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Dog Treats Guide

Dogs living the treat life

One of the easiest ways to make new dogs feel right at home is by rewarding them with tempting, tasty dog treats. A great way to create a stronger bond between you and your pet, treats come in a huge assortment of flavors and styles. Some dogs can be surprisingly picky when it comes to smells, textures and flavors, but we bet yours won't complain as you test out treats in search of new favorites.

Discover the many benefits of treats

While it is likely clear to most dog parents that treats are great motivation for their pets, providing treats in the right way, and time, can also provide added benefits in their training, behavior and wellbeing.

  • Reward good behavior. Treats are an easy way to let dogs know they're behaving well and you want them to continue this behavior. By providing "high value" treats to your dog for behaviors your particiularly are looking for can help to establish them over time.
  • Positive reinforcement. Dog training treats work as a tasty incentive to learn new tricks and skills during training. Consider looking for particular training treats that are low in calories since you may need to use them often.
  • Beat boredom. Brighten up your dog's day with a long-lasting treat or chew that can keep their attention for longer periods of time.
  • Provide mental stimulation. Treats can be paired with treat-dispensing dog toys or puzzles to keep a dog happily occupied for hours.
  • May promote healthier teeth and gums. Many treats are specially designed for better oral health.
  • Banish dog breath. Some treats can help with bad breath by keeping teeth and gums cleaner.
dog trick high five

Know your options

  • Life stage-based treats. These treats are formulated for the specific needs of your pup at every stage of their life. Puppy treats are a great example of these life stage-based treats and are perfect for training.
  • Training treats. Treats designed for training are often small in size and lower in calories. This makes carrying them easier and won't impact your pet's diet as much since you may use many of them during your training sessions.
  • Bones, chews and bully sticks. These long-lasting chews are designed to keep dogs entertained for longer periods of time.
  • Dental treats and chews. These are created to help improve the health of your dog's gums and teeth.
  • Specialty diet treats. These are designed to help with health issues such as mobility or weight management.

Quick tips for treating your dog

Give 10%. While dog treats can be a great reward, they shouldn't make up more than 10% of their diet.

The peanut butter solution. If you have a picky dog or are unsure what a new dog will like, try peanut butter-flavored dog treats first. They're usually a crowd-pleaser!

Mix it up. Your dog may react differently to crunchy treats and soft treats - give a few a try and see which are most motivating. After a while, your pup may also crave a little variety.

Have a good dog who needs a treat? Shop dog and puppy treats at Petco.