Treats can be an invaluable tool, helping you train your dog or reward it for good behavior. But if you’d like your dog to lose or maintain weight, you may want low-calorie, healthy treats that still taste good. These treats may be made of a wide range of ingredients and may contain metabolism-boosting supplements and vitamins.
How do you sort through the many treats available online and find the perfect low-calorie brand for your dog?
We’ve researched for you, buying and testing all of the best brands. The result is our list of the 10 best low-calorie dog treats available this year.
For each product, we’ve written a detailed review, comparing price, flavoring, ingredients, caloric content, and texture so you can confidently choose. Are you curious about the best ingredients or textures? Take a look at our comprehensive buyer’s guide, which covers flavors, calories, supplements, and everything in between.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Pet Botanics||4oz, 8oz, 10oz, 20oz||4.80/5|
|Buddy Biscuits||5 oz||4.60/5|
The 10 Best Low-Calorie Dog Treats
1. Charlee Bear ZT963 Dog Treats – Best Overall
These dog treats, which are sold in 16-ounce bags, are made with turkey liver and cranberries, with a wheat flour base. They don’t contain soy, corn, artificial flavors, or preservatives. With just a few simple ingredients and only three calories per treat, this product is an appealing option.
These treats are dry and crunchy, so you won’t be able to break them into smaller pieces, and they may crumble in your pocket. They’re also not especially meaty in aroma or flavor, so these treats may not appeal as much to a meat-loving dog. Charlee Bear doesn’t offer a satisfaction guarantee.
2. Hill’s Baked Light Dog Treats – Best Value
These low-cost dog treats, which come in small eight-ounce bags, are one inch long and shaped like bones. They’re made with chicken, and the recommended serving size contains 15% of your dog’s daily protein.
These dog biscuits have more calories, eight per treat, and have a flavor that may not appeal to all dogs. We also found reports of them arriving stale. These dry treats also crumble easily and can be difficult to break. Hill’s offers a great 100% money-back guarantee.
3. Fruitables Skinny Minis
These treats are sold in pricey variety packs made up of three five-ounce bags. They come in unique apple and bacon, pumpkin and berry, and pumpkin and mango flavors. The chickpea-flour recipe contains no wheat, corn, or soy, and the treats are soft and chewy. These treats have only 3.5 calories each.
Though these treats are easy to break and won’t crumble, the unexpected flavors, two of which don’t contain meat, may not appeal to all dogs. These treats are also surprisingly expensive and don’t come with a satisfaction guarantee.
We reviewed the best: Calming Dog Treats
4. Pet Botanics 78104 Training Reward
The Pet Botanics 78104 Training Reward treats are low-cost and very low-calorie, with a choice of meaty flavors and a soft texture.
These treats are sold in small four-ounce bags in a choice of salmon, beef, chicken, or bacon flavor. Meat is the first ingredient, and the meaty aroma and flavors appeal to many dogs. These treats are moist, so they won’t crumble, and they contain only 1.5 calories each. The corn-, wheat-, and soy-free recipe also includes various herbs and antioxidants, like cranberries, chamomile, dandelion, and peppermint.
These treats have some garlic in them, which can be upsetting to sensitive dog stomachs. Though the bags are resealable, we did find that the treats tended to mold over time. Pet Botanics doesn’t offer a guarantee.
Check out more of our doggie nutrition guides: Here!
5. Buddy Biscuits Healthy Dog Treats
These treats are sold in fairly pricey five-ounce bags. You can choose between peanut butter, beef, and chicken flavors, all of which are made with chickpea flour. These soft treats won’t crumble and are easy to chew, making them a good choice for older dogs. The treats are shaped like gingerbread men and contain no corn, soy, eggs, or artificial flavors.
These dog treats contain 10 calories per treat, and they dry out quickly after you open the bag. We found that the flavors were appealing to dogs, but the bags sometimes arrived stale. Buddy Biscuits doesn’t offer a guarantee.
6. Cloud Star Dog Training Treats
These soft treats are sold in affordable 14-ounce bags with a range of flavors like liver, cheddar, and salmon. They’re wheat- and corn-free and contain only three calories per treat. Cloud Star donates a portion of its profits to dog-related nonprofits.
When we tested these treats, we found that they often arrived stale and hard. These treats may also mold or irritate dogs with sensitive stomachs. Cloud Star doesn’t offer a guarantee.
We reviewed the top puppy milk replacers – See our top picks!
7. Buckley Ruff Puffs Dog Training Treats
Buckley’s BUCK.PUFF.PA.4OZ Ruff Puffs Dog Training Treats are somewhat expensive and may be too hard for older dogs.
These treats, sold in small four-ounce bags, are made of pearled sorghum and rice. They’re gluten-free and kosher, and you have a choice between sweet potato and apple, rotisserie chicken, and white cheddar flavors. Each treat contains less than four calories.
These treats are very dry and may be hard on the teeth of older dogs. They’re also small and dense, without strong aromas to entice your dog. Buckley doesn’t offer a guarantee.
8. Get Naked Dental Chew Sticks
Get Naked’s 700491 Grain-Free Dental Chew Sticks are large treats that are designed to reduce plaque and tartar. They’re inexpensive but large, with a higher calorie count.
These chew sticks come in 6.2-ounce bags, which contain about 18 sticks. These large treats have 25 calories each and can’t be easily broken up, so they’re best for larger dogs. They’re potato-based and free of wheat, corn, and soy. These sticks are also fortified with dietary fiber and L-Carnitine, a dietary supplement that may increase metabolism.
We found these treats too large for many dogs. They won’t work well as small training treats or frequent rewards, and you may prefer not to give your dog supplements. Get Naked doesn’t offer a guarantee.
9. IMK9 Natural Training Treats
The IMK9 Natural Training Treats are soft, sustainably-sourced peanut butter treats. Without meat, they may not appeal to your dog, and the package is fairly expensive.
These treats come in pricey eight-ounce bags. They’re flavored with peanut butter, blueberry, and chia, and contain no corn, wheat, or soy. They also contain fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins B and E. Each treat contains a reasonable five calories.
We found that dogs weren’t as attracted to the aroma or flavor of these vegetarian treats. They are soft enough to break in half but more expensive than you may prefer. They may also arrive stale. IMK9 offers a good money-back guarantee.
10. Raw Paws Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Our least favorite dog treats are the Raw Paws Sweet Potato Dog Treats, which are small, pricey, and very hard. These treats are low-protein, so if your dog has kidney disease or similar health issues, they may be a good option.
These dog treats, which are sold in six-ounce bags, are vegan, vegetarian, grain-free, low-calorie, and low-protein. The only ingredient is dehydrated sweet potato, which contains beta-carotene and complex carbohydrates. These treats are designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs and food allergies and contain only three calories each. They’re crunchy and high-fiber. The company donates a portion of its profits to animal charities.
These treats don’t have a strong aroma or any meat flavoring, so they won’t appeal to all dogs. They may also be too hard for older dogs and can’t be broken into smaller pieces. Raw Paws offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
You’ve seen our list of the best low-calorie dog treats. But which brand will best suit you and your dog? We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the many varieties of dog treats so you can make an informed decision.
One distinguishing feature between different types of treats is their texture. Soft, chewy treats are easy to break into pieces, which can be useful if you have a small dog or want to spread out a reward. These treats also won’t crumble, making them cleaner if you keep them in a pocket or bag. Another good reason to choose soft treats is if your dog is older or has weak teeth.
If you choose soft treats, keep in mind that their higher moisture content may make them vulnerable to mold. You’ll probably want to keep soft treats in an airtight container, use them fairly quickly after opening the package, and regularly check for mold. If the package you receive has been sitting around too long, these treats may also arrive stale and hard.
The other type of treats has a hard, crunchy texture. These may be more difficult to break, particularly if they’re small, and may also be harder on your dog’s teeth. They tend to crumble, so you may want to keep hard treats out of your pockets.
Dog treats can be made with a wide range of ingredients, producing a good variety of flavors, and low-calorie treats are no exception. You can choose among meats like turkey, chicken, bacon, and salmon. If you prefer vegetarian options, there are quite a few low-calorie treats with flavors like pumpkin, apple, peanut butter, and cheddar. Keep in mind that many dogs prefer the strong aroma and flavor of meat-based treats. If you have a very food-oriented dog, the flavor may not be as important.
Many dog treats, like our two favorite brands, are made with wheat flour. Dogs developed the ability to digest starch over millennia of living with humans, separating them from their wild ancestors. Therefore, wheat flour, composed largely of starch, protein, and fiber, is generally a good, low-cost option for dog treats.
Several of the treats we reviewed are made without wheat, corn, or soy. Instead, these recipes may use chickpeas, potatoes, or brown rice. Most dogs can digest wheat and other grains, but some may have specific allergies. Some dogs are allergic to mites that may grow in non-airtight containers. If you know your dog has a wheat or gluten allergy, you’ll probably want to look for gluten-free options. Because corn and soy are difficult for dogs to digest, none of our top picks are made with either.
If you’re health-conscious, you may prefer to buy dog treats with short, simple ingredient lists. Our 10th option, the Raw Paws Sweet Potato Dog Treats, is the most extreme example of this, as it’s made with a single ingredient, sweet potato. Many of the other options don’t have artificial flavors, chemicals, or complicated ingredient lists. Fewer ingredients may be especially important if your dog has food allergies, kidney problems, or a sensitive stomach.
You may want to stay away from treats that contain garlic, particularly if your dog has digestive problems, as it may irritate your dog’s stomach.
One of the treat varieties we reviewed, the Get Naked 700491 Grain-Free Dental Chew Sticks, has an extra tooth-protecting feature. These sticks are designed to reduce plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth while also providing a fun treat.
Some dog treats offer additional ingredients like added fiber, vitamins, and supplements. As long as your dog doesn’t have a sensitive stomach, consuming extra fiber and vitamins can be beneficial to its digestion.
L-Carnitine, which is a naturally-occurring amino acid, is sometimes added to dog food for its weight loss effects. This supplement may increase your dog’s metabolism, particularly of fat, so it may help your dog lose weight. However, this hasn’t been fully proven, and most dogs naturally produce plenty of L-Carnitine. If you’re not sure, you may want to consult with your veterinarian to determine if your dog has a deficiency.
Exactly how low-calorie are you looking for? Dog treats come in a range of calorie levels, from a single calorie per treat up to 25 or more. You can typically find the calorie count printed on the treat bag. It may be listed in kilocalories, where 1,000 kilocalories equals one calorie.
You may want to consider how often you like to give out treats. If you give your dog treats several times a day, you may want the lowest calorie levels or soft treats that you’ll be able to break into smaller pieces. If you only give your dog treats occasionally, you may be fine with a higher calorie level, closer to 10 per treat.
If your dog doesn’t like the flavors or the package you receive is stale, you may appreciate having a money-back guarantee. Several of the brands we reviewed offer satisfaction guarantees, where you’ll be able to exchange or return any treats you’re not happy with. If this interests you, you may want to look for a brand with a good money-back guarantee.
Our favorite dog treats are the Charlee Bear ZT963 16 51 Dog Treats, which are well-priced, low-calorie, and have plenty of flavor. If you’re looking for value, you may prefer Hill’s 10566 Dog Treats Baked Light Dog Biscuits, which are low-cost, chicken-flavored treats that come with lots of protein and a great money-back guarantee.
The right treats can help you train your dog and reward it for behaving well. But if you give out too many treats, you may find yourself with an overweight dog. Don’t worry, low-calorie treats are here to help! With plenty of flavor but significantly fewer calories, these treats will keep your dog happy and healthy. We hope this list of the 10 best low-calorie dog treats, complete with detailed reviews and a complete buyer’s guide, helps you quickly find tasty, healthy treats that won’t overextend your budget. Your dog will thank you!
By Kate MacDonnell
Featured image credit: Fruitables 5 Ounce Skinny Minis Dog Treat Variety Packs, 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 Low-Calorie Dog Treats
- 1. Charlee Bear ZT963 Dog Treats – Best Overall
- 2. Hill’s Baked Light Dog Treats – Best Value
- 3. Fruitables Skinny Minis
- 4. Pet Botanics 78104 Training Reward
- 5. Buddy Biscuits Healthy Dog Treats
- 6. Cloud Star Dog Training Treats
- 7. Buckley Ruff Puffs Dog Training Treats
- 8. Get Naked Dental Chew Sticks
- 9. IMK9 Natural Training Treats
- 10. Raw Paws Sweet Potato Dog Treats
- Buyer’s Guide