Dog treats and chews will likely be a key part of a new puppy's daily intake. Treats and chews offer enjoyment and a great way to reward good behavior. With so many treats and chews on the market, deciding which ones are safe for your puppy can be challenging. Because puppies are still growing, choosing treats and chews that are safe while still offering enjoyment and beneficial nutrients as well as other benefits, e.g., reducing teething discomfort, are essential.

When choosing treats and chews for puppies, the age of the dog must be considered especially since puppies under 2 months old lack a fully developed digestive system. At this point, it's best to err on the side of caution. Avoid treats with high fat content which can lead to stomach issues. Choose treats that are easy to break apart into smaller pieces to accommodate puppies' smaller mouths. Feeding treats and chews that are appropriately sized will also help ensure the puppy doesn't choke. Aim for a variety of treats and chews which will help to create a more diverse microbiome.

When choosing treats and chews for puppies, it is also important to select those with natural ingredients. Single ingredient treats and chews are highly recommended. Make sure to read ingredient lists and avoid sugar, corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils as these ingredients can harm puppies. Natural ingredients like bison, chicken, and lamb are always better choices than generic processed ingredients. Ideally, treats and chews that do not contain additives, preservatives and other chemicals should be chosen. Treats and chews for puppies should also offer balanced nourishment to support healthy development.

As a puppy grows and ages, adding single ingredient chews to help with teething, overall dental health, and general enjoyment can also be beneficial. Chews for growing puppies should always be 100 percent digestible so avoid chews made from rawhide or rawhide pieces. 

When feeding puppies treats and chews, make sure to supervise. Small pieces can become a choking hazard. Make sure to feed pieces appropriate for your dog's size, age, health state and eating behavior. Since this can cover in excess of a one year period, make sure to consider the appropriateness of the treats and chews given your dog's age, health, and eating behavior. You know your puppy best so use that knowledge to guide your decision making. See a list of recommended GREAT DOG Puppy Treats and Chews here.