33 Healthy and safe ingredients for dog treats (guide)

In this article, I've arranged some safe ingredients for dog treats that you can offer your best friend without hesitation. Start reading to find out more!
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In this article, I’ll explain to you the possible safe ingredients for dogs that you can offer them without hesitation. I’ve arranged some ingredients safe for dog treats in different categories based on;

Let’s get started.

Safe Ingredients for Dog Treats

How to cook Homemade Dog Food for Small Dogs - safe ingredients for dog treats

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of dog safe ingredients? 

Let me help you. 

The simple meaning of a safe ingredient is something that, after ingestion, does not cause any bowel irritation, itching, stomach disturbance, or even toxicity in your best friend.

To avoid all these complications, you need to provide your dog with safe health dog treats; otherwise, your doggo may face health complications.  

Safe Meats to Use to Make Dog Treats

1. Beef

It is very cheap, affordable, and a meat that is safe to use in dog treats. Moreover, beef contains several essential proteins for healthy muscle growth and minerals like selenium, iron, and zinc with plenty of vitamins such as B3, B12, and B6.   


  • A good source of energy
  • Ensures shinier coats
  • Helps to maintain dental health
  • Makes stronger muscles

2. Chicken

Chicken also provides a cheap but high-energy protein source to your doggo. It is also among the healthiest ingredients for dog treats, with few exceptions for chicken-sensitive dogs.


  • Helps in building lean muscle mass
  • A rich source of fatty acids such as Omega 6 – healthy skin and shiny coat 
  • A battery of essential amino acids 
  • Promotes healthy bones

3. Turkey

Another safe meat that is used in dog treats worldwide. Fortunately, it serves as an alternative for dogs allergic to chicken or chicken products. Turkey meat is a little bit more expensive than chicken meat. 


  • It consists of easily digestible proteins
  • Suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs
  • Directly involved in building muscle mass
  • Rich source of riboflavin

4. Lamb

Just like other meats, lamb is also a healthier and safe meat option for dog treats. It contains vitamins, minerals, and fats in exact concentration to ensure the health benefits to your fido.


  • Power source for daily life activities
  • Appropriate source of iron
  • Higher nutritional contents than fish and chicken
  • Provides dietary fats in exact proportion

5. Organ Meat

Organ meat, including liver, kidney, and spleen, is an excellent source of nutrients and energy for dogs. For instance, the liver is considered one of the most nutrient-dense sources on the planet.


  • It helps to avoid heart issues in dogs
  • Richer sources of vitamins like A, B, D, and E, along with zinc and copper
  • Provides healthy and shinier skin coat 
  • Contains folic acids – best for anemic dogs

Safe Fish to Use to Make Dog Treats

1. Tuna

While thinking about the addition of fish in your dog’s treats, always make sure these may not bring about toxicity. Therefore, tuna is one of the safest fish that provides your fido with essential proteins.


  • It helps to reduce the occurrence of inflammations
  • Supplies omega-3 fatty acids for healthy nervous system
  • It brings about healthy skin and an appealing coat
  • Good food to ensure the provision of minerals and vitamins

2. Salmon

If you want to see your best friend with healthy joints and a stronger immune system, you can think about salmon. It also falls under the category of safe ingredients for dog treats.


  • Best protein source for dog treats
  • Acts as an alternative for allergic protein sources like chicken
  • Supports to develop stronger immunity in dogs
  • Appropriate option for dogs on a weight management plan

3. Whitefish

Whitefish is best for dogs who want to lose weight because of its low caloric nature. However, it is an excellent source of nutrients and essential fatty acids for maintaining the body’s metabolism.


  • Assists dogs to heal their scaly, sore, itchy, and damaged skin
  • Enrich in B-group vitamins and niacin – skin and brain health
  • Good source of antioxidants to combat several infections
  • Low in caloric content thus best suited for overweight dogs

4. Catfish

Catfish is famous because of its extensive use in commercial foods for dogs. The reason behind this popularity and use are its nutritional values and benefits for promoting the healthy growth of your best friend.


  • A storehouse of essential fatty acids that promote a healthy heart
  • Contains minute level of mercury
  • Helps to impart effect on coat
  • A rich battery of minerals and vitamins

Safe Fruits to Use to Make Dog Treats

1. Apples

Apples are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, along with fiber. Therefore, they are considered one of those healthy dog food ingredients for the preparation of dog treats. Make sure to remove stem and seeds as there is evidence of cyanide.


  • It helps to regulate blood pressure and reduced the chances of stroke
  • Imparts healthy gut to your dog
  • Rich nutrients in apples are responsible for promoting brain health
  • The best source of nutrition for diabetic dogs

2. Apricot

Excluding the pit, apricot can be used as a safe treat for your best friend. It contains a high proportion of beta-carotene, antioxidants, and potassium, along with vitamin A and fiber.


  • Promotes eye health (vision) in dogs
  • Beneficial to maintain a healthy digestive system
  • Helps to combat infections and inflammations
  • Involves in liver protection 

3. Bananas

Banana is also one of the most famous treats for dogs. It has a high sugar content and brings about certain essential nutrients like biotin, magnesium, copper. They also contain fiber.


  • It helps to reduce gastrointestinal issues, thus aids in digestion
  • The appropriate concentration of magnesium results in healthy skin
  • Potassium source — helps to maintain heart functioning at optimum
  • Good source of energy without cholesterol and fats

4. Blueberries

These natural dog treats are used in several dog foods because they provide a reasonable amount of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Veterinarians recommend using them to teach your dogs how to catch things.


  • Offer services as anti-inflammatory
  • Packed with phytoflavinoids and antioxidants
  • Lower risk of cancers and heart problems
  • Promote healthy bones of your fido

5. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is best for dogs with few drawbacks. It is loaded with high sugar contents, which’s why it is not safe for diabetic and overweight dogs. Moreover, don’t forget to remove the ring before offering it to your dog.


  • Famous for providing anti-inflammatory properties because of phytonutrients
  • Almost 90% of cantaloupe is water – the best source of hydration
  • Aid in regulating optimum electrolyte level
  • contains nutrients and vitamins that promote improved vision

6. Kiwi

Among the salient features of kiwi, the evidence of more potassium and vitamin C compared to banana and oranges, respectively, are of great concern. However, experts forbade using its skin due to the risk of choking in dogs.


  • It helps to regulate digestion
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Reduces the risk of blood clotting
  • Assists in maintaining eye health

7. Mangoes

People love to eat mangoes not only for their taste but for the extensive health benefits. The same is the case with dogs, and if you are providing your fido mango treats, you are offering nothing but a bundle of nutrients.


  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Improve skin and the health of hair
  • Protect from cancers and enhanced immunity
  • The best treat for dogs suffering from blood pressure and heart issues 

8. Oranges

Oranges are safe to some extent because they belong to the family of citrus fruits. Some experts only recommend a small quantity of orange as a safe index for dogs without seeds, skins, leaves, and stems.


  • Protects the dog’s body against germs by promoting strong immunity
  • It helps the body to absorb iron – helpful for anemic dogs
  • Stimulates the synthesis of collagen formation – wound healing
  • Avoid extensive cell damage

9. Papaya

Papaya is considered the best treatment for heart patients on the human side as well as in dogs too. The presence of potent antioxidants and vitamins like A, C, and E are the reasons behind its popularity.


  • Reduces the risk of heart problems in dogs by blocking cholesterol oxidation
  • Promotes an optimum blood-glucose level
  • Suitable for diabetic dogs
  • Bears some anti-cancer characteristics too

Moreover, several other fruits like blackberries, watermelon, pineapples, strawberries, coconut, cranberries, dates, honeydew, peaches, pear, and raspberries are safe for dogs.

Safe Vegetables to Use to Make Dog Treats

1. Brussels Sprouts 

They are rich in nutrients, low-calorie, and possess antioxidant properties as gifts for dogs and humans. Just make sure it’s moderate as feeding them to your doggo may cause gas accumulation in the stomach.


  • Enrich source of vitamin K – bone health and blood clotting
  • Loaded with vitamin C – iron absorption and tissue repair
  • High fiber content – regulate digestion
  • Antioxidants – anti-cancer 

2. Carrots

An excellent snack for your best friend packed with high contents of vitamin and beta-carotene. Likewise, crunching on carrots imparts dental health.


  • Beta-carotene and vitamin A – reduce diabetes risk 
  • Vitamin K and calcium – bone health
  • Important for improved vision
  • Cardiovascular health 

3. Green Beans

Green beans are safe for dogs, and all types like canned, steamed, or chopped are included in safe ingredients for dog treats—a good choice for obese and diabetic dogs.


  • Enrich in vitamin K and calcium — reduced the risk of fractures
  • Vitamin B – beneficial for reducing depression
  • Support immune system
  • A perfect treat for diabetic dogs

4. Peas

Peas are included in an occasional treat for dogs. Sugar snap peas, snow peas, green peas, English, or garden peas are healthy ingredients for dog treats. You need to avoid canned peas containing sodium.


  • Help your dog to reduce the risk of diabetes
  • Important against arthritis
  • Reducing the risk of chronic conditions
  • Beneficial for dogs having heart problems

5. Celery

Celery is famous for improving the breath of dogs. In addition to certain essential vitamins, it contains several essential nutrients that promote the heart health of your fido. 


  • Having a low glycemic index
  • Important for having an alkalizing effect
  • Excellent source of fiber
  • It helps to reduce inflammations

6. Broccoli

Broccoli also serves as another occasional treat for your doggo with a low concentration of fats and high in vitamin C and fiber. You need to beware of broccoli stalks that may cause esophageal obstructions.


  • Rich source of protein-energy
  • Packed with folic acids – oxygen transport
  • Famous for improving skin and coat health
  • Aids in digestion and develops stronger immunity in dogs

Safe Herbs and Healthiest Spices for Dogs

Some herbs and spices act as a blessing in disguise for dogs. Some essential and safe herbs and spices for dogs are;

1. Aloe Vera

It is one of the best herbs for your doggy with extensive health benefits.


  • Promotes healing process
  • Enhances immunity level

2. Basil

Basil is packed with endless essential vitamins and minerals directly involved in improving your fido’s lifestyle.


  • It helps to boost the mood
  • Ensures better health
  • Prevention from certain diseases 

3. Ginger

Ginger roots are beneficial to provide your dog with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties along with better digestion.


  • Enhances circulation
  • Regulate digestion
  • Minimize nausea
  • Important for motion sickness

4. Parsley

Parsley supports the wellbeing and overall health of your doggy.


  • Improves organ functioning
  • Flushes toxin

5. Rosemary

Rosemary is loaded with high fiber content along with certain antioxidants and vitamins to combat diseases.


  • Healthy heart
  • Prevention from certain infections

6. Turmeric

Turmeric is a famous spice that is known to support the immune system and overall health.


  • Enhances metabolism 
  • Supports the healing process
  • Combats infections

Safe Cheese to Use to Make Dog Treats

It is evident that cheese is among the safe ingredients for dogs; however, don’t ignore the fact that some cheese contains a high concentration of fats and lactose that may trouble your doggy. 

Here I mentioned some safe and low-fat cheeses that are safe for your furry fellow;

  1. Mozzarella
  2. Cottage cheese
  3. Soft goat cheese


  • Health booster
  • Important energy source
  • Can be used for the concealing of medication

Best Foods for Your Best Friend: Human-grade Pet Food Brands

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Aside from the overwhelming list of safe ingredients, if you want to feed your dog fresh, safe, and nutrient-rich food, you can consider these authentic dog food brands.

  1. Ollie dog food
  2. Pet plate
  3. Raise right pet food


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What Ingredients to Avoid in a Homemade Dog Treat?

There are a few ingredients that you should avoid using in homemade dog treats. These include chThese include chocolate, raisins, grapes, artificial colors, corn syrup, excessive salt, propylene glycol, nitrites or nitrates, vegetable oil, xylitol, and Brewer’s rice and many more.

While these ingredients may be safe for humans, they can be toxic to dogs. Instead, opt for ingredients that are good for dogs, such as meat, vegetables, and fish. By using safe and healthy ingredients, you can ensure that your dog will enjoy their treat and stay healthy at the same time.

What Are The Best Ingredients for Dog Foods?

The best ingredients dogs food must include meat, organ meat, fruits, vegetables, and some herbs to enhance the taste.

What Can You Not Put in Homemade Dog Treats?

Dog treats ingredients to avoid: those ingredients that may cause stomach problems and toxicity in your dog must not be included in dog treats, including rendered fat, xylitol, white flour, animal by-products, cellulose, and artificial flavors. Read more here.

How to Make Safe Dog Treats?

You can ensure the safety of dog treats by using all healthy and safe dog friendly ingredients. Therefore, you can use beef, chicken, organ meat, healthy fruits like mangoes, bananas, blueberries, and vegetables like broccoli, carrots, peas, green beans, and herbs like Aloe Vera and cinnamon. 

What Ingredients Are Safe for Dog Treats?

There are a few ingredients that are safe for dogs to consume in treats. These include: meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains. Some examples of unsafe ingredients for dogs include: chocolate, caffeine, grapes, and raisins. Dog owners should always check the ingredient list on treats before giving them to their pets.

Is Oatmeal Good for Dogs?

Oatmeal is a healthy grain that is often used in human breakfast cereals. Oatmeal for dogs is also a good option and can be given as a homemade dog treat. When feeding your dog oatmeal, moderation is key. Too much oatmeal can cause digestive upset in dogs.

Is Peanut Butter Good for Dogs?

Yes, peanut butter is good for dogs. Peanut butter is a healthy dog ingredient that can be used in dog treats recipes. Peanut butter is a safe dog treat that is on the list of safe dog treats.

Are Homemade Dog Treats Better Than Store Bought?

There are many different opinions on whether homemade dog treats are better than store bought. Some people believe that homemade dog treats are safer because you can control the ingredients and make sure that they are all safe for your dog. Others believe that it is more convenient to buy dog treats that are already made and that you know are safe for your dog. Additionally, homemade dog treats are often cheaper than store-bought ones.

You can use a dog food ingredient checker to see if the ingredients in store bought dog treats are safe for your dog. If you want to make your own dog treats, there are many recipes available online. Just make sure to use only safe ingredients that are known to be safe for dogs.


So, I hope you get all the necessary information about safe ingredients for dog treats at this stage.

Always keep in mind that the surety of safe ingredients will ensure the wellbeing of your doggy.

It is wise to consult a veterinarian before making any food plan for your best friend. As always, don’t forget to share this blog with your friends.

That being said, there is nothing left but to thank you for your attention up to this point.

I hope I have been helpful, and I wish you many moments of joy and satisfaction in the company of your beloved dog.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns along the way don’t hesitate to contact me.

Until next time!

Good luck!

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Housam Ayouni
Housam Ayouni

I am a professional in the field of canine behavior and care with many years of experience. Through my dog blog, which has reached over one million dog owners, I offer practical tips and guidance to support dog owners in creating strong, positive relationships with their pets and promoting the well-being and happiness of all dogs. My goal is to help dog owners create a harmonious and fulfilling life with their furry companions.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for also talking about how I should be meticulous about the ingredients as well when planning to buy new dog treats. I’m interested in looking for air dried dog treats specifically because my dog seems to not like wet food much. Her fur gets dirty as well when eating wet food so it’s better to just stick to dry food most days.

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