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Teaching your dog a new lesson is supposed to be easy.
When he does the right thing you reward him with a treat and when he misbehaves you withhold the treat.
Sounds easy, right?
However, this is only true when you are using a high-quality treat that your dog likes. If your dog doesn’t enjoy the treat or the treat causes stomach upset, then you will have a hard time getting him to learn anything.
So what are some high-quality treats that can help make your dog’s training stick without having to repeat the same lesson over and over until you are red in the face?
We have 9 good suggestions – and a very important bonus at the end. Check them out.
9 Dog Training Treats That Are Guaranteed to Make Lessons Stick.
1. Good’N’Fun Triple Flavored Rawhide Kabobs for Dogs.
Starting our list of vet recommended dog treats for sticky reinforcement training is the Good’N’Fun Rawhide Kabobs for Dogs.
It contains rawhide, pork hide, chicken, chicken liver, duck, vegetable glycerin, wheat flour, garlic powder.
Don’t mind the tough look, the treats are actually meaty, soft, and small pieces of meat. Trust me, this is no match even for a small dog, they’ll chew everything in a few minutes.
And Yes! The sticks soften fast enough for your dog to chew with ease. So don’t buy this treat expecting it to entertain your dog for hours.
You can treat your dog with this after a visit to the vet or groomer, after a shower, or after grinding your dog’s nails – btw, check out these dog nail grinders. They’ll definitely change the way you trim your dog’s nails.
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats.
Another great dog treat that makes training fun and easy is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats.
It contains real meat (duck, chicken, turkey, salmon), chicken fat, Omega 3 and Fatty Acids, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, and other ingredients that nourish the brain and make learning faster.
Aside from having really good ingredients that do not upset sensitive stomachs, this dog treat has and maintains good consistency (when stored in airtight containers).
It tastes delicious and can be broken into halves or quarters depending on the size of your dog. However, to avoid biscuit flakes flying everywhere and possibly attracting ants, break the biscuit over the bag or an airtight container.
3. Greenies Original Teenie Natural Dental Dog Treats (5-15 lb. dogs)
Won’t you like a treat that cleans your dog’s teeth and at the same time keeps him busy after a ‘good dog’ moment?
That is the idea behind Greenies Original Teenie Dental Dog Treat. They are made for dogs and owners that are not eagerly looking forward to the next brushing session.
That being said, there is no substitute for regular brushing. This video shows you an easy way to brush your dog.
It contains wheat flour, glycerin, wheat gluten, gelatin, water, powdered cellulose, lecithin – yeah, I know the ingredients aren’t outstanding, but many vets agree that they do just fine for dental upkeep.
I like that they are soft and yummy for small dogs and senior dogs to chew on, which means it is never too late to get started with this.
However, there are 2 (two) precautions you need to take seriously. If your dog is allergic to gluten or does not chew his food properly, then you need to avoid Greenies.
And, try to use one or two daily, maybe after your dog has done his business or some other treat-worthy action.
4. DreamBone Twist Sticks, Rawhide-Free Chews for Dogs, with Real Chicken.
Are you looking for a healthy alternative to rawhide dog treats? Then look no further than the DreamBone Twist Sticks.
It is made of real chicken (not by-products) and it contains sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots in place of sugar, plus some other useful vitamins and minerals.
What I like about the DreamBone Twist Sticks is that it causes no stomach issues or allergic reaction, except of course your dog is allergic to chicken.
Compared to rawhide, the DreamBone Twist Sticks is the better choice for dogs that do not chew their food properly. That’s because these Twist Sticks will still dissolve and digest even if your dog swallows a large piece.
And the best part?
You can break them as small as you want or just hold the stick while your dog goes to town on the other end.
5. Zuke’s Mini Naturals Training Dog Treats and Hemp Naturals Calming Dog Chews.
Every dog treat has one important test to pass – the dog has to
like love it – and Zuke’s Natural Dog Treats passes with flying colors.
This dog treat is so delicious it makes complex dog training easier to grasp – and yes! The lessons stick!
It contains real meat (either rabbit, Turkey, Pork, Chicken, Beef, Duck, or Salmon) Peanut butter, Barley, vitamins and minerals, and lots of other useful nutrients.
What’s admirable about this treat is that they come in small round shapes. This means you no longer have to worry about having oil or meat smell all over you just because you broke a treat into a smaller size.
Like all moist treats, this dog treat is susceptible to spoilage if it isn’t stored properly. If you’re getting the Zuke’s Natural Dog Treat, I recommend you also get an airtight container to help preserve them.
6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Meat Dog Treats.
Everyone who knows Rachael Ray knows that her recipes are good and the Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Meat Dog Treat is filled with good stuff.
It contains real meat (chicken, duck, beef), chickpeas, dried potatoes, vegetable glycerin, salt, and other quality ingredients that support the formation of new neural pathways for improved memory.
However, it also contains a small amount of sugar which, if your dog already has dental issues or little to no teeth left, might make matters worse.
Other than that, Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Meat Dog Treats is a quality dog training treat that’s easy to break into pieces.
7. Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats.
I have never seen a dog reject Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats – well, except it is coming from a jerk he doesn’t like.
It contains Wheat Flour, Meat and Bone Meal, Dried Poultry By-Products Digest, Cooked Bone Marrow Beef Fat (Preserved with Tocopherols), and lots more quality ingredients.
However, it contains sugar which, as I previously mentioned, can worsen dental issues especially in dogs with sensitive teeth.
The treats are small and so delicious you can give your dog a couple of them for good behavior or after doing something difficult to grasp.
What I like about Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats is that it already comes in an airtight container. That means you don’t have to worry about them getting stale, hard, or losing flavor.
The best part?
It does not leave tons of crumbs in your pocket or bag, and you can easily break them into two if you want.
8. Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks.
Are you looking for a vet-recommended dog treat that will keep your dog attentive to your every command? Then look no further than the Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks.
It contains Meat By-products, Soy Grits, Beef, Liver, Propylene Glycol, Salt, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color, Natural Smoke Flavor, Onion Extract, and (the much dreaded) sugar.
Again, if you are looking to preserve what’s left of your dog’s remaining teeth, then I recommend you skip this one.
I like that one stick of this dog treat can be fed to three small-medium dogs. However, it has a strong bacon smell so expect your fingers to smell like that too.
I must warn you though, when your dog gets hooked on this treat he will always be on his best behavior when Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks come out.
Do as you wish with that information.
9. Joulie Organics – Superfood & Prebiotic Wellness Dog Treats.
Do you feel that your dog is due for something different – and healthy?
Then you have to try the Joulie Organics – Superfood & Prebiotic Wellness Dog Treats. It contains Whole oat flour, coconut flakes, maple powder, beet powder, natural flavor, strawberry, inulin, Vitamin E, Rosemary extract, and 100% pure love – all organic!
You’ll immediately notice that this dog treat does not contain any meat. However, it does contain beneficial probiotics that can help stabilize a dog’s gut enzymes. Especially dogs that are allergic to a lot of things.
Compared to other foul-smelling treats that you wouldn’t want to get under your fingernails, Joulie Organics smells yummy and it comes in cute heart shapes.
You know what the best part is?
This is a human-grade treat. That means if you’ve ever been tempted to taste how delicious a dog treat is, you can finally do so with this one.
But, don’t do it. Dogs hate competition!
Seriously, try this treat – for your dog, I mean.
Bonus: Treat containers.
Looking at these dog treats you will notice that most of them come in ziploc bags. You need a container that is airtight and moisture-proof to keep the dog treats fresh and safe.
Here are some suggestions.
1. Bone Dry Lattice Collection Pet Bowl & Canister.
The first airtight canister to help keep your dog treats secure and fresh is the Bone Dry Lattice Collection Canister.
The rubber sealant around the lid makes it almost 100% airtight. This helps prevent treats (or dog food) from trapping moisture from the atmosphere and getting stale.
The design looks cute and there’s a non-skid silicone ring on the bottom to prevent the bowl from, well, skidding when placed on a hard surface.
Oh, and it is easy to wash.
2. Airscape Pet Food and Treat Storage Container.
The next treat container we recommend is the Airscape Pet Food and Treat Storage Container.
At 5 x 5 x 11 inches (width x breadth x height) it is larger than the previous one we saw. While it doesn’t have a non-skid silicone base, the airtightness is topnotch.
Plus, since it is transparent you can monitor your dog treat or food for signs of staleness or loss of freshness – and so can your dog.
Just ensure to keep the container somewhere secure and out of the dog’s reach because it will definitely crack if it falls.
3. RoyalCare Silicone Dog Treat Pouch.
The last item we’ll look at is the RoyalCare Silicone Dog Treat Pouch. It measures 4.9 x 1.6 x 4.1 inches (length x breadth x height).
You can already tell that this is not an airtight container neither is it large enough to store treats.
So, what can you use it for?
To store a handful of treats on your way out with your dog – instead of carrying the whole airtight treat container.
The silicone material is easy to clean, it fits nicely in the fridge, and getting to the treat is super simple.
And hey, you can clip it on your denim or on your dog’s collar without the content spilling out.
4 Things You Need to Consider When Buying Treats for Your Dog.
Purchasing dog treats is not difficult, you just need to have a clear understanding of what you want. To help you avoid the mistake of buying the wrong dog treat, here are some important things that you need to consider.
1. What is the objective or purpose of the treat?
There are several treats you can choose from, however, knowing why you are offering your dog treats will help you make the right choice.
To make dog training lessons stick (aka positive reinforcement training), you need treats that are small (or can easily be broken) and are delicious.
This will help your dog associate the required behavior with something positive (treats). Hence the name positive reinforcement training.
If you want to improve oral and dental health or provide supplement as part of treatment or management of a medical condition, then you need vet-recommended dog treats.
2. Size of the dog treat.
The size of the dog treat you choose depends on the size of your dog’s mouth so they can enjoy the treat. An Akita, for instance, will be better off chewing dog treats that are the size of a dime whereas a Chihuahua will comfortably chew half or a quarter of that size.
This will help prevent choking and oral injuries.
3. The texture of the treat.
The texture of the treat matters because not all dogs have the same chewing power. Puppies and small dog breeds usually have weak jaw muscles and fragile teeth. You must get treats that are soft and chewy, else they will just spit it out.
Senior dogs that are missing a few teeth or have sensitive teeth will also benefit from soft treats – btw, check out these captivating toys for old dogs. Large breeds will enjoy treats that are crunchy, but not too tough.
4. Ingredient/Nutritional content.
The ingredients of a dog treat matter a lot, especially when you want to give your dog treats without flour or peanut butter.
If your dog is allergic to chicken, then, by all means, avoid treats that contain chicken or chicken by-product meats. Another thing you should consider is the age, breed, size, and health condition of your dog.
Dogs with kidney problems do not need treats that contain a high amount of proteins. If your dog has tooth decay or dental issues, try to avoid treats that contain sugar. Carbs and fats content should be low – if your dog needs these, then let them come from his meal so you can measure what he is consuming to prevent weight gain.
Now comes the question, “how often should you treat your dog?”
Before we get to that I have a small request…
If you’ve enjoyed this article (so far), then feel free to share with your friends.
How Often Should You Offer A Treat?
Treats should not be given more than once or twice daily, else they lose their value. By giving treats to a dog more than twice, it becomes something routine, like part of their meal instead of something they earn for being on their best behavior.
And, they will start to feel entitled to the treat.
When offering a treat, do so at least an hour before or after a meal. This way, you will reinforce the idea that it is something special and different from their meal.
You should also consider skipping some days.
What’s the best choice here?
Well, it depends on your dog and what you want to accomplish.
All the treats listed above are perfect for reinforcement training. However, I do not recommend offering your dog Greenies Original Teenie Dental Dog Treat while outside the house.
That’s because it needs to be chewed properly and I doubt a dog can do that while walking with you, jogging, or playing/interacting with other dogs in the park.
Get Joulie Organics – Superfood & Prebiotic Wellness Dog Treats if your dog has a sensitive stomach. It is the only dog treat I wouldn’t mind tasting since it is human grade – seriously, it is no different from grandma’s well-baked cookie.
Milk-Bone MaroSnacks Dog Treats, Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Meat Dog Treat, Zuke’s Natural Dog Treats, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats already come in small sizes and do not need to be broken. This alone will help prevent having the strong smell of dog treat on you, especially your hands. They’re perfect for outdoor training and can go into the RoyalCare Silicone Dog Treat Pouch.
If you want to improve your dog’s breath while treating, then go with Greenies Original Teenie Dental Dog Treat – but remember, only give Greenies Original Teenie Dental Dog Treat to your dog if he chews food completely before swallowing.
Even if your dog is one of the rare types that can eat anything without upsetting their gut, it doesn’t mean you should be careless about what you feed him.
Make sure to check the ingredients and only feed your dog treats that are delicious, healthy, and support his gut ecosystem.
This will help your dog stay focused and learn whatever lesson you are teaching him.
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