I bet you’re reading this for one of two reasons:
- You want to know the best treats for training your puppy?
- You want your dog (or puppy) to feel special, loved, and love you?
I’ll give some recommendations on what I think are the best dog treats in these situations, and I’ll throw in a great tip later which is both cost effective and super healthy!
- The best selling dog treats in Australia, and are they any good?
- My recommendations for dog treats in Australia
- Dental treats for dogs
- How do I tell if supermarket dog treats are any good?
- Or… Make your own dog treats!
The best selling dog treats in Australia, and are they any good?
Before I give some recommendations on dog treats, lets take a look at the best selling dog treats in Australia. Usually what’s popular doesn’t mean it’s the best, so we’ll take a look and see what we can learn.
So these are the best selling dog treats in Australia, right now:
The #1 top selling dog treat is… Greenies
According to Amazon, the #1 best selling dog treat in Australia is Greenies, made by Mars.
Greenies dental chews, apparently recommended by veterinarians for dental health, are made from (I kid you not) wheat flour, wheat gluten, glycerine, and gelatine as the main ingredients.
Interestingly, when I did a course on pet nutrition, Greenies were recommended multiple times. I’m not sure why products are recommended on courses, but there you go.
I assume most dog owners are drawn to Greenies because they’re apparently for dental health, but I wasn’t aware wheat was so amazing for dental health?
According to the Greenies website, they help clean teeth with “mechanical abrasion“, saying the “chewy texture allows the teeth to sink in for maximum tooth contact causing mechanical scraping and scrubbing of the tooth surface“.
Well that’s not about ingredients at all?
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound great to me. Surely your dog would prefer a nice meaty bone rather than chewy wheat?
The #2 top selling dog treat is… Schmackos
Schmackos is another brand of Mars.
Neither Greenies or Schmackos have Mars stamped all over the packaging, so I doubt many dog owners know they’re made by the same company who sell us the Mars Bar? That wonderfully nutritious treat…
I took a look at the ingredients of Schmackos which seems to have meat by-products as the main ingredient, but also some dubious stuff:
- Sucrose (sugar to you and me)
- Flavour – not specified
- Preservatives – not specified
- Colours – not specified
- Antioxidants – not specified
Ask yourself this – why don’t they tell us what those ingredients are?
Are these dog treats more about profit than the health of our pets? If so, us dog owners need to figure out for ourselves what’s good for our dogs, and what isn’t.
It doesn’t surprise me Greenies and Schmackos are top selling dog treats. They’re cheap.
You also see them recommended all over the place on social media by dog owners, but it’s possible those people have never taken the time to read what’s in them.
They probably feed loads of them to their dogs, too.
My recommendations for dog treats in Australia
Hopefully the recommendations below will give you a really good starting point. For me, the best dog treats are those made from nutritious ingredients which really benefit the health of your dog. Not just with nutritious ingredients, but to really help them clean teeth as well.
None of these recommendations will contain sugar, wheat, or ambiguous ingredients. I wouldn’t give this stuff to my dog, and hopefully you won’t too.
I’ve also fed all these treats to my dog, so can vouch for them in that respect. I’ve also taken the time to see what other dog owners have had to say about them.
Eureka are by far one of the best Australian dog food brands you can buy, and their air-dried dog food (similar to ZiwiPeak) is really top notch. The Eureka range of dog treats is really good as well, with a range of treats on offer.
If you want to boost your dog’s nutrition then the liver treats would be a great choice – liver is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. You can overdo it with liver though, so don’t feed these treats in excess.
It’s really nice to see inclusions such as green lipped mussels, manuka honey, and sardines in some of the treats, but all are healthy and great for your dog.
Eureka treats are only available from their website, delivered to your door.
At the time of writing, if you use the code PFR30 you can get $30 off your first order if you spend over $60.
#2: Frontier Pets Beef Tripe Strips (and Chicken Necks)
Tripe is a superfood for dogs being absolutely packed with nutrition. In it’s natural form it’s very smelly which thankfully isn’t the case with the Freeze Dried Beef Tripe Treats from Frontier Pets. Being a company built on ethics they only use free-range grass fed beef which is gluten and GMO free, and by buying these treats you’re supporting local Australian farmers who farm their animals the right way, not in cages.
The bag size for the beef tripe dog treats is generous with various-sized pieces, so great for a snack or training treats. Frontier Pets also offer freeze dried chicken necks which are also good, so why not try both?
It’s also worth stating Frontier Pets offer our highest rated dog food across the whole website, rated 9.7 out of 10.
Where to buy Frontier Pet treats?
You can buy Frontier Pets treats directly from their website.
#3: ZIWI Peak Deer Shanks – great for dental health
ZIWI Peak is an excellent air-dried pet food from New Zealand, and they make a small range of treats too. They’re not overly cheap, but as an occasional weekly or bi-weekly treat the ZIWI Peak deer shanks are fantastic, available as either a half portion or full. I have a medium-sized dog and she’ll happily gnaw on half a shank on and off for a day.
So why are they good?
Simply put, ensuring dental health is vital for the long term health of your dog. In the wild a dog (or cat) will maintain dental health from gnawing on meaty bones of prey. This is often overlooked with domestic pets, especially due to the marketing of “dental treats” which are absolute rubbish and do little for dental health (and the overall health of your dog). ZIWI Peak deer shanks offer an alternative to raw meaty bones (which are also an option by the way), and your dog will not only get nutritional and dental benefits, but the satisfaction of gnawing and devouring them.
ZIWI Peak offer some other treats as well, but too be honest a better bet is buying a bag of their regular air-dried pet food which will prove a treat in itself for your dog (or cat). Given the size of the pieces it doubles up as an excellent option for training treats.
Where to buy ZiwiPeak deer shank treats?
#4: Healthy Everyday Pets (Beef Liver Treats)
Many Australians loved the Healthy Everyday Pets brand of high-protein/low-carb dog food, and it was a shame to see the company go into liquidation in early 2023.
Thankfully the Healthy Everyday Pets range of dog treats is still available!
These treats are manufactured in Australia, so no risk of irradiation like some imported treats. They use a three day air-drying process combined with natural preservatives, which means your dog gets the best nutrition possible for an air-dried treat.
The liver treats would make a great choice, with liver being the richest source of nutrients, but don’t overdo it – generally one liver treat a day, or every other day would be beneficial.
#5: K9 Natural Green Tripe Topper
We spoke of the benefits of tripe earlier, and K9 Natural offer another way to feed your dog this wonderfully nutritious food – K9 Natural Green Tripe Topper! As we would expect from such a reputable brand, they use 100% New Zealand grass-fed green tripe from beef. As a smelly and hard to get hold of ingredient in it’s natural form, being available freeze-dried is such a bonus.
A topper is designed to enhance a regular meal, so not a treat per se, but your dog definitely won’t argue. Whether you use it as a topper on every meal, or every few days to keep costs down, it would be a welcome addition to a dog’s diet. You could even offer it as a “good boy” (or “good girl”) treat with a splashing of water.
#6: Balanced Life Companion Treats
These are fabulous air-dried treats made from Australian meats. They’re gluten free, grain free, full of natural probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Being air-dried also means they keep for ages. You can’t ask for better than that!
They make excellent foods as well.
#7: ZIWI Peak – probably the best dog treat for training your puppy!
The regular ZIWI Peak air-dried dog food doubles as a fantastic training treat. Yes, it’s a complete and balanced dog food you can feed as a main meal, but the small size and fact that they’re dried means it’s really easy to carry some around in a bag in your pocket.
I used ZIWI Peak to train my Border Collie, and I can tell you it worked.
Dogs are motivated by meat, and that’s what this dog food is.
Even if you don’t feed ZIWI Peak as your dog’s main diet, a small bag will likely work out cheaper than buying a less nutritious bag of dog treats.
Dental treats for dogs
Most commercial dental dog treats are nothing more than starch, cereal, and humectants, with additives to aid cleaning teeth. They’re usually cheaply made and far from healthy.
A good natural way for a dog or cat to retain dental health is by chewing on a nice meaty bone. Care needs to be taken with bones so selected a size appropriate to your dog and always feed bones raw and uncooked.
If you have concerns about feeding raw meaty bones then another good option is deer or kangaroo tendons, shanks, or hoofers. Always check the country of origin of packaged treats (although kangaroo will always be Australian).
K9 Natural and ZiwiPEAK offer a range of these treats sourced in New Zealand.
Failing all the above, you could always brush your pet’s teeth or have them regularly cleaned by a professional.
How do I tell if supermarket dog treats are any good?
Some are good, some are bad. The first thing to do would be to check the country of manufacture. Opt for Australian made if possible. Avoid treats from China (which can be labelled as “PRC” to mislead you, which stands for People’s Republic of China).
Have a read of the ingredients. Are they meat-based or filler-based (such as wheat)? Do they contain sugars, salt, humuctants, artificial preservatives, or food colourings? If they do then it’s best to avoid them. If a treat has “Preservatives” or “Colourings” on the ingredients you can assume they’re artificial.
Or… Make your own dog treats!
Keep in mind dogs and cats LOVE MEAT. They don’t care for sweet things, and they definitely don’t care for colourings!
If you want to make your own treats then boil chicken or turkey then cut it into squares. For convenience you can freeze the treats and feed them frozen, or even buy a food dryer. Other fresh foods make excellent treats too (my dog loves carrots).
“Best dog treats in Australia”, written by D D’Angelo