Dog Products
best natural dog treats

Natural Dog Treats - What Are They and What's Best For My Dog?

Written by Steph McCulloch


Knowing what to feed your dog can be a bit of a minefield. With so many available, how do you know what treats are best to give your pooch?
A dog being given a treat


Everyone loves giving their dog a treat, after all, how could you say no to their adorable angel face? However, knowing what to feed your dog can be a bit of a minefield. With so many treats available, how do you know what treats are best to give your pooch?

Natural dog treats are the best choice as they add nutritional value to your dog’s diet. They’re also incredibly tasty - don’t worry we haven’t tried them, but our dogs love them. This means they’re a great way to reward good behaviour.

Looking for some new tasty treats to feed your dog, after all, don’t they deserve the best? If so, continue reading to find out what’s in them, where to buy them, and what we personally recommend.

What exactly are natural dog treats?

Natural dog treats are exactly what they sound like - treats, chews, and biscuits made from 100% natural ingredients. There’s not much more to it.

Natural treats contain no additives, fillers, or strange unidentifiable ingredients. They’re made from whole-food ingredients including fruits, vegetables, and animal proteins so even the fussiest dog will find something they’re sure to enjoy.

Natural treats are more easily digestible than other treats though we won’t name any names (cough, rawhide). They’re also full of nutrients, sure to keep your dog doing the zoomies way into their old age.

A dog being given a piece of watermelon

What are the healthiest dog treats for dogs?

Whilst you can find specially-made natural treats for dogs in many pet stores and supermarkets, you may be surprised to find you already have an extensive range of natural treats at home.

The most obvious being fruit and vegetables! Apples are a great snack for dogs, though a whole one may be a bit too much. Apples are full of fibre and nutrients but don’t let your pup eat the core or seeds.

Most dogs are also very fond of bananas and watermelons. If you’re feeding your dog watermelon, remove the seeds first and don’t let them eat the rind. This could result in an unexpected vet trip so it’s best to just let them eat the flesh.

Peas are another great snack for dogs and can be eaten frozen or fresh. We’ll refrain from inserting an easy-peasy pun in here.

Dogs can eat many other vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and green beans. Though you must make sure they’re unseasoned, and if giving them raw, chop them up into bite-size pieces. Some dogs don’t chew their food properly (calling out all the Beagles of the world) which can result in a hazard.

If your dog prefers softer treats, pate could be just the answer. It can be spread or sliced making it a versatile treat made from 100% animal protein.

What treats should dogs avoid?

A sad looking pug

Whilst fruits and veggies are healthy, natural treats for dogs - not all of them are. This means no grapes, raisins, avocados, or cherries! Lots of these contain naturally occurring chemicals that can pose a huge threat to any dog.

Some people think tomatoes are toxic for dogs, but this is only if dogs eat green tomatoes. We’ve actually covered this already in our blog, so click here to read more.

As a pet parent, it’s always good to be knowledgeable about what your dog can and can’t eat. You can also show off all this information to your friends or people you sit next to on the bus if you want people to know how clever you are.

In terms of what processed treats dogs should avoid…there’s a lot. Rawhide chews are one of the biggest concerns. Whilst they last a long time, they’re a cheap material that can cause choking or intestinal blockage.

Because rawhide is a byproduct from the leather industry, it usually contains nasty ingredients such as glue, bleach and sodium sulfide - things no owner would EVER give their pooch. So don’t be fooled by packaging with happy dogs on as rawhide is not a good treat.

Because lots of natural treats are hairy and directly from animals - think pizzles, rabbit ears, chicken feet - some people think it’s okay to feed their pets bones. This is a huge no-no, especially pork or rib bones.

Raw bones are full of bad bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella. To kill off these pesky pathogens, bones must be cooked. However, cooking a bone and then giving it to a dog can cause a wide range of problems such as splintering - not good at all, so it’s best to completely avoid them.

Also, it's important to check your dog's dietary requirements with your vet before changing their food, especially if they have their own list of food intolerances.

What natural treats are good for dogs' teeth?

close up of pizzle stick

If your dog is a fan of meaty treats, why not buy them a pizzle stick? Not only do they keep your dog entertained for hours, but they also help to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth whilst exercising their jaw.

Pizzle sticks are a firm favourite for many dogs and are completely natural but if you’re unsure which part of the bull they’re from, you may want to research it for yourself…

Yak chews are another popular result for natural dog treats UK and are good for teeth too. They’re made from Himalayan yak and cow milk to create a hard, long-lasting cheesy chew that is completely natural with no artificial flavours.

Deer antlers are also a natural dental chew and help to remove plaque, giving your dog’s pearly whites a glowing appearance! If only it was that simple to keep our own teeth white.


When it comes to natural treats dogs can eat, your pup will be spoilt for choice. From everyday fridge and cupboard food items to specifically developed natural chews, the sky is the limit!

There is a range of quality dog treats and nutritious treats for your furry friend but don’t forget - it’s very important to research which natural treats are safe before feeding your dog any new foods. If in doubt, always consult your vet.

Though fruit and vegetables can be healthy treats, some are toxic to dogs and you wouldn’t want to cause your dog any harm now, would you? Of course not.

Just because you deem something natural because it comes from an animal this doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe for consumption. This means no bones for your pooch unless advised by your vet.

Instead, think yak chews, deer antlers, and pizzle sticks. Whilst they might be a bit smelly and hairy, your dog will be having the best time chewing away and looking after their teefs.

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Need more help? You're in luck if you're a Waggel Pet Insurance member. Along with our excellent coverage, we offer access to a 24/7 online vet to answer all your sticky questions, especially if you need grooming assistance.

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