12 Worst Dog Treats 2022 (and what to get instead)

Keep your pooch happy and healthy by avoiding these 10 worst dog treats still available in 2022…

worst dog treats pin

We’ve all seen the viral social media posts about every dog owner’s worst nightmare: dog treats poisoning their fuzzy best friend.

While you may be skeptical if it was in fact the dog treats that landed their dog at the emergency vet, we’re here to go through which treats are indeed harmful to your pooch’s health.

Whether you’re looking for the best dog treats to train your puppy with, or healthy everyday treats to give your dog, this article will help you know which treats to avoid.

What Makes Some Dog Treats Dangerous?

If you look at the label of most dog treat feeding instructions, it will inform you that the treats should not account for more than 10% of your dog’s caloric intake.

While this may seem like a common-sense note to keep new pet owners from giving their puppy too many treats, it’s actually a bigger problem than that.

Because of this warning, the contents of the dog treats are not held to a very high standard, and some companies use this to add harmful ingredients to their treats to cut corners.

Worst Ingredients In Dog Treats

The worst ingredients in dog treats are inexpensive fillers, like corn, soy, and wheat.

There’s nothing wrong with these ingredients in moderation, but they’re nutritionally incomplete and are often accompanied by synthetic ingredients.

  • BHA
  • BHT
  • Propylene glycol
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Food dyes

Some of these ingredients have been linked to cancer in dogs. BHA and BHT specifically haven’t been studied much in regards to dogs, but they are carcinogenic to humans.

It’s safe to assume that they have the same effect on dogs until further research has been conducted.

Instead, we can look for treats that use vitamins e, c, and plant extracts as preservatives instead.

Quick Glance At Dog Treats To Avoid

  1. Rawhide treats
  2. Cooked bones
  3. Dog treats with unnatural coloring
  4. Treats that are high in corn, soy, wheat or sugar

Recalled Dog Treats

  • Flock Party Duck Treats
  • Milo’s Kitchen Dog Treats
  • Lennox Pig Ears
  • PSP Pig Ears
  • Red Barn Dog Chews

Refer to this list from the FDA to view all recalled dog treats.

Have a new puppy? See our list of best puppy products

12 Worst Dog Treats of 2022

*This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are our own, as always. 

Canine Carry Outs Beef Flavor Dog Treats

Canine Carry Outs

These dog treats are arguably one of the worst out there. Corn syrup is the second ingredient, and it contains artificial colors and preservatives.

Sure, the primary ingredient is chicken, but it’s not worth the trade-off of all of the other ingredients.

Try instead: Wellness Soft Puppy Bites Lamb & Salmon Dog Treats

Any Brand of Rawhide Treats

Rawhide Dog Treats

Rawhide is a major no-no. Unlike many treats on this list, rawhide doesn’t simply contain unhealthy ingredients that may lead to cancer at some point.

They pose a health risk every time they’re given.

Not only does it not break down in your dog’s stomach which can lead to blockages, but it’s a choking hazard since your dog can tear off bits of it.

Try instead: Pet Botanics Freeze Dried Training Rewards Dog Treats

Milk-Bone Original Dog Treats

Milkbone Dog Treats

Milkbone treats have been around for quite some time. So long, in fact, that you might be tempted to buy some simply because of the familiarity.

However, the main ingredient in these dog treats is wheat, which really provides very little nutritional value. What’s worse, is it contains artificial dyes, which have been linked to health issues in dogs, including cancer.

Try instead: Mini Crunchy Classic Puppy Biscuits

Beneful Baked Delights

Beneful Baked Delights

These treats may appear to be a healthy option based on the packaging, but they’re full of things that are difficult for your dog to digest.

Wheat, glycerin, ground corn, brewer’s rice, and wheat filler make up the majority of the ingredients and are prone to causing digestive issues.

Try instead: Zuke’s Natural Puppy Treats

Pedigree Marrowbone Dog Treats

Pedigree MarroBone

Marrow is great for your dog! Unfortunately, there’s very little to be found in these dog treats, despite the name.

Instead, these treats are full of wheat flour and sugar.

Try instead: Full Moon Organic Training Treats

Gravy Train Dog Treats

Gravy Train Dog Treats

Though these dog treats look like delicious little steaks, they are far from it.

Instead, these treats are made up primarily of wheat flour and soy flour, unnamed animal fat, by-products, and artificial colors and preservatives.

Try instead: Stewart Freeze-Dried Dog Treats

Healthy Centres Salmon Dog Treats

Healthy Centres Salmon Dog Treats

These treats are another prime example of clever marketing and green-washed packaging. Do not be fooled. Despite the company’s claim that these treats are specially formulated for your dog’s health, these treats are full of wheat flour, canola oil, and corn starch.

And, they don’t even contain any salmon!

Try instead: Davie’s Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Pup-Peroni Dog Treats

Pup-peroni Dog Treats

Pup-peroni dog treats contain beef, which they proudly display on their label. However, they also contain sugar, salt, and red-40, as well as unnamed by-products.

Try instead: Buddy Biscuits

Pedigree Dentastix

Pedigree Dentastix

Although these treats are common, they’re wildly unhealthy. They include mostly rice flour and wheat flour, along with questionable dyes and preservatives.

Try instead: Virbac CET VEGGIEDENT FR3SH Tartar Control Chews for Dogs

Pup Corn Dog Treats

Pupcorn Dog Treats

As the name would suggest, Pup Corn is mostly made of corn. Some dogs in particular are susceptible to corn allergies.

They also contain artificial colors.

Try instead: Purina Puppy Chow Training Treats, Healthy Start Salmon Treats

Purina Beggin’ Strips Dog Treats

Beggin Strips

We all remember the famous beggin’ strip commercials. Despite their great marketing, these treats are on their way out. They’re full of carcinogenic ingredients, like sodium nitrite and BHA.

They’re also full of fillers and artificial colors.

Try instead: Mini Rewards Dog Treats

SmartBones Rawhide-free Chicken Mini Dog Chews

SmartBones Rawhide-free Chicken Mini Dog Chews

These SmartBones were created to replace rawhide but totally missed the mark. Among the ingredients are maltodextrin, artificial flavorings, and colorings.

Try instead: Bil-Jac Little Jacs Small Dog Training Treats

I know it can be tempting to snag the cheap, unhealthy box of dog treats while at the store, but it’s usually not worth it.

And don’t forget, sometimes the problem may not present itself immediately.

Save yourself a vet bill by opting for the higher quality brands of dog treats.


Are rawhide chews dangerous for dogs?

Corn allergy in dogs

How many treats can your dog really have?

FDA list of recalled dog treats

Problems with artificial preservatives in dog foods

The truth about animal by-products in dog food

Do you have suggestions for other treats not listed above? Let us know in the comments below!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.