High-Value Dog Treats + Their Benefits

Are you getting the most out of your dog treats? High-value dog treats play an important role in our relationship with our dogs and are much more than just a way to spoil them!

High-quality treats like freeze-dried dog treats can reinforce appropriate behaviors, teach new tricks during dog training, promote calmness in stressful situations, provide mental stimulation, and so much more. 

Let’s take a look at how to motivate your dog with some healthy, minimal-ingredient, high-value dog treats!

The Role of High-Value Dog Treats

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High-value dog treats capture the most motivation from your pup and are best for difficult training tasks. These include teaching new behaviors, practicing existing skills with heightened distractions, and keeping your dog’s focus when they become less motivated.

Ordinary low-value dog food or kibble isn’t nearly as inspiring as chewy dog treats we dog owners find smelly. Stinky dog training treats can range from jerky to small pieces of hot dog and string cheese.

For dogs during training sessions, the stinker, the better. 

Freeze-dried dog treats in particular have an aroma that your dog finds particularly appetizing. You will know your dog’s favorite high-value treat by how quickly they offer behaviors to get the goods.

Protein-Packed High-Value Dog Treats

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Large dogs and small dogs alike find meaty treats to be of high value, which is why many dog trainers recommend them. The taste and smell stimulate the senses, captures attention, and activate a training mindset. 

Protein-packed treats are great for recall practice, trick training, and heeling in crowded places. 

Felines love a protein cat treat just as much. Don’t be fooled — even old dogs can learn new tricks – especially with the right treat! 

Pet parents should look for a clean, limited ingredient label with real meat like chicken breast as the first ingredient. 

Natural ingredient dog treats are great for pups with sensitive stomachs because they have no artificial ingredients, fillers, or preservatives. Some treats also come in grain-free, gluten-free, or single-ingredient varieties as well to tailor to your dog’s particular diet.

High-Value Dog Treats as Meal Toppers

You can use healthy, nutritious dog treats as meal toppers if your dog won’t eat plain pet food. This is helpful with enticing a picky eater or adding complementary nutrients to your dog’s diet. Look for products that have high protein and high fiber to support a healthy diet.

Training Treats for Good Dogs

High-value dog treats are great for puppy training or for repetition to perfect new behaviors, such as practicing heeling on a long walk or working on duration stays in distracting environments. 

Keep in mind 👆: Remember that treats should take up no more than 10% of your dog’s caloric intake.

The perfect training treat for all dog breeds is a small bite-size soft treat so that your dog can eat quickly and get back to training.

It is important to have a variety of treats available. Your dog might take a liking to beef liver or salmon more than plain turkey, beef heart, or chicken liver, for example. 

Different tastes and scents add enthusiasm to your pooch’s life. Stubborn dogs can be incentivized by using different kinds of treats at the same time. Every time they recall, they are not sure which food treat they will get, which adds excitement and focus.

Reinforcing Positive Behaviors

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You can even hide treats around the house and let your pup’s sniffer play detective on a “Sniff-fari.” This can help promote calmness in stressful situations such as when you leave the house. 

It can also keep your dog occupied until you have time for that long walk. Did you know 15 minutes of mental stimulation is equal to 30 minutes of physical exercise?

Don’t forget about bigger treats that keep your pet occupied for longer. Healthier alternatives to rawhides like sweet potato chews can keep pets chewing longer, without unnecessary fillers and unnatural preservatives.

Another way you can keep your dog occupied for longer is by putting treats in the freezer. Freeze treats into toy stuffers or slow feeders to add duration to their playtime. Mix together different treats like dog-safe peanut butter, Greek yogurt, or wet food.

The Perfect High-Value Dog Treats

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The perfect high-value reward is one your dog loves and would do anything for. Make sure your treat fits the functionality of your training, provides a nutritional benefit for overall wellness, and adheres to your dog’s diet if they are on a raw diet or can’t eat gluten. 

Feel good about feeding single- and limited-ingredient treats that are minimally processed, without fillers, additives, and are low-calorie. Bonus points if they are made in the USA!

Raw freeze-dried dog treats and dehydrated fruits and vegetables are minimally processed so they’ll provide a more natural balance of nutrients than baked treats. Thanks to the freeze-drying process, they also preserve enzymes and have a longer shelf life. You’ll feel good about feeding them to your pup since you know exactly what they’re eating!

Healthy, drool-worthy dog treats

While they might go ga-ga for tasty morsels of freeze-dried beef, salmon, or chicken treats, it’s important to feed them in moderation. Remember that at all of your dog’s life stages, treats should only make up 10% of their daily calories. Only give them a little at a time as their kibble should be their main source of nutrients.