natural dog treat on the stove in the kitchen

Natural vs. Processed Dog Treats: Making the Switch

In a world where health-conscious pet owners seek the best for their furry companions, the debate between natural dog treats and their processed counterparts is more relevant than ever. As a premium pet treat brand, we understand the importance of offering our four-legged friends the very best. 

That’s why we’re here to shed light on the crucial differences between natural and processed dog treats and why making the switch to natural alternatives is the right choice for your beloved pets.

Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen. Are you prepared to make a transformational choice for your four-legged friends?

Processed vs. Natural: What Treats are Better for Dogs?

Our furry companions’ well-being should never be up for debate, so the choice between processed and natural dog treats should be crystal clear. When it comes to the health of our beloved pets and the pet foods we give them, settling for anything less than the best simply isn’t an option.

But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of it all, let’s first define these two terms:

  • Natural Dog Treats are typically made from wholesome, high-quality ingredients and are minimally processed. They contain no artificial ingredients, chemicals, or preservatives. These healthy treats often mimic the kind of foods dogs would eat in the wild, like lean meats – a natural source of protein, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Processed Dog Treats, on the other hand, just like processed human foods, often contain artificial ingredients, fillers, and are heavily processed to achieve a longer shelf life. This type of treats may be laden with additives and artificial chemicals, resembling more of a “junk food” for dogs.

Why Processed Treats Are Bad for Dogs

Before we delve into the myriad benefits of natural dog treats, let’s ask ourselves some hard-hitting questions: Have you ever wondered what exactly goes into those commercial dog treats? Statistics reveal that a vast majority of commercial dog treats contain an unsettling array of artificial ingredients and preservatives. These chemicals can harm your pets’ well-being, yet they are found in treats that populate the shelves of pet stores worldwide.

Did you know that a lot of commercial dog food and treats contain artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors? Are you aware that many of these popular treats are replete with low-quality animal derivatives that can cause an alphabet soup of problems? On top of that, the pet food industry has long been shrouded in mystery, with pet food manufacturers often concealing a laundry list of questionable ingredients behind vague treat labels. 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s see how processed treats impact our four-legged friends’ physical health and why we should stay away from processed dog treats and turn to natural food and healthy alternatives:

  • Animal Derivatives: Processed treats often use low-quality animal derivatives, which may include by-products and even mystery meat sources. This can lead to lower nutritional value and potential food allergies in your pets.
  • Artificial Preservatives: Many processed, store-bought treats rely on artificial preservatives to extend their shelf life. These can be harmful to your dog’s health and may contribute to weight gain.
  • Low Protein Content: Protein is essential for your dog’s overall health, but processed treats, especially cheaper, mass-produced treats, often contain less protein than all-natural treat alternatives.
  • Skin Irritation: Just like allergies to food ingredients, artificial ingredients and chemicals in processed treats can cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes and irritation in sensitive dogs.
  • Digestive Issues: The additives and artificial chemicals in processed treats may lead to digestive problems for your pets. Dog treats are often packed with artificial flavorings and other additives to make chewing treats more compelling. However, dogs actually dig bland food, and their digestive system craves that plain and simple goodness.
  • Unwanted Weight Gain: Unlike healthy foods with natural nutrients, processed treats often contain empty calories that can contribute to weight gain in dogs, which can lead to heart health problems.

Are Natural Treats Better for Dogs?

Without a doubt, natural treats with healthy ingredients are the superior choice for your beloved dogs, and in just a moment, you’ll discover precisely why.

Why Choose Natural Dog Treats: Benefits of Natural Treats

happy dog smelling his natural dog treat

With these drawbacks in mind, it’s time to shift our perspective to a healthy choice. After all, it’s our duty to ensure the well-being of our furry friends – we’re all they have. Pets may not be our whole lives, but they do make our lives whole. It’s time to return the favor and choose treats that love them back.

Here’s why an all-natural dog treat is the absolute treat your furry friends deserve:

Improved Digestive Health

Just like us, our canine companions deserve to have optimal digestive health. Natural treats are a great way to achieve this. Here’s why:

  • No Artificial Chemicals: Unlike artificial treats and most commercial food, natural treats are free from artificial chemicals and additives that can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system.
  • Gentle on the Stomach: With easily digestible ingredients, natural treats are gentle on your dog’s stomach and can help alleviate digestive issues.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Natural treats are packed with nutrients, ensuring that your dog gets the essential vitamins and minerals they need for overall well-being. This way, they’re actually getting their nutritional requirements met with a balanced diet from natural sources.

Dental Health Benefits

Maintaining good dental health is crucial for your pet’s longevity and comfort. You want them to happily chew on those toys for as log as possible! Natural dog treats can play a significant role in promoting dental health:

  • Chewing Action: Many natural chew treats have a chewy or crunchy texture, which helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup, promoting better dental hygiene.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Natural treats often include fresh ingredients like carrots or apples, which can help naturally clean teeth and freshen breath.

Skin and Coat Improvements

A shiny coat and healthy skin are visible signs of your dog’s overall well-being. Natural and nutritious treats can contribute to these improvements:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Some natural treats contain ingredients like salmon, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These promote a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  • Allergen-Free: Natural treats are less likely to trigger allergies or skin irritations, making them a safe choice for dogs with sensitive skin.

Weight Management Made Easier

Are you concerned about your dog’s weight? You’re not alone. Here’s how natural treats can make optimal weight management a breeze instead of filling up their bellies with empty calories:

  • Low-Calorie Options: Natural treats often include low-calorie options like lean meats and vegetables, allowing you to reward your dog without worrying about excessive weight gain.
  • Satisfied Appetite: The nutrient-rich nature of natural treats can help satisfy your dog’s appetite, reducing the temptation to overindulge in unhealthy snacks and ensuring your dog gets a tasty reward without going overboard on calorie intake.

What is the Healthiest Treat for Dogs? How to Choose the Right Treat for Your Pup

black bulldog with his natural dog treat

Now that we’ve established the superiority of natural dog treats, let’s explore how you can choose the right treat for your furry friend(s). After all, in a market flooded with store-bought treat options that often look like they belong in a chemistry lab, we need to navigate the maze and unveil the secrets to picking treats that truly nourish your four-legged companions.

Look for Natural Ingredients

When shopping for dog treats, check the ingredient list. Opt for treats with recognizably natural ingredients, such as chicken, beef, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. Avoid treats with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, often disguised behind cryptic acronyms.

Look for treats free from ingredients like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, which can be harmful to your furry friend. Opt for treats that are as transparent as they are wholesome. On that note…

Wholesome Ingredients

Ensure the treats you choose are made from wholesome ingredients, free from fillers like corn or soy. Look for whole grains like oats and brown rice for added nutritional value. 

Natural Products

Choose treats from reputable brands that prioritize using all-natural ingredients. Little Chef, for example, prides itself on baking all-natural biscuits using traditional artisanal techniques, high-quality superfoods, and non-GMO ingredients.

Balanced Diets

Remember that treats should complement your dog’s regular diet. Ensure the treats you choose are appropriate for your dog’s age, size, and dietary needs.


Select treats that offer additional health benefits, such as those with added vitamins, minerals, or joint support ingredients. At Little Chef, we’ve got a range of it covered.

Quality Control

Choose treats from brands that undergo rigorous quality control processes to guarantee safety and consistency. 

Don’t Bark Up the Wrong Tree: Make the Natural Treat Switch Today!

a happy dog ​​is sitting and high-fiving his owner

The choice is evident in the ongoing debate of natural vs. processed dog treats. Natural treats offer numerous benefits, and for veterinarians and pet owners who prioritize the well-being of their furry companions, the decision to switch to natural treats should be a no-brainer.

At Little Chef, we are not just a premium pet treat brand; we are your partners in promoting the well-being of your beloved pets. Our all-natural dog treats contain no mystery additives – just premium, non-GMO ingredients and pure tail-wagging delight. We bake our biscuits using traditional artisanal techniques to ensure fantastic taste and incredible nutritional value. We’ve got their taste buds covered with a wide range of great flavors.

Ready to fetch a healthier future for your pooch? Take the leap – make the switch from processed to healthy, natural, organic dog treats, and embark on a journey toward a healthier, happier life for your pets. They deserve nothing less!


At What Age Can Dogs Have Natural Treats?

Dogs can start enjoying natural treats at around three months of age. However, it’s crucial to choose treats suitable for their size and dietary needs and consult with your veterinarian for personalized recommendations.

How Often Should You Give Dogs Natural Treats?

The frequency of giving your dog treats depends on their age, size, and activity level. As a general guideline, limit treats to no more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake, and consider using treats for training or special occasions.

What Kind of Dog Treats Are Healthy?

Healthy dog treats are those made from natural ingredients without artificial additives or preservatives. They should complement your dog’s regular diet, providing nutritional benefits and satisfying their taste buds.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid When Buying Dog Treats?

Avoid treats with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and fillers like corn and soy. Also, be cautious of treats with vague or unspecified meat sources, as they may contain low-quality animal derivatives. Choose treats with recognizable, natural ingredients for the best results.

marko golinger

Marko Golinger

Father, husband, veterinarian, animal lover, and nature enthusiast. Born on September 1, 1973, in Belgrade. I’ve spent my entire life with German Shepherds, which my father has been breeding since 1967 in the Kalavestra kennel registered with the FCI in 1986. Living with dogs has helped me supplement the formal knowledge I gained at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine with a wealth of experiential knowledge about the needs and behaviors of dogs, as well as corrective measures we can take to ensure our beloved pets are healthier, more stable, and obedient. I’m constantly dedicated to improving the welfare of animals and their place in society. I am a staunch opponent of humanizing dogs who, I am sure, want to be dogs and not humans or children.