The Best Dog Treats UK - 2023
Updated: 2 days ago
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Reaching for a dog treat can be a great way to reward your dog and give them something tasty between meals. However it’s not always easy knowing whether or not your dog's snacks are the healthiest choice.
Whether you're looking for high-value rewards for training or simply a healthy treat 'just because', we sniff out and tested the best the UK market has to offer.
We'll fill you in as best we can how healthy they are, how strong they smell, size, texture and of course value for money. You can then judge for yourself which ones suit you and your four-legged friend best.
Only the best made it to our list, so read on to find out which dog treats will keep those tails wagging ...
OCTOBER 2023 :UPDATE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Our Top Picks for Dog Treats
1. Best Dog Treats Overall
Pooch & Mutt
These cute little shaped treats from Pooch & Mutt are from their meaty range for dogs.
Not simply yummy treats, they are formulated with probiotics targeting important areas of canine health.
The hypoallergenic range includes -
⭐️ Shrimp & Coconut for healthy skin & coat
⭐️ Turkey & Hemp for their calming properties
⭐️ Duck & Rosemary for dental health
We love the unusual combination of ingredients and the fact that they include probiotics ticked a lot of boxes with our testers.
Perfect for dogs and puppies with sensitive tummies, they're formulated with no added artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, with no gluten, beef, soy, dairy and non-GM produce.
Pick from flowers, diamonds or hearts, we loved their size and shapes as you can fit lots in your hand for training-on-the-go.
However what's undeniable is they are quite smelly!
So whilst they will entice your dog and should certainly grab their attention, they won't suit all dog lovers especially those with an aversion to strong aromas.
So ultimately, great for training but I'd suggest keeping them in a dog treat bag unless you want super smelly jeans!
In testing, the Shrimp & Coconut diamond-shaped treats were the smallest in the range so worked out slightly better value per treat.
Whilst still on the soft side, they were firmer than the Forthglade range and our testers commented that they didn't crumble in the bag or pocket. If you can't decide which one to buy, they are available in a three bag variety pack.
So our verdict - Loved the size, shape and texture but be aware that they smell.
If you're looking to save money, consider buying your dog treats direct from Pooch & Mutt. Their Pooch Rewards programme means you earn points which you can then redeem them for money off future orders, free treats or charitable donations. It's worth noting that if you sign up for a subscription, you can earn 5 times more points.
Size: 120g pouch | Dogs aged: from 12 weeks | Treat Size: Small | Texture: Soft | Price per treat (approx): 4p-8p depending on flavour Feeding Guide: 10-20 daily (10-15kg dog)
Reasons to Buy + Strong aroma + Soft but don't crumble + Perfect size for a guilt-free treat + Probiotic dog treats
Reasons to Avoid - If you don't like strong smells
Pooch & Mutt's Super Cyber Monday Savings are here
Save 25% on their entire range with discount code CYBER
2. Best Soft Dog Treats
Featuring an ever-growing selection of flavours, these Forthglade treats were the softest we tested.
Certainly easy to swallow, they make the perfect treat for training sessions as you can reward and move on quickly to the next command.
The extensive range has more traditional flavours like Turkey, Lamb and Salmon alongside recipes developed in alliance with the National Trust and multifunctional treats
Cleverly each treat has a central groove to help you break it into two pieces so your treats can last even longer.
Softer, semi-moist training treats, they offer a change to the usual crunchy biscuit dog treat.
We particularly liked their 3 multi-functional treats -
⭐️ Digestive Health with Parsley, Ginger & Chicory
⭐️ Joints & Bones with Salmon oil
⭐️ Rewards with Honey & Banana
Crucially, we preferred these treats when testing due to their size and price.
Slightly smaller than the rest of the range, these star and leaf shapes also have a central groove to help break them in half.
If you simply can't decide, Forthglade offer a treat multipack so you can try one bag of each of their multi-functional soft bites.
Our testers commented on the fresh smell of the Calming and Fresh Breath treats. If you have an aversion to strong meaty smells these could work well for you.
Be aware though that soft treats can be a 'double edged' sword. Whilst they are easy to swallow and digest keeping your dog focused, they do tend to leave more crumbs behind.
I would certainly suggest using a treat bag with these soft bites. If you prefer a firmer dog treat, take a look at Forthglade's range of hand-baked crunchy treats.
Our verdict - We loved the wide selection of soft bite treats and the ease with which they broke into bite-sized pieces for training or alternatively offered whole 'just because'. We weren't so keen on the crumbs they left behind but that's a trade off for the soft texture.
Size: 90g pouch | Dogs aged: 2 months | Treat Size: Medium | Texture: Soft | Price per treat (approx): 4p-8p
Reasons to Buy + Wide range of flavours + Soft baked + Easy to break into pieces
Reasons to Avoid - Can leave crumbs
For 15% OFF the entire Forthglade range (excluding Taster Packs & Specials)
enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout
3. Best Low Calorie Treat Range
According to PDSA, a national vet charity for pets in need, veterinary professionals estimate that nearly half of dogs in the UK are overweight. Dog obesity is clearly a major issue and the truth is that it's incredibly easy to over feed your dog with highly processed dog treats.
Natural dog treats like the range from Soopa, are not only natural, healthy and delicious but low calorie too. So you can treat without the guilt!
But the benefits don't stop there ! Offering plant-based dog treats helps reduce your pup's carbon pawprint.
So they're a great choice for your pup and the planet.
Soopa offer an extensive range of dog treats, chews and dental sticks in gorgeous sounding, dog friendly recipe combinations -
🍌 Banana & Peanut Butter
🍎 Apple & Blueberry
🎃 Carrot & Pumpkin
🥬 Kale & Apple
🥥 Coconut & Chia Seed
🍠 Cranberry & Sweet Potato
Each pack of their Healthy Bites (pictured above) contains 50 superfood bites. In testing we loved that you can hide several in your hand if you using them for reward-based training.
We would recommend Soopa Healthy Bites for small to medium sized dogs. Alternatively, if you're looking for a treat for a large dog or a longer lasting treat, then we'd recommend looking at their range of Natural Chews
Soopa offer a selection of three 100% natural chews - Coconut, Papaya and Sweet Potato. A great alternative to rawhide, these air-dried chews have a whole range of health benefits as well as being super scrummy.
In testing we found that the chews kept our cockapoo occupied for longer, so perfect for greedy dogs who woof down treats, and we noted a preference for the coconut and the sweet potato over the papaya. They work out quite expensive per chew but you could break them in half.
A note of caution, these chews are vacuum packed with a silica gel moisture absorbent sachet. Please remove and dispose of it before letting your dog sample the chews.
Both the Healthy Bites and the Chews are available in individual packs or mixed bundles.
Our verdict -
We love the planet friendly credentials of the Soopa plant-based treat range. The truth is they smell nice (that can't be said about most dog treats) and offer a low calorie and healthy alternative to meat based treats!
Size: 50g Healthy Bites & 100g/85g Chew Pouches | Dogs aged: 6 months | Treat Size: Various | Texture: Various | Price per treat (approx): Various
Reasons to Buy + Plant-based + Natural dog treats + Selection of chews and treats + Range of flavours
Reasons to Avoid - Not the cheapest
4. Best Treats for Raw Fed Dogs
If you are looking for sustainable and natural dog treats made with British meat, then we would recommend taking a look at the Louis & Ada range from Naturaw.
If you haven't come across Naturaw, they are a high quality raw dog food company leading the way with their commitment to sustainability.
From planting trees to generating their own solar power and of course their plastic free packaging, Yorkshire based Naturaw are an ethical choice for dog food and dog treats.
We loved that Naturaw use minimal ingredients which are gently dried to create the ultimate high-value treat.
It's worth mentioning that they are suitable for raw feeding and BARF traditionalists.
Their Louis & Ada range includes :-
🐾 Beef, Rosehip & Nettle
🐾 Free range Chicken & Fenugreek
🐾 Venison & Blackberry
🐾 Lamb, Mint & Kelp
🐾 A Little Fishy
🐾 Venison Salami
Healthy and sustainable, not only are they 100% natural with no artificial ingredients or dreaded fillers, but they are packaged in plastic free, resealable pouches.
Ultimately though, what our testers and their four-legged friends appreciated most about the Louis & Ada treat selection was the range of treat sizes on offer.
Some, like A Little Fishy are small so you can hide lots of them in your hand for training.
Whilst others like the Lamb Mint & Kelp are larger sticks which can be broken into smaller pieces as you choose. You could even offer your lucky pup a whole stick !
Essentially the've developed a treat range suitable for dogs of any size.
From Labradors that seem to inhale smaller treats to picky pups that need something to entice them, Naturaw's Louis & Ada range have a treat to suit.
You can opt to buy individual packs, money-saving bundles or try a mixed bundle.
Our verdict -
We particularly loved the selection of treat sizes on offer.
Admittedly they aren't the cheapest dog treats on the market, but they are 100% natural and one of the few dog food companies that have sustainability at their core.
Size: 90g & 100g pouches | Dogs aged: 2 months | Treat Size: Various | Texture: Various | Price per treat (approx): Various
Reasons to Buy + Range of flavours + Natural dog treats + Selection of sizes + Plastic free packaging
Reasons to Avoid - Not the cheapest
5. Best Plant Based Soft Treats
Here at Smart Bark we're big fans of Scrumbles dog treats. Their range includes Dental & Calming crunchy treats together with 3 different flavours of Softies training treats.
Scrumbles have taken the bold step of adding a fully plant based treat to their Softies range and we were keen to see how enticing they were.
The first thing to say is that their range of Softies treats are ideal for puppies softer mouths and they are gently baked to give a soft bite and are easy to chew and digest.
We rated them highly in our Top 5 Puppy Training Treats article.
But Softies are a great treat for dogs of all ages, so we put them to the test.
Both the meat and plant based treat varieties went down well with the canine testers, but most were generally keener on the meaty treats in a side-by-side test. The Softies range aroma also received the thumbs-up from our testers with no lingering smell.
One tester commented that for training sessions with her younger dog, she broke the treats in half and they didn't leave dreaded crumbs behind in her pocket, which is always a plus.
It's worth noting for that this year, Scrumbles are updating all their resealable treat packaging to 100% recyclable, eco-friendly materials.
Scrumbles Softies are a low cal (so guilt free) soft dog treat, ideal for training sessions and younger pups.
Size: 90g eco-friendly pouch | Dogs aged: 2 months | Treat Size: Medium | Texture: Soft | Price per treat (approx): 6p
Reasons to Buy + Eco-friendly packaging + Soft bite + Plant-based option + Subscribe & Save options available
Reasons to Avoid - Plant based weren't as enticing as meat based
To save 15% off the Scrumbles range, simply enter the code SCRUMBLESBARK at checkout
Buy individually or 8 x 90g pouches direct from Scrumbles
6. Best Eco-friendly Dog Treats
Mr Bug - Bug Bites
If you're looking for a treat that's not only great for your dog but great for the planet as well, then why not take a look at Mr Bug's Bug Bites.
Mr Bug is the only insect based pet food company that farms their own bugs right here in the UK. So they are sustainable, ethically farmed and have a super low carbon paw-print.
Yep! You read it correctly, Mr Bug's dog treats are formulated with insect protein in place of traditional proteins like beef or chicken.
They combine the mealworm protein with plant-based ingredients to create low-calorie dog treats which are ideal for dogs suffering from sensitivity or allergies.
We wouldn't recommend anything we hadn't tried ourselves (well our dogs), so what did we think ?
Of course, the first thing to say about Mr Bug's Bug Bites is they look like any other dog treat.
With no real aroma they have the consistency of a small biscuit and snap easily into smaller pieces.
They are available in 4 different flavours -
🐛 The Nutty One
🐛 The Veggie One
🐛 The Fruity One
🐛 The Cheesy One
Inside each cardboard outer is a resealable inner bag to keep the treats fresh.
Cleverly they offer a sample pack if you want to make sure that your dog loves the taste or you can opt for a larger variety pack of their four flavours.
If you're interested they are the proud winners of a Gold Award at the Nourish Awards which is human food award that assesses nutritional integrity.
Our verdict - Admittedly, Mr Bug dog treats work out slightly more expensive than some of the other treats tested, but we totally love the concept and Freddie loved the taste.
For the ultimate guilt free treat we'd recommend taking a look at Mr Bug. Keep an open mind, you know the saying - don't knock it until you've tried it.
Size: 80g pouch | Dogs aged: all ages | Treat Size: Medium | Texture: Crunchy | Price per treat (approx): 7p
Reasons to Buy + Eco-friendly + Low carbon, clean protein + Ideal for sensitive tummies
Reasons to Avoid - If you're looking for a strong aroma
7. Best Long-Lasting Treats
Looking for a reward for your dog that'll last a bit longer ? Natural dog treats are a great option. As they are dried snacks, they have the benefit of being convenient with a long shelf life, without compromising on the health benefits.
Based in Bedfordshire, Fetch Club are a dog training and walking company with vast experience in dealing with dogs and puppies with an array of behavioural problems.
Their online shop only stocks products which have been tried and tested to obtain the coveted Fetch Club stamp of approval.
From ever-popular Yak bars to rabbit ears, duck feet and lamb shoulder strips, their shop offers a curated range of natural and highly nutritious dog treats all sourced right here in the UK.
You have the choice of buying individual products or a Snacker Treat Box with a hand-selected range of treats.
We tested and reviewed their Mini Natural Treat Box. An interesting combination of both long lasting treats for your dog to enjoy whilst lounging in the kitchen, alongside dog treats that could be cut up and used as high-value rewards whilst training.
We highly recommend their range of natural and healthy dog treats.
Ultimately whether you decide to buy the products individually or dip your toe in the water and try a natural treat box, is up to you.
If you would like to read more about what we thought of Fetch Club's Treat Boxes, check out our deep-dive review - Natural Dog Treats Review : Fetch Club
Size: Varied | Dogs aged: from 12 weeks | Treat Size: Large | Texture: Crunchy | Price per treat (approx) : Varied | Feeding Guide: 2-3 times a week
Reasons to Buy + Dried natural treats + One ingredient + Exceptionally healthy + Ideal for sensitive tummies + Perfect for raw fed dogs
Reasons to Avoid - Hygiene considerations - If you prefer your dog treats less real !
For 10% off the entire range at FETCH CLUB, enter coupon code SMARTBARK at checkout.
You might be interested ...
We take a look at the four Best Dog Walking Bags for 2023. They all offer a lot more than a normal bag, including customised pockets for poo bags, treats, your phone, shoulder straps, waist straps and they can all deal with the British weather!
Every dog is different, so testing and analysing dog treats is particularly difficult. If there was a perfect dog treat, then there certainly wouldn't be such a variety of dog treats on the UK market.
All dog lovers have their favourite treats and we're no different. So we've tried throughout this review to explain our reasons behind why we love each dog treat in turn and highlighted any flaws for you to consider.
Hopefully we've managed to cover a wide range of treats to suit different breeds of dogs and their dog loving families.
We consider Pooch & Mutt Meaty Treats to be the best dog treats overall because they offer a wide selection, can easily be broken into smaller pieces, are healthy, nutritious and extremely good value for money.
You of course, may have other ideas !
🎄 Feeling Festive ? 🎄
If you're looking for some Christmas Treats to spoil your four-legged friend this festive season, why not head over to our Christmas Treat Review.
We take a look at some of the best advent calendars, treats, dental sticks and even meals on the UK market for Christmas 2023.
Meet Our Four-legged Testers
As no two dogs are alike we roped in several dogs to put the dog treat ranges through their paces -
🐾 Hudley is a gorgeous German Short Haired Pointer who originally tested our Puppy Training Treats as a young pup (he's grown a bit since then!)
🐾 Otis a loveable Labrador and a veteran Smart Bark tester.
Our first time testers :-
🐾 Lulu a beautiful older cocker spaniel
🐾 Smudge a Shoodle ( Shih Tzu/Toy Poodle cross)
🐾 Hetty a Yorkiepoo
🐾 Daisy a 9 yr old Great Dane
🐾 Murphy a 14 month old Collie/ German Shepherd/ Terrier Cross
And of course Freddie, our 5 year old Cockapoo who loves treats and enjoys testing anything and everything he can for Smart Bark.
How We Chose the Best Dog Treats
We decided to begin our search for the best dog treats by identifying dog treats that were suitable for training. They needed to be relatively small, healthy (with no harmful additives) as well as being kind to your pocket.
Next we considered treat texture and of course that all important aroma. We looked for the best treats aimed specifically at small and large breeds alongside treats suitable for raw fed dogs.
Lastly we explored ranges of dog treats for those times when you are looking for something healthy to reward your dog simply because you couldn't imagine life without them. These could be larger, longer lasting treats.
As a general rule, vets suggest that your dog should receive a minimum of 90% of their daily calorie intake from their actual food, and 10% or less from treats.
Thanks for dropping by and reading our review of the Best Dog Treats for 2023