The Best Dog Treats on Amazon, According to a Veterinary Assistant

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You might think any bag of treats on the shelf at a store or promoted in an ad is safe for your pet; Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. To make sure you’re feeding your dog only the best, you should check the ingredients before buying a new snack, because lots of options can actually do more harm than good. That’s why we curated a list of dog treats you can buy on Amazon that are super affordable and backed by a veterinary assistant. Plus, they’re part of Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program, which means you can set up a weekly or monthly subscription to ensure you always have some on hand, and save money while you’re at it.

There are only five dog food brands that are approved for daily nutrition by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) — Hills, Purina Pro Plan, Ians, Royal Canin, and Eukanuba — according to Jessica Kelly, a Veterinary Assistant and third-year student at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Receiving the stamp of approval from the AVMA means these brands have gone through extensive research and studies to prove they are beneficial and do not cause harm to animals that consume them.

When it comes to treats, it’s a bit tricky to know what’s healthy and what’s not since there are hundreds of options available and so many different ingredients that go into them. You’ll want to follow the nutrition guidelines for each brand and give them to your pets in moderation. You may also consider consulting your vet for their advice. That’s why we tapped Kelly for her expertise.

The treats listed below include three options by AVMA-approved Hill’s, along with several others Kelly confirms are okay for dogs to eat based on their ingredients.

You can find the ingredients list for most treats on the back or side of a bag or box following the nutritional facts. It’s important to note that the ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, which means the first few ingredients make up most of the food. Look for whole ingredients like meat, corn, wheat, and rice here.

“Stay away from grain-free formulations unless your pet actually has a grain allergy, which is rare,” Kelly says. “Grain-free diets and treats have been linked to heart disease in dogs. When you cut out grains, your dog misses out on essential fiber, fatty acids, protein, and more.” If you think your dog might have a grain allergy, consult with your veterinarian before switching their diet.

“People shouldn’t feed their pets raw diets either, because they are way more susceptible to bacterial infections,” Kelly notes. If you’re looking for an alternative treat that mimics raw food without the unhealthy side effects, then consider Hill’s jerky strips. They have a meaty texture and come in a variety of flavors to keep your dog satisfied. When you sign up for Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program, you can save up to 5 percent on deliveries, making it even cheaper than the current sale price.

It’s no secret that many dogs enjoy chewing on rawhide bones as treats and for entertainment, but according to Kelly, “These can cause damage to their teeth, stomach, and intestinal tract as it passes through the body.” She suggests a healthier alternative that’s available at Amazon for just $7 while it’s on sale: Dreambone snacks are free of rawhide while still providing the same chewy texture dogs love. To take the entertainment a step further, try filling a Kong toy with the brand’s treat paste and snacks. Kongs are durable chew toys with a small hole in the middle that you can fill with treats or natural peanut butter.

Finding reliable and safe treats is about knowing what ingredients to look for and which ones to avoid. It’s important to ask your veterinarian for recommendations and dietary advice if you’re unsure. But instead of going to the store every time you run out of dog treats, you can make the chore a little easier and order trusted dog treats on Amazon.

Choose the best veterinary assistant-approved dog treats from the list below, and make sure to take advantage of Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program to get the best deal and never run out of your pet’s favorite snack again.

buy it Dreambone Vegetable and Chicken Dog Chews, $10.98 (orig. $19.99); amazon.com

buy it Hill’s Natural Baked Light Small Biscuits with Real Chicken, $5.99 (orig. $7.49); amazon.com

buy it Nutrisentials Lean Treats Nutritional Rewards for Dogs, $9.60; amazon.com

buy it Hill’s Natural Jerky Mini Strips, $5.99 (orig. $7.49); amazon.com

buy it Kong Easy Treat Paste and Dog Snacks Combo Pack, $15.98; amazon.com

buy it Hill’s Natural Soft Savories with Peanut Butter and Banana, $5.99 (orig. $7.49); amazon.com

buy it Kong Easy Treat Combo with Ziggies, $29.97; amazon.com

buy it Crazy Richard’s 100% Peanuts Creamy Natural Peanut Butter, $13 for two; amazon.com