A small puppy waiting for a treat from it's owner

A guide to safe treats for puppies

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Exploring the World of Treats for Puppies

As you embark on the journey of training and bonding with your new puppy friend, treats become an essential tool. Treats for puppies are small, tasty morsels of food that are given as a reward or as positive reinforcement during training or as a special snack. They not only serve as rewards for good behaviour but also provide valuable opportunities for strengthening the bond between you and your pup.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the wonderful world of puppy treats, we look at when treats should be used and how to choose the right treat for your puppy. We also investigate what makes a treat safe for a growing puppy and we share a couple of homemade treat recipes so you can make your own fabulous treats. Finally we link to a choice of  puppy treats and relevant accessories available online. 

When and why should you give a puppy a treat

As a Training Aid

Treats are commonly used as rewards during training sessions to reinforce desired behaviours. Puppies are motivated by food and using treats as rewards can help them learn commands and tricks more effectively. The reward-based system encourages puppies to repeat the good behaviour in order to receive a high value tasty treat.

For Positive Reinforcement

Treats serve as a form of positive reinforcement, reinforcing good behaviour and creating a positive association with training. When a puppy follows a command or displays a desired behaviour. Then rewarding them with a treat helps reinforce that behaviour, making it more likely to be repeated in the future.

As a Bonding and Relationship Building Tool

Offering treats to a puppy creates positive associations and helps strengthen the bond between the puppy and their owner. Puppies learn to trust and feel rewarded when they receive treats, which can contribute to a deeper connection and a more positive relationship.

Treats as a Distraction and Mental Stimulation Aid

Providing puppies with treats can help keep them mentally engaged and occupied. Chewing on a treat can provide entertainment, relieve boredom and redirect their attention from potentially destructive behaviours like chewing furniture. It can also provide a form of mental stimulation as puppies work to extract the treat from interactive toys or puzzles. We look at ways to stop a puppy from biting, nipping and chewing in another article, click here to have a read.

Treats for Dental Health Reasons

Certain treats as specifically designed for dental health and can help promote good oral hygiene in puppies. Chewing on dental treats can aid in removing plaque and tartar build-up, massage the gums and freshen breath. 

Choosing the right treat for your puppy

When choosing treats for puppies, it’s important to select options that are specifically formulated for their age and size. Look for treats that are small, soft, and easily chewable to avoid any choking hazards.

Additionally, opt for treats made from high-quality ingredients, without any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It’s crucial to moderate treat consumption to prevent overfeeding and to ensure a balanced diet for your puppy.

Consider Your Puppy's Age and Size

When selecting treats for your puppy, it’s crucial to consider their age and size. Go for treats that are appropriately sized to avoid any choking hazards. Puppies have delicate teeth and jaws, so choose treats that are soft and easily chewable. Additionally, look for treats specifically formulated for puppies to ensure they receive the right balance of nutrients

Healthy and Nutritious Options

Treat time is an opportunity to provide your puppy with additional nutrition and support their overall well-being. Consider treats made from high-quality ingredients, such as lean proteins like chicken or turkey, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid treats with excessive additives, artificial colours and preservatives. Look for natural and organic options that prioritize your puppy’s health.

Dental Chews for puppies

Natural dental chews are designed to promote dental health while providing a tasty treat for your puppy. They are typically made from ingredients like natural rubber or durable materials that help clean teeth and massage gums. Some dental chews are also infused with natural flavours like mint or parsley for fresh breath

Homemade Puppy Treats - made with love

If you enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, consider making homemade treats for your puppy. Homemade treats allow you to control the ingredients and customize them to your puppy’s preferences and dietary needs. There are numerous simple and nutritious recipes available that use ingredients like pumpkin, peanut butter, oats, and carrots. Just be sure to research ingredients that may be harmful to dogs and avoid using them in your homemade treats.



Why are treats for puppies important

Treats for puppies are not only a tool for training and positive reinforcement but also a way to show your furry friend love and care. By choosing healthy, nutritious, and appropriately sized treats, you can contribute to their overall well-being while strengthening the bond between you and your puppy. Remember, moderation is key and always consult with your vet if you are un-sure about your puppy’s specific dietary needs.

Multi Pack

Denzel's Bites  Natural Puppy Treats

6 packets of soft baked dog training treats.

6 x 100g variety pack each with a different flavour so erfevct for fussy eaters. Each pack is grain free, low calorie and contains nothing artificial. Even the pack itself is biodegrable! Suitable for puppies and dogs over 16 weeks old.

100% Natural

Benyfit Natural Dog Treat Bites

Suitable for all pups / dogs over 8 weeks.

Packs are 60g and available in chicken, duck, turkey and salmon. Super soft treats, high protein and grain free. Designed by raw dog food nutritionalist. Also available a subscription product.

Best Seller

Bounce and Bella Grain Free Treats.

500 gram pack available in two flavours and also available in multi packs.

No additives, no preservatives, no sugar, no flavourings. Hypoallergenic for pups with sensitive stomachs.Approx 800 treats in a 500g bag

What makes a treat safe for a growing puppy

When it comes to choosing safe treats for puppies, it’s important to consider their nutritional needs and potential choking hazards. Here are some options for safe and appropriate treats…

Commercial Puppy Treats

Look for treats specifically labelled for puppies. These are formulated with their nutritional requirements in mind and are often softer and easier to chew. Read the ingredient list and opt for treats made with high-quality, natural ingredients without any artificial additives or preservatives.

Soft Treats

Soft and chewy treats are generally a safe option for puppies. They are easier for them to chew and digest  which in turn reduces the risk of choking. You can find soft treats in various flavours and textures to keep your puppy interested and motivated during training sessions.

Small Treats

Choose treats that are appropriately sized for your puppy’s mouth. Small treats are easier for them to handle and less likely to pose a choking hazard. You can find small, bite-sized treats specifically designed for puppies or break larger treats into smaller pieces.

Healthy Fruits and Vegetables

Many fruits and vegetables can be safe and healthy treats for puppies. Options like sliced apples, baby carrots, blueberries and green beans can provide them with vitamins, minerals and natural fibre. However, be cautious and avoid feeding toxic foods like grapes, raisins, onions or avocados.

Homemade Treats

If you prefer to make treats at home, there are various recipes available for puppy-friendly treats. Go for recipes that use safe ingredients like lean meats (cooked and cut into small pieces), plain yogurt or peanut butter (without xylitol).

Remember to always supervise your puppy when giving them treats, especially if they are new to chewing or tend to gulp their food. Monitor their chewing and ensure they are not trying to swallow large pieces without properly chewing them. If you have any concerns about specific treats or ingredients, consult with your vet for personalised guidance.


Multi Pack

Whimzees Puppy Dental Sticks

Suitable for puppies over 3 Months old.

Each pack contains 7 sticks and is available in packs of 7 or 14. Available in two sizes for XS / Small puppies and also Meduim / Large Puppies. Soft and gentle on puppy gums and teeth. Gluten free, grain free and GMO free

Training Bag

Dog Treat Pouch Bag

Handy and multi functional perfect for pupp y / dog training on the go.

Pouch bag has space for treats, toys and poop bags. Comes with a collapsible water bowl and clicker for training. The strap is adjustable and the bag can be worn over the shoulder or around the waist.

Treat Bag

Nuoshen Puppy Traing Treat Bag

Available in three colours - grey, pink and blue.

This neat treat bag is 15cm deep by 14.5com wide, can be worn around the waist with an adjustable belt, or hung on your belt so your hands are free to walk and train.

A selection of homemade puppy treat recipes

Here are a few ideas for homemade treats that are generally well-received by puppies:

Frozen Banana Bites 

Slice a ripe banana into small pieces and freeze them. The frozen banana bites can be given to your puppy as a refreshing and nutritious treat. Bananas are a good source of potassium and vitamins.

Carrot Sticks

Raw baby carrots or carrot sticks make great low-calorie treats for puppies. Carrots are crunchy and can help satisfy their chewing instincts while providing vitamins and fibre.

Apple Slices

Slice fresh apples into thin pieces, removing the seeds and core. Apples are a good source of vitamins and fibre. However, make sure to remove the seeds and core as they can be choking hazards.

Homemade Sweet Potato Chews

Slice sweet potatoes into thin, long strips and bake them in the oven at a low temperature until they become chewy. Sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of vitamins and fibre for puppies.

Baking homemade treats for puppies

Peanut Butter Banana Bites
  • Ingredients: 1 ripe banana, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter (make sure it does not contain xylitol), and 1 cup of rolled oats.
  • Instructions: Mash the banana in a bowl, then mix in the peanut butter and rolled oats. Roll the mixture into small balls or use a cookie cutter to create fun shapes. Place the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for a couple of hours until firm. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Chicken and Sweet Potato Bites
  • Ingredients: 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast and 1 small sweet potato.
  • Instructions: Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Slice the chicken breast and sweet potato into thin strips. Place the strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 2-3 hours until the treats are dried and crispy. Let them cool before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Carrot and Apple Pupcakes:
  • Ingredients: 1 cup of grated carrot, 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce, 1/4 cup of coconut flour, 1/4 cup of oat flour and 2 eggs.
  • Instructions: Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients until well mixed. Grease a mini muffin tin or use silicone molds. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the pupcakes to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge

Puppy Treats

Remember to introduce new treats gradually and in moderation, as each puppy may have different sensitivities or dietary needs. Also, keep in mind that treats should not exceed 10% of your puppy’s daily caloric intake, as it’s important to maintain a balanced diet.

It’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before introducing any new homemade treats or making dietary changes to ensure they are suitable for your specific puppy’s needs. Additionally, keep in mind that treats should only constitute a small portion of your puppy’s overall diet. Their main meals should consist of a balanced and appropriate puppy food to meet their nutritional requirements.

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