10 Natural Treats For Your Pal Fido

by Evan Orensten SOURCE Cool Hunting
Photo Credit: Chap | American Bulldog Rescue | Gil Melott

Rewarding your dog with a delicious treat can often be more harmful than good as so many of today's treats are packed with artificial flavorings, byproducts and fillers.

We recently put CH mascots Otis and Logan to work testing an assortment of treats that skip over the bacon "flavor" in favor of a more natural experience, using beneficial grains like oats and quinoa instead of wheat flour. Also, because USDA food-processing rules help assure product consistency and safety, we kept domestically-made treats at the forefront. The ten snacks highlighted below have our dogs begging for more.

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Made from scratch in Virginia using 100% organic human-grade ingredients Max and Ruffy's delivers true vegan dog treats without the fuss of going to a bakery. We especially like their grain-free line—which includes flavors like The Kelp Highway, Powerhouse, Mother Quinoa's Pumpkin Patch and Five-Star Blueberry—all packaged in compost-friendly boxes made entirely of recycled paperboard. The treats sell online from Max and Ruffy's for about $10 an eight-ounce box.

Bravo Raw Diet all-natural treats give your pet a nutritious boost with the flavor of real food. Devoid of supplements or artificial ingredients, Bravo's line typically includes a single protein ingredient either freeze dried or dry roasted. The brand's new Buffalo and Venison Liver Bonus Bites are already staples in the treat stash at CH HQ. Bravo sells from Amazon for around $13 per four-ounce bag.

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Catch of the Day takes dog treats in a different direction, from the pasture to the sea. Loaded with proteins and antioxidants, the treats are comprised of only two ingredients—wild Pacific Ocean salmon skin and sweet potatoes—formed into the shape of a bone. These doggy indulgences provide chewing stimulation as well as a nutritious treat. Check Amazon to catch a five-ounce bag for $9.

Baa! treats aren't your ordinary dog snack. With a lineup that comes from free-range, grass-fed American lamb without any antibiotics and offering lamb parts like lung and trachea, Baa!'s treats have surprising health benefits. For example, the trachea is a great natural source of chondroitin, and chewing it helps remove both plaque and tartar. Baa! treats sell online, prices vary but start around $10 a bag.

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Fresh is Best knows your pup loves a good meaty treat. Made from 100% USDA certified duck, the freeze-dried duck heart bites also double as the best natural pill pockets we've found. Buy directly through Fresh is Best or Amazon for $10 for a three-ounce bag.

Snook's dog treats are made in Oregon with the finest organic ingredients. We've found that most of the sweet potato treats our dogs tried went out the way they came in, but Snook's Sweet Potato Dog Chips are an exception to that. Containing only dried sweet potato, at $4 a bag they are organic and inexpensive, a rare find. Snook's sells from their online shop.

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"Live. Love. Wag." Dognation's slogan says it all, and their ultra fresh refrigerated treats have our pups scarfing down their healthy blends. Adding vitamin B to help with doggie metabolisms, Dognation snacks are made with little more than chicken or beef and ground oats. You can snag an eight-ounce bag for $6 atPetSmart.

Plato's Farmers Market treats are grain- and filler-free, and really pack in the veggies with ingredients like carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, green pea, sweet potato, tomato, parsley. They are also slow roasted to seal in the flavor, a small detail that your dog will really appreciate. Plato's sell fromAmazon for around $15 for a 12-ounce bag.

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A recent addition to their line of healthy treats, Dr. Becker's Veggie Bites are made from fresh vegetables and high quality liver. Since highlighting Dr. Becker's Bites in 2006, the brand has remained a staple in the treat drawer. The Veggie Bites contain 2/3 veggies, a balance we like while keeping the same form and crunch. You can get your pup some of these tasty treats through Dr. Becker's online shop for about $16. We'd love to see these in a more crush-resistant package, however.

Unlike most others Smart Pup's dog treat smoothie comes in a little snack-pack container. Flavored with peanut butter and banana, this corn-, wheat- and dairy-free mix is exclusively designed with liquid glucosamine and chondroitin to strengthen your pup's hips and joints. Also available in Digestive Health and Skin and Coat formulas, a four-pack goes for $5 at Amazon.