You love your dog, and one of the ways you prove that to her is by giving her treats. You know, things like dry, crunchy biscuits and highly-processed strips and sticks filled with who-knows-what…
Would you want to eat treats like that? Neither would we — and, once your dog has a taste for freeze-dried treats, we bet she’ll turn her nose up at the old-fashioned kind, too.
However, much like with kibble, there are a lot of options to choose from in the treat market, and not all of them are created equal. In the reviews below, we’ll show you which ones we think are best for your dog, based on factors like taste, nutritional profile, and more.
After reading our guide, the hardest thing you’ll have to do is resist eating these treats yourself.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Model||Price||Sizes Available||Editor Rating|
|Stewart Pro-Treat 401718|
|Sojos 557028||3 Sizes||4.35/5|
|Wellness 88302||1 Size||4.30/5|
The 10 Best Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
1. Halo Liv-A-Littles Natural Dog Treats – Best Overall
Made of freeze-dried chicken, the Halo Liv-A-Littles have a natural texture and appealing aroma that most pups find irresistible.
There are no grains or any other fillers in these treats, so your dog will get pure protein. Plus, there are only eight calories in each one, allowing you to spoil your dog a bit without worrying about padding her waistline too much.
They can be crumbled up and used as a meal topper as well, which makes them useful for convincing finicky pets to eat their dinner. However, this can also be a bit of an issue with some orders, as once you get to the bottom of the jar there’s a lot of dust and crumbles rather than fully-formed pieces.
Still, that’s not enough of a drawback to keep the Liv-A-Littles out of the top spot. These are treats just about any pooch will go crazy for, and you’ll appreciate that you can dispense them without feeling guilty about it.
2. Stewart Freeze Dried Dog Treats – Best Value
Available in a wide variety of flavors, the favorably-priced Stewart Pro-Treats allow you to keep your dog guessing as to what she’ll taste next. Regardless of which flavor she gets, you can trust it’s made with high-quality ingredients that have been sourced and processed in the USA.
This gives the treats a strong aroma, so your dog should start salivating as soon as she catches a whiff of the open bag. This makes them a great reward and a useful training tool. The tub they’re stored in seals tightly, so you won’t have to smell them all day. The tight seal should keep them fresh for a long time, too.
They do have quite a bit of fat, so you won’t want to give your dog too many at a time, but due to the rich flavor, a little goes a long way.
If they were a little healthier, they’d be in serious competition for the top spot. Still, thanks to their great taste, low cost, and convenient storage container, they’re our choice for best freeze-dried dog treats for the money.
Made of thick chunks of chicken breast, the Life Essentials Natural are a single-ingredient treat that’s free of fillers, preservatives, additives, or other suspicious ingredients.
The chicken used in the treats is free-range, so it hasn’t been shot full of hormones or antibiotics (and it’s more humane for the chickens). That helps your dog process them better, making them a smart choice for pups with digestive issues.
All of this makes these premium treats — and they’re certainly priced accordingly. The high price may encourage you to limit how many you feed your dog, though, so maybe that’s a good thing. Even if you do go overboard, they’re 80% protein, so your dog shouldn’t get too plump.
We really like the Life Essentials Natural, but it’s hard to justify paying so much when other options like the Halo Liv-A-Littles are of comparable quality at a fraction of the price. If money’s no object, though, these treats should make both you and your pet very happy indeed.
4. Sojos Natural Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
Dogs evolved to eat raw meat, and the Sojos Natural plays on this natural inclination by freeze-drying bits of raw turkey and other meats. That’s all you’ll find inside — no gluten, grains, chemicals, or other problematic ingredients.
The freeze-drying process captures all the enzymes and vitamins that are naturally found in the meat source, giving your dog a healthy dose of nutrients with each bite. You should be aware, though, that it also traps most of the animal’s oils, and the treats tend to be a little greasy. You’ll definitely want to wash your hands after dispensing them.
They make an excellent addition to dogs that are already eating a raw diet, or they can be tossed in with her food to give it a shot of flavor.
The bags themselves are a little small, and some of the pieces are pure fat. However, your dog will find them delicious regardless, even if she’s otherwise a finicky eater.
We can’t rank the Sojos much higher than this, though, because they’re not quite as high-quality as premium treats like the Life Essentials Natural while not being as budget-friendly as options like the Stewart Pro-Treats.
5. Wellness Core Freeze Dried Dog Treats
Wellness Core lets you choose between boar, beef, salmon, and turkey for your protein source, and most dogs enjoy the flavor of all those animals. The meat is freeze-dried raw, just like with Sojos, and these treats are similarly free of grains, gluten, and artificial ingredients.
However, the meat doesn’t seem to be as high-quality. It’s not bad, per se, it just seems to be made from a lower-grade of meat than some of the pricier models. They’re drier and don’t break down very easily when your dog tries to chew them, which makes them last longer but calls into question their quality.
They have less protein than similar single-ingredient treats as well. They’re still a lean treat, but we question why they’d be lacking in such a key nutrient.
The Wellness Core are still high-quality treats that your dog should love, but we’d urge you to start with one of the other treats shown above before switching your dog to these.
6. Pupford Freeze-Dried Training Treats
These treats from Pupford have more than just meat options, as you can also get a sweet potato flavor, yet they nevertheless manage to be low in calories. There’s less than one calorie per treat, making them a smart choice for dogs on a diet.
The core ingredient is paired with pea protein, which adds antioxidants and prevents the treats from crumbling, so you shouldn’t find a thick layer of crumbs at the bottom of each bag.
Each container has hundreds of treats inside, giving you good value for the price. However, a big reason why they can cram so many in each bag is because each one is incredibly small, and larger-breed dogs may find them to be more of a tease than a treat. Be careful, though, because overfeeding can lead to stomach issues.
The pea protein adds a flavor that some dogs don’t enjoy, and picky pups are more likely to turn their noses up at these than other options.
If you’re trying to help your dog shed a few pounds, these Pupford treats can help you with that, but they won’t help your dog forget she’s on a diet.
7. PureBites Lamb Freeze-Dried Treats
The PureBites PB001151 are larger than many other treats, as each one is a decently-sized block. That makes them a good choice for bigger dogs while also giving smaller pups plenty to chew on, but it also limits how many will fit in each bag.
Despite their generous size, they only have about seven calories per treat, so you don’t have to feel bad about giving them to your mutt. The single ingredient — lamb — is sourced from New Zealand and processed in the USA, so they should be fine for animals with sensitive stomachs.
They have a very strong odor, which your dog will likely love but may turn your stomach. The zip lock on the bag isn’t terribly durable, so if the bag breaks you’ll need to find a sealed container to put them in if you don’t want to smell lamb every time you go into the kitchen.
Your dog will most likely enjoy the PureBites, but there’s nothing special about them to warrant putting up with the odor, especially given that some of our higher-rated treats have all the benefits without the foul smell.
8. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
These treats from Stella & Chewy are a good size, but they can be broken up for smaller dogs or to be used as training rewards.
They don’t really have a steady consistency, though. Many pieces are on the mushy side — likely due to the fact that they’re full of fatty meat — while others have long strips of gristly cartilage inside. This doesn’t seem to bother dogs, but it does make you wonder about the ingredients, especially since many of the flavors use organ meat.
Those gristly pieces can be a choking hazard as well, especially if your pup isn’t a big fan of chewing.
These make a tasty reward for your dog, but the consistency concerns keep us from ranking it any higher than 8th on this list.
9. Crumps’ Naturals Mini Trainers
Crumps’ Naturals Mini Trainers aren’t really treats in the true sense of the word, as they’re intended to be tiny rewards used during training. As such, they are of somewhat limited use unless you give your dog a handful at a time.
They’re so small, in fact, that they’ll barely register for bigger dogs (and can possibly get lodged in their throats). We feel that, if you have a large-breed pup, you’re much better off buying bigger treats and breaking them up to use for training.
The only listed ingredient is Canadian beef liver, but the treats have a fair amount of ash in them, which suggests the presence of at least some bones. Also, there’s absolutely no fiber inside. It’s not uncommon to find little bits of paper inside the bags as well, so there may be some quality control issues to worry about.
If you have a toy dog or spend a ton of time training, then Crumps’ Naturals Mini Trainers may be worthwhile for you. Most owners, however, will be better off buying something more substantial.
10. Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
If you’re looking to expand your pet’s palate, Vital Essentials 3521 come in a variety of flavors, including some (like minnows) that are well off the beaten path. That may gross you out, but there’s a good chance your dog will love the variety.
Eating minnows will add a lot of omega fatty acids and other important antioxidants to your dog’s diet, but you’ll have to put up with a strong fish smell — both in your house and on your dog’s breath. Squeamish pet owners may not be thrilled at having to hold a dead minnow in their hands, either.
Some of these exotic ingredients are more likely to contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, and since the freeze-drying process doesn’t kill off many microbes, you may need to monitor your pet closely after feeding these treats to her.
All in all, we feel the Vital Essentials 3521 are best used as an occasional delicacy than regularly fed as a treat. They’re not exactly cheap, either, so you may only find yourself buying these once before moving on to something more traditional.
If you want a healthy, tasty freeze-dried treat to spoil your dog with, it’s hard to go wrong feeding her Halo Liv-A-Little. Made with real chicken and retaining the meat’s natural texture and aroma, these treats will drive your dog wild without making her pudgy along the way.
Stewart Pro-Treats are another excellent option, especially if you’re on a budget. Dogs love both their taste and smell, and the tightly-sealed container keeps them fresh for quite a long time.
Choosing the right freeze-dried treat for your dog is no easy task, and we hope the reviews above have made things a bit more straightforward. Now that you have all the data you need to make an informed choice, you’re ready for the toughest task of all: telling your dog when she’s had enough.
Featured image credit: All-Natural Freeze Dried Chicken Treats for Dogs & Cats Free of Grains, Amazon
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
- 1. Halo Liv-A-Littles Natural Dog Treats – Best Overall
- 2. Stewart Freeze Dried Dog Treats – Best Value
- 3. Life Essentials Freeze Dried Treat – Premium Choice
- 4. Sojos Natural Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
- 5. Wellness Core Freeze Dried Dog Treats
- 6. Pupford Freeze-Dried Training Treats
- 7. PureBites Lamb Freeze-Dried Treats
- 8. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
- 9. Crumps’ Naturals Mini Trainers
- 10. Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Dog Treats