What are the Best Dog Treats in Australia?
There’s no requirement for pet treats to be healthy in Australia, and in some cases they simply aren’t safe. Imported jerky treats (often from China) have a long history of causing harm, and even Australian made treats can be little more than sugar, cereal by-products, high in salt, or contain chemical which can damage health if fed in excess.
Thankfully we have a few brands of treat which are a much higher standard, and combined with a good diet will even serve to boost the health of your dog! You even have the option of making your own with the help of an air-dryer, and don’t forget fresh meats as something your dog will always love.
So what are the best dog treats in Australia? Let’s find out…
- Our Recommended Dog Treats of 2021!
- What about dental treats?
- How do I tell if supermarket treats are any good?
- Or… Make your own treats!
Our Recommended Dog Treats of 2021!
Dog treats vary greatly in price. The reason many supermarket treats are cheap is because they contain almost no nutrition, and when fed in excess will likely effect the long term health of your dog. For our list of best dog treats we have handpicked a selection which are not only healthy, but will serve to add nutritional value and boost the health of your dog.
#1: 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?
#2: ZiwiPeak Deer Shanks (and ZiwiPeak itself!)
ZiwiPeak 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 ZiwiPeak 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). ZiwiPeak 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.
ZiwiPeak 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?
#3: Stay Loyal Joint Health Treats
Stay Loyal have one of the best reputations for an Australian dog food company, and recently they’ve begun to offer an excellent range of freeze dried treats to support joint health. Being air-dried is a bonus as, like ZiwiPeak, it serves to retain nutrition which is somewhat lost when dog food is baked. There’s little need to explain why these treats are good as the ingredients speak for themselves – Emu Meat, Lamb Heart, Kangaroo Tail, Salmon, Green Lipped Mussels, Parsley, Turmeric, Ceylonese, Cinnamon, Black Pepper.
Green-lipped mussels and kangaroo tail will offer joint-support with glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen. The mussels, combined with salmon, will offer essential omega fats. Turmeric, parsley, and cinnamon act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. All ingredients are wrapped up in a package than boasts 80% protein and 6.5% fat (minimum values), and unlike many treats don’t contain rubbish like cereal by-products.
#4: 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.
#5: 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.
What about dental treats?
Most commercial dental 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 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 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).
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