treats that preserve flavour, freshness, and nutrients – while also creating a longer lasting shelf life before they expire.
They’re made of 100% USDA approved liver, and nothing else. No other ingredients. They’re the best you can get if you just want a treat that is entirely made from one ingredient that’s high in protein and pure meat. Most dogs seem to absolutely love the taste of them, according to user reviews and personal use.
PureBites do come in other types besides liver as well, including chicken breast, cheese, and duck. On average they’re about 5 to 10 calories per treat and are high in protein.
Depending on which size of treat bag you choose, there are approximately anywhere from 54 to 452 treats in each. One caveat is that since they are freeze dried, they can be susceptible to being crushed into powder accidentally if they’re handled too roughly, so keep that in mind when tossing them into a drawer under anything heavy or hopefully not crushed in the mail on delivery.
- 100% liver.
- Freeze-dried treats that last for years.
- Pricier treats.
Best dog treats for training
Zuke’s Mini Naturals
When you’re looking for small treats for specifically training your dog, Zuke’s Mini treats are top of the list for pet owners and trainers alike.
If you’re looking to use treats for training, they need to be small enough that they can be eaten and then it’s right back onto training without taking too much time in between, not being distracted from the task at hand, and can be given continuously.
These bite-sized top-rated dog treats are made without corn, soy, wheat, or any artificial colours and flavours. While their packaging may vary as they switch over to a new design, the same trail-tested recipe is always consistent. There are less than 3 calories per treat which is why they’re ideal for training to be given continuously, but they’re also jam packed with protein and high-quality ingredients that will fuel your dog as they go.
Zuke’s has many kinds of treats available as well such as Puppy, Hip Action that helps with joint issues, Links, Superfood blends, and more!
- Perfect size for quick training treats.
- Wholefood ingredients.
- Dogs love them.
- Can be pricier in Canada.
Best natural dog treats
Vitalife Natural Duck Treats
VitaLife Natural Treats has you covered if you want single-ingredient, natural treats for your dog.
These are 100% hormone-free duck breast. No additional fillers, flavours, or artificial preservatives. They’re well liked by most dogs, though some are picky, and they may not enjoy duck meat.
They do state on the packaging that it is best and recommended to break them up into small pieces before feeding, and a caveat is that some owners have stated that their treats were hard to break up and contained a lot of sinew that is impossible to break up. It does seem to vary batch by batch, so be careful of that. Otherwise, it seems that many dogs absolutely love them, and owners do as well.
There are other flavours/types as well if your dog is picky or doesn’t enjoy duck – such as chicken, sweet potato and duck, or apple and chicken.
- Single ingredient list.
- All-natural hormone free protein.
- Good price.
- Advised for dogs 6lbs and over.
Best dog treats with peanut butter
SmartBones Dog Treats (Peanut Butter Flavour)
If you have a dog or multiple dogs that go crazy over peanut butter as a treat, the SmartBones peanut butter flavoured treats might be exactly what you need.
Made with real peanut butter, these bite sized treats are perfect for those dogs that can’t get enough of the flavour. They also include chicken and vegetables and are rawhide free for peace of mind. They’re stick shaped treats and are recommended to be broken up into smaller pieces for small dog breeds that may be a choking hazard for the whole stick.
Vitamin and minerals enrich these treats to ensure that they still get a decent amount of vital nutrients, and chewing can help prevent dental issues or otherwise. Easily digestible, there shouldn’t be any trouble eating these for most dogs. As with any other treat – if your dog has digestive issues or otherwise of the sort, be sure to see how your dog reacts to these as well.
- Easy to chew stick treats.
- Made with real peanut butter.
- Good for all breeds and sizes.
- Might be too small for large breeds of dogs.
Best dog treats for sensitive stomachs
Hill’s Grain-Free Soft Baked Treats
A natural soft-baked treat with sweet potato and beef, (and multiple other flavours such as duck or chicken), these treats are great for any dog that has a more sensitive stomach.
They’re made in the United States with natural ingredients and Hill’s even has a 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy in case you or your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy them as well as you hoped. Grain-free, with no corn, wheat, or soy and all the flavours have full protein meats, such as the chicken, duck, and beef.
According to reviews, a lot of picky dogs love these treats and prefer them to others, so if you have a pickier hound that gives you some grief when it comes to finding something they enjoy – give these Hill’s treats a try.
- Soft-baked for easy chewing and digestion.
- Multiple flavours available.
- Some dogs might not like the flavours.
Best dog treats for bad breath
Greenie’s dog treats
If you’re looking for a dog treat that will freshen their breath and maintain a healthier dental record as they age, Greenie’s dog treats are the go-to choice.
According to most top-rated reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, a lot of dogs absolutely love these treats. They’re great for giving to your dogs after their dinnertime or before bed and it helps to keep their breath and teeth fresher and maintained.
Reviews have stated that their dog’s breath was fresher after starting to have these once a day, and it can help with a dental plan if your dog is dealing with dental issues. They come in several different sizes for various breeds and the ‘Teenies’ size is perfect for small pups, as well as splitting them into smaller portions for training reward purposes.
- Great for dog’s dental health.
- Most pets love the taste.
- Some dogs might get an upset stomach if given too many in a single day.
Best calming dog treats
Plano Paws Calming Treats
Plano Paws calming treats are all-natural ingredients treat that should help your dog relax and calm down, whether it’s overall anxious, fireworks anxiety, travelling, and more.
No grain, corn, soy, or wheat, along with no sugars, salts, or gumming agents. They’re made for all size of dog, regardless of breed, and are manufactured in a GMP compliant factory in the United States to ensure premium quality. Valerian root, chamomile, ginger root, and L- Tryptophan helps dogs to relieve their stress – and it works well for separation anxiety too.
Motion sickness, storm anxiety, nervous chewing, and inappropriate marking are lessened, and your dog is less stressed. The chews are soft and easy for pets to take, chew, and swallow – which works well with senior dogs or any other dog that may have dental problems with chewing hard treats.
- Positive customer reviews for calming effects.
- 100% natural ingredients.
- Some pets may not like the flavour.
N-Bone Soft Teething Treats
Ideal for puppies, these all natural highly palatable stick treats are formulated for teething and great for pups of all sizes and ages.
The pliable texture is great for relieving puppies of their gum pains while they chew, and the treats are easily digestible. No artificial colours or flavours are included and the main negative comment from most top-rated reviews are that they aren’t as long lasting as they state – since their dogs go through them quickly and love to eat them.
They’re easy on the stomach, which is perfect for growing pups as their digestive systems can tend to be more sensitive as they grow older.
- Soft and springy enough for teething puppies.
- Great value.
- May not last as long as some owners would like, depending on the size and chewing capacity of your puppy.
For this particular buying guide, we based our choices on top rated user comments from Amazon, along with other trusted peer-review websites, and including personal usage. We have tried to choose everything based on different factors across the board, including budget, ingredients, and overall rating.
Common questions about dog treats
What is a dog treat?
A dog treat is a special piece of food that you give to your dog besides their regular food during mealtimes. They can be given during training sessions and when they’re being good, or just in general when you want to spoil them – make sure to not overdo it or give them too much too often to replace their normal food, as they don’t have the same nutrient factors.
It would be the equivalent of feeding them Doritos all day, which is not good for you or your furry friend.
Can I use dog food as a treat?
Yes, dog food can be used as treats if it’s a food that excites your pup enough, and you have to make sure that you make it more exciting than their regular mealtime so that they’re encouraged to learn to get their treats – if you’re using it for training. Even certain cat foods may be used as treats in moderation if your dog loves them enough.
Another neat trick is to dehydrate wet food in the oven at 200-degrees for a few moments, and then cut into small pieces!
Which ingredients should I avoid in dog treats?
Corn syrup, vegetable oil, Brewer’s rice, and xylitol are a few of the main ingredients you should avoid in dog treats, along with rawhides.
Why is my dog not eating its food but will eat treats?
If you’ve already taken your dog to the vet and they’ve ruled out stomach issue or other illnesses, then you may just have a picky dog that prefers a different food. If your pup hasn’t been into the vet for check-up, be sure to bring them in. It could be a minor issue such as a stomach upset or something more serious.
Can I make dog treats at home?
Absolutely! Just do research and be sure that you’re not adding any ingredients that are poisonous or harmful to your dog such as onions, xylitol, chocolate, raisins, or garlic, as examples. Peanut butter dog treats are easy to make and great for your dogs – there are plenty of recipes online!
How many treats should dogs eat a day?
In general, dogs shouldn’t have more than 10% of their daily intake be from treats. It also can depend on their size and general state of health – some dogs can have more, and some require less if they have stomach issues or other problems. Just keep an eye on how many/much you’re feeding them. It’s easy to spoil your pet, but make sure they stay healthy as well for a long and happy life.
The Best Cat Toys in Canada
We found the best toys for cats to ensure they can play safely at home.
Complete Buying Guide for New Cat Owners
Owning a cat or kitten can be a fulfilling, enriching relationship for both you and your new friend. Here’s a guide for first time cat owners.
The Best Cat Litter Boxes in Canada
A good cat litter box can go a long way.
The Best Tips for Flying With Your Pet (Cats and Small Dogs)
Here are our favourite tips for having a smooth flight with your dog or cat.