Don’t bother expecting a small dog to act their size. Whether they’re stirring up trouble against a dog twice their weight or consuming enough food to feed a Saint Bernard, small dogs will find a way to make their presence known. If you’re lucky enough to share your life with a small dog, you want to make sure they stay as happy and healthy as possible but you probably can’t resist spoiling them a little bit as well.
Dog treats are a tasty way to brighten your small dog’s day but with so many options available, how do you pick the best one? To guide your choice, we’ve rounded up reviews of what we think are the 10 best treats for small dogs this year. You’ll find choices in a variety of textures and flavors so you can find the perfect option for your tiny but mighty pup.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites (Updated in 2022)
The 10 Best Dog Treats For Small Dogs
1. Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Recipe Training Treats – Best Overall
|Top three ingredients:||Chicken, rice, barley|
Our pick for the best overall dog treats for small dogs is Zuke’s Mini Naturals Chicken Training Treats. These tiny treats are just the right size for little mouths. They’re also convenient to stash in pockets or purses for on-the-go training sessions. Many small dog owners don’t spend as much time training their dogs as those who own large dogs, but it’s just as important for little canines. Zuke’s are a natural fit for a reward-based training program. Made using real chicken, these treats are also low in calories, allowing you to keep your small dog at an appropriate size while you’re training.
Users report that these treats have a strong smell and a recent texture change was not well-received by some dogs.
2. Milk-Bone Original Small Biscuits – Best Value
|Top three ingredients:||Ground whole wheat, wheat flour, meat, and bone meal|
Our pick for the best treat for small dogs for the money is a classic choice, Milk-Bone Original Small Biscuits. These crunchy biscuits are one of the most well-known and widely available options for small dog treats. Reasonably priced and available in large-size containers, Milk-Bone Biscuits are a good choice for kennels, groomers, or anyone looking to spoil multiple small dogs.
With wheat products as the top two ingredients, these aren’t grain-free treats nor are they suitable for dogs with allergies. The crunchy texture helps keep your small dog’s teeth cleaner, a nice perk given how many small dogs suffer from dental disease.
3. True Chews Premium Jerky Treats – Premium Choice
|Top three ingredients:||Chicken, potatoes, vegetable glycerin|
As our premium choice, we selected True Chews Premium Jerky Treats. These treats are made with all-natural ingredients, including chicken raised without antibiotics or hormones. They’re also free of artificial flavors and preservatives. Slow roasted with a delicious smoky flavor, it’s no wonder that owners report even their picky dogs seem to love the taste of these treats.
Because they’re made with premium ingredients, these treats are more expensive than most others on our list. They’re also fairly high in calories, so you’ll want to feed them in moderation. Because of the texture, these treats are easy to break into smaller pieces for training or simply to limit your dog’s calorie consumption.
4. Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb And Salmon Grain-free Bites – Best for Puppies
|Top three ingredients:||Lamb, salmon, chickpeas|
Spoil your little bitty puppy by offering Wellness Puppy Lamb and Salmon Grain-free bites. Made from real, quality meat protein ingredients, combined with healthy fruits and veggies, these treats are nutritious and delicious. They’re also grain-free, which will appeal to owners who value this trait. Specially formulated for dogs under a year old, these treats make excellent training treats as your puppy begins training and socialization work. The small size and soft texture of these treats make them easy for extra-small puppy mouths to chew.
Picky puppies may not care for the taste and smell of the salmon in these treats. The texture is also very crumbly and messy when eaten.
5. Greenies Teenie Dental Dog Treats
|Top three ingredients:||Wheat flour, wheat gluten, glycerin|
For those who like their treats to serve a purpose other than just being delicious, Greenies Teenie Dental Treats are a perfect choice. Designed specifically to improve your dog’s oral health, Greenies rely on a unique texture to clean your small dog’s teeth and keep their breath fresh. They’re also low in fat, high in protein, and contain added vitamins and minerals. Accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), Greenies can play a key role in your small dog’s dental health.
As with any chew treat, supervise your dog while they’re eating Greenies to ensure they don’t swallow large chunks. Greenies also contain wheat, a potential allergen.
6. SmartBones Mini Sweet Potato Chews
|Top three ingredients:||Corn, chicken, sweet potato|
For the small dog who loves to chew and the owner who worries about the safety of rawhide bones, SmartBones Mini Sweet Potato Chews might be just the right fit. Designed to be easier to digest and less prone to splintering than rawhide, these chews are tough and long-lasting. They’re also low in fat and calories and contain added vitamins and minerals. For safety, always supervise your dog when chewing even safer treats like these. SmartBones do contain corn, an ingredient that some owners prefer to avoid. Most dogs enjoy these bones, but some owners reported their pets developed upset stomachs after chewing them.
7. Purina ProPlan Gentle Snackers
|Top three ingredients:||Starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, vegetable oil|
If your small dog suffers from allergies or a sensitive stomach, Purina ProPlan Gentle Snackers offers the chance to safely enjoy treats without troublesome side effects. Made from a single protein source and limited ingredients, these treats are easy to digest and free from any artificial colors or flavors. Many small dog breeds are prone to food allergies and these treats are designed with them in mind. These treats typically require a prescription because they’re considered a veterinary diet. Food allergies can be tough to diagnose and manage, and it’s essential to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations carefully.
Gentle Snackers are fruit and veggie-flavored rather than meat, and some dogs don’t find the flavor appealing.
8. Fruitables Skinny Minis Apple Bacon Treats
|Top three ingredients:||Sweet potato, vegetable glycerin, chickpeas|
Ideal for the small dog who needs a little help keeping their figure, Fruitables Skinny Minis are a low-calorie, high-fiber treat that allows you to continue spoiling your overweight dog even when they’re on a restricted diet. Made in a certified organic facility, these treats contain real bacon, sweet potato, and apple. They are also grain-free.
The size of these treats is appropriate for small dogs, but the texture is not as soft as many owners hoped. Others disliked the pungent odor of these treats. Despite the bacon flavor, owners report that pickier dogs still don’t care for the taste of these treats.
9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Jumpin’ Stix Sweet Potato And Venison
|Top three ingredients:||Venison, water, dried sweet potato|
Owners of small dogs who need a limited ingredient, over-the-counter treat, should consider Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Sweet Potato and Venison Jumpin’ Stix. Not only are these treats grain-free and made with real venison and sweet potato in the top three ingredients, but they also contain added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. If your dog has food allergies, check with your vet before feeding these treats to make sure they’re okay to offer.
These treats are only available in a small bag and are a bit expensive. Jumpin’ Stix treats are also high in fat, making them a poor choice for overweight dogs.
10. Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Meatballs
|Top three ingredients:||Chicken, soy grits, bee|
With a fun shape and soft texture easy to break up for tiny dogs, Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Meatballs are a delicious option to consider. Many owners look to these treats for hiding medications. Milo’s are high in protein and free of artificial colors and flavors. They do contain quite a bit of fat, however.
Milo’s Kitchen treats have a strong odor which some owners don’t care for. Although these treats are overall highly rated, some owners disliked that they contain sugar and reported that their dogs didn’t care for the taste. They are also made with soy, which many owners prefer to avoid feeding.
While we chose these 10 treats as our top picks, they’re by no means the only choices available to small dog owners. To help guide you when selecting treats for your small dog, we offer some general points to consider.
Size of the Treat
Small dogs generally find smaller treats easier to chew and eat. When picking treats, look for a smaller size or those that are easily broken up into bite-size morsels. At the same time, treats that are too small could pose a choking hazard, especially if your dog eats them quickly.
Texture of the Treat
Soft, chewy treats are usually the easiest for small dogs to eat. At the same time, chew treats and harder biscuits can be healthier for your dog’s teeth. Strong chewers may prefer the harder textures as well. Consider your dog’s ability to chew as you select your treats.
Any Special Health Concerns
If your dog is overweight or has food allergies, that will obviously impact and limit your treat choices. Your veterinarian can help guide you to appropriate treat choices for dogs with food allergies. For feeding overweight dogs, ask your vet to help you calculate how many calories per day your dog should be eating. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie count. Always make sure you read labels carefully and know how many calories are in each treat before feeding.
As our top overall pick, Zuke’s Mini Training Treats are a versatile, low-calorie snack with the perfect size for small dog snacking. Our best value treat pick, the Milk-Bone Original Biscuits, are tasty and serve to keep breath fresh and teeth healthy as well. With so many treat options available for small dogs, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We hope our reviews of these 10 products gave you the information you needed to help simplify your choice.
Featured Image Credit: alexei_tm, Shutterstock