How to choose the best dog treats


19 June 2024
What benefits do you want from your dog's treats?

Treats for dogs — who doesn’t enjoy giving their pet a treat? There is the sense of joy knowing we have shared a happy moment with our canine companion.


Giving dogs treats is a different experience to giving them their food. There is much more emotional involvement — from both parties — when giving your dog a treat. However,

it is important not to forget about dog treats when considering your dog’s daily ration of calories.


Dog treats are now a staple part of most canine companions’ diets. As owners, we want them to be a source of pleasure (living up to the name treat!), but we also want them to have a positive impact on our pets too. When it comes to choosing the best dog treat, you want healthy dog treats that are not only tantalisingly tasty but will help canine well-being too.


The function of dog treats


In a bygone era, a treat was anything delicious that would get a positive reaction from our pets. Now, owners look to use treats in a more purposeful way:


Dental health — one of the longest established and obvious ways owners use treats to benefit their pet is the dental treat. These treats are designed to help clean the teeth and leave our pets with fresher breath, such as Laughing Dog’s Teeth and Gums treats.


Often chews, the texture of dental treats is key. They will usually be abrasive to act like a brush on the teeth and gums, as well as promoting saliva which will work with the active ingredients to help remove a build-up of plaque and tartar.


Owners are aware of protecting their pets’ teeth and many brands recommend using a dental treat daily, much like humans clean their teeth every day. When it comes to choosing a dental treat, consider the texture, how the ingredients help to clean teeth, and how often you should be giving them to their pet.


Health benefits — the ingredients in treats are designed to be much more beneficial to pets now. Most treat brands will shout about their natural ingredients, how they have been made to retain nutritional value, and how the ingredients and added minerals and vitamins can have specific impacts on pets’ health, such as improving itchy skin and coats, aiding joint care, improving energy levels, calming benefits, fresh breath and many more. Laughing Dog carefully consider their ingredients in their treats. That’s why many of the recipes are grain and wheat free, and the website clearly explains the benefit of each specifically chosen ingredient in their treats.


Giving medication — for dogs that struggle taking tablets, hiding the medication in a tasty reward can be an ideal way to get your dog to take it!


Training — dog treats will often be the reward that provides the motivation for a dog to carry out a certain behaviour — known as positive reinforcement. However, the variety of different situations a dog needs to be trained for and the different personalities of dogs mean different types of treats can be preferred for training.


For example, when out on a walk, you may want treats that are a handy size to store in your pocket or something that is low in calories so you can repeat the training lots of times without worrying about any extra weight gain. Compare this to when training something where the dog will need a bigger reward to resist distractions, such as a recall. Owners may decide that they need a treat that their dog will find irresistible.


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Bonding —we love the excitement our pets will show us and the joy they take from us giving them a treat. While pets won’t appreciate some of the good things you do for them, such as take them to the vet’s, providing treats will help create a stronger bond.


Enrichment — treats can be a great way to give pets exercise — mental and physical. Hiding treats for dogs can give them enormous enjoyment as their use their nose to sniff out the treat in what is a fun game for your pet. A delicious chew or treat stuffed in a toy can be ideal for when leaving your dog home alone too, keeping them entertained for hours.


How you plan to use treats will influence your decision on which ones to buy. Depending on the situation, some treats may be more convenient, rewarding, or beneficial to your pet.


What to consider when buying treats


When are you going to use them?

— are you going to give them while training? Are you going to leave your dog unsupervised with the treat? Or are you just giving your dog a treat while relaxed at home? Different treats will lend themselves to different situations.


Will your dog enjoy them?

— a treat needs to be a treat! You want your dog to love treat time. Particularly if you’re using them as a training reward, as you need your dog to want to work for the treat.


The health benefits

— many treats will have textures and ingredients that bring health benefits. Decide what health benefits you want your dog’s treat to have.



— your dog will likely enjoy different types of treats. You can enjoy providing different types of treats. Laughing Dog Food’s range of delightful treats includes dental treats, fish flavoured hearts, chewy treats, fruity flavours, Night time stars to aid sleep and wheat free varieties — all containing beneficial ingredients, such as fruit, veg, and botanicals, to aid canine health. 


How calorific the treats are

— be sure to check out how many treats you should give your pet and stay within the guidelines. If you want to give your dog more treats, you could consider lower calorie treats.



— how much do you want to spend on treats? Your dog’s treat routine will be dictated by you. Your dog will have no expectations of treats, other than the ones you establish. Consider how often do you want to give your dog treats and how this works with your budget.