February 8, 2023
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Years in the past, it appeared practically unattainable to discover a canine deal with that didn’t function low-nutrition “filler” grains, equivalent to wheat or corn, as the primary ingredient. Fortunately, the pet food trade has come a good distance and at present, there are many grain-free treats in the marketplace to your canine to get pleasure from.

But are grain-free canine treats a wholesome choice for canines and, extra importantly, are they a superb choice for your canine?


Read on to study extra about grain-free canine treats, and to see our high picks.

Are Grain-Free Treats a Healthy Option for Dogs?

Generally talking, canine treats—grain-free or in any other case—ought to make up not more than 10% of your canine’s day by day calorie consumption. Just like your canine’s kibble, they need to be constituted of wholesome, high-quality components (you possibly can learn extra about the way to learn a pet food label and decoding pet food in our article, The Truth About Dog Food).

As for grain-free treats specifically, Dr. Jim Carlson, a holistic veterinarian and proprietor of Riverside Animal Clinic and Holistic Center, tells Rover, “Grain-free treats are usually restricted in components and include few to no preservatives, which can trigger undesirable unwanted side effects equivalent to digestive upset and pores and skin irritation.”

This sounds nice—much less is extra, proper? Well, kinda-sorta.

While all canines can profit from treats made with a restricted variety of components and no synthetic components, Dr. Carlson means that grain-free treats could also be notably helpful for canines who’re inactive or obese. Grains—particularly high-glycemic grains like corn and wheat—are metabolized extra shortly than fat and protein, and this will result in fats storage.

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Though grain-free canine treats are good for some canines, they will not be nice for others. Carlson notes, “Dogs who’ve coronary heart illness ought to keep away from 100% grain-free treats due to the potential for a taurine deficiency which might make coronary heart situations worsen.” Dogs with kidney issues may wish to keep away from grain-free canine treats as a result of they usually require a protein-restricted weight loss plan that places much less work on their kidneys. Carlson says, “One of the byproducts of protein breakdown is urea, a chemical produced when ammonia is transformed by the liver to urea, and the kidneys are answerable for excretion.”

Another concern is the danger of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) related to grain-free diets. This shouldn’t be a difficulty if grain-free treats are solely making up 10% of your pet’s weight loss plan, however all pet homeowners ought to pay attention to the difficulty. We discover it in-depth in our article, Should I Be Worried About Grain-Free Dog Food?”

What Should Pet Owners Look for in Grain-Free Dog Treats?

Assortment of dog biscuits in fish and bone shapes

There are a number of grain-free canine deal with manufacturers on the market that use high-quality components, however many others that pump their treats with chemical compounds, fillers, and different hard-to-digest components. Dr. Carlson says, “Limited components are necessary to get rid of extra preservatives and to scale back the danger of an allergic response.”

Here are another qualities to search for in grain-free canine treats:

  • Short checklist of high-quality, nutritious components
  • Animal protein as the primary ingredient
  • No synthetic colours, flavors, or preservatives
  • Free from grains, notably corn, wheat, and soy
  • Limited variety of energy per serving

The Best Grain-Free Dog Treats

Grain-free treats is usually a welcome boost to your canine’s weight loss plan, however with so many choices in the marketplace, which is your best option to your pet?

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Here are our picks for one of the best grain-free treats for canines.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail High Protein Grain-Free Dog Treats

Blue Wilderness orange bag of turkey dog treats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats will not be solely free from grains (together with corn and wheat), they’re additionally freed from soy, poultry by-products, and synthetic flavors and preservatives. These high-protein treats made with high-quality, pure components, and are available in three completely different flavors together with turkey, duck, and salmon.

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Merrick Power Bites Real Beef Recipe Treats

Merrick training dog treats bag

In addition to being grain-free, the principle draw of those treats is that meat is the primary ingredient. Depending on the flavour you select, these canine snacks are stuffed with actual turkey, beef, rooster, and different high-quality meals components, equivalent to candy potatoes, peas, and apples. These treats pack a dietary (and attractive!) punch your pet is certain to like.

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Bones & Chews All-Natural Jerky

Bag of grain-free jerky treats for dogs

If your canine goes loopy for jerky (and let’s be actual—whose canine wouldn’t?), these treats from Bones & Chews are constituted of actual meat, together with beef, rooster, or turkey. They’re high-protein, they’re grain-free, and—at the very least to canines—they’re scrumptious.

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Zuke’s Puppy Naturals Salmon and Chickpea Dog Treats

Zuke's grain-free puppy treats

Zuke’s Puppy Naturals’ primary ingredient is salmon. Not solely are these well-liked treats grain-free, however they’re additionally nice for coaching, totaling simply 3.5 energy per piece. These grain-free treats embody DHA and EPA, which assist promote wholesome mind improvement in your rising pup.

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Wellness Petite Treats Small-Breed Grain-Free Dog Treats

Wellness Core petite treats purple bag

Got a petite pup? These small, high-protein treats are made with high quality, real-food components equivalent to turkey, pomegranate, and ginger which makes them an ideal grain-free resolution. If turkey isn’t your pup’s favourite, they arrive in rooster and lamb flavors too.

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American Journey Grain-Free Crunchy Biscuit Treats

American Journey grain-free treats

These well-reviewed delicate and chewy canine treats are a transparent favourite with canine homeowners—and for good purpose! With actual meat as the primary ingredient and no synthetic preservatives or animal byproducts, pet homeowners can really feel assured they know precisely what they’re feeding their pet. These are available in three completely different flavors to please your pup: rooster, salmon, and beef.

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Three Dog Bakery Grain-Free Wafers Baked Dog Treats

Three Dog Bakery grain-free treat box

Made from quite a lot of “candy” entire meals (together with candy potato, banana, and peanut butter), these treats are an awesome various for canines who don’t get pleasure from meat-flavored snacks. Plus, they’re free from synthetic flavors, colours, and preservatives.

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Remember: Before You Buy Grain-Free Dog Treats, Consult Your Veterinarian

Before including new merchandise to your canine’s weight loss plan, it’s necessary to seek the advice of your vet. While treats free from grains could also be a superb choice for some canines, they aren’t good for each scenario. For instance, canines with sure well being issues could must keep away from grain-free merchandise.

A veterinary skilled can provide you deeper insights on one of the best weight loss plan to your canine, together with which treats are going to be one of the best match to your pet.

Further Reading

  • The 11 Best Affordable Grain-Free Dog Foods
  • 11 Best Affordable Dog Treats With High-Quality Ingredients
  • The 8 Very Best Puppy Training Treats
  • Fresh Finds: The Best Organic and Natural Dog Foods

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