3 min read

Best Dog Treats for Small Dogs


Written by Mel Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 07/10/2020, edited: 07/10/2020

Looking for a "pawsome" treat for your pint-sized pooch to enjoy? You'll find that small dog breeds like Jack Russells or Yorkies won't be able to chow down on the same treats as Great Danes or Labradors

Your tiny canine companion has a smaller mouth and a different metabolism than large dogs, so you won't want to give them the same treats. Whether you're giving your miniature mutt a training session or you're just looking to reward good behavior, different situations call for different types of treats. Here are some factors to consider when searching for the perfect treat for your small dog.

What to look for 

  • Small treats. Your small hound will find a large dog biscuit hard to tackle, so choose something they can chew comfortably. You’ll find a wide range of treats made especially for small dogs at your local pet store, so be on the lookout the next time you're shopping.

  • Low-fat treats. You'll find many high-calorie snacks that your fur-baby loves, but these treats will make them put on weight. Avoid calorific treats and human foods, as these can cause weight gain quickly. If there’s a particular fatty treat your petite pup can't resist, only give it to them on special occasions.

  • Soft treats. Your mini mutt won't have the same jaw strength as some of their larger relatives, so consider this when picking out a treat. Choose soft dog chews, biscuits, and snacks over large dog bones.

What to avoid

  • Fatty treats. Human food and fatty treats can cause your small dog to pile on the pounds quickly. If you're training your dog, you'll likely give them a handful of treats during one lesson. If your chosen treat is high in fat, the number of calories consumed will stack up quickly.

  • Hard treats. Any treat you pick for your pint-sized pooch should be relatively soft. Large, hard treats have a chance of chipping your dog’s teeth, and could cause your pup to choke if swallowed in large pieces. As a rule of thumb, if you can't break a hard treat in half with your hands, avoid giving it to your small dog. 

  • Treats high in salt. Excess sodium is detrimental to your dog's health, especially for small pups. Large quantities of salt can cause many health problems in dogs, including tremors, seizures, and heart disease.

  • Artificial ingredients. Keep an eye out for artificial ingredients in treats, whether they're made for humans or dogs. Common artificial ingredients in dog treats include propylene glycol and ethoxyquin.

The best dog treats for small dogs

Soft chews

Small, soft dog chews are a great way to keep your pup busy without worrying about them biting off more than they can chew. They also help maintain good dental health. Regardless of the chew, always keep an eye on your dog when they’re eating a dog chew, especially if they're an aggressive chewer. 

Small dog biscuits

Small dog biscuits are the perfect treat for pint-sized puppers. Small dog biscuits will ensure your dog doesn't pile on weight while training, and soft biscuits won't put any strain on your woofer's teeth.

Small pieces of jerky

An excellent premium reward for your mutt is a small piece of jerky. Dried animal meats like chicken, beef, and venison are strong-smelling and irresistible to most dogs. Giving your dog a piece of jerky is fine on occasion. Just make sure there are no spices or added ingredients that may upset your pooch's stomach.


Another ideal treat for when your pup has been on their best behavior is cheese. Cheese is soft and easy to eat, and some dogs will do anything to get a taste. As cheese is rich and high in fat, only give this as a reward on special occasions.

The best dog treats for small dogs: wrapping up

When it comes to picking out the perfect treat for your miniature mutt, the smaller, the better. Most dog treats don't have a calorie count on them, so it can be hard to pick out a treat based on its fat content. 

You'll also want to make sure any biscuits or chews you give your small dog aren't rock-solid, as this could damage your dog's teeth or cause a choking hazard. It's okay to give your dog a fatty treat like jerky or cheese every once in a while. If you’re going to give your dog a special Scooby snack, save it for when they're on their best behavior.

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