Treats are one thing your pug is probably never going to turn them down.
But as with anything in the market, there are fantastic and not-so-great options for your pug.
There are ingredients that companies use that are bad, even dangerous for your pug.
It’s best to keep yourself informed so you can be sure to steer clear.
I want to share with you what treats to avoid and which ones to try out.
I picked three of the best treats for pugs—Sid approves.
What Are the Best Treats for Pugs?
In my experience, here are the best treats for your pug.
- Overall Favorite: Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Meatballs
- Best for Training: Zuke’s Mini Naturals Rabbit Recipe
- Best for Dental Health: Greenie’s Dental Treats
Do You Need Treats for Your Pug?
Giving out treats for your pug can come in handy for quite a few situations.
1. Training Your Pug
When the time comes to train, treats are a fabulous reinforcement to reward good manners.
Whether you are crate training, potty training, or teaching your pug tricks, food motivation can help speed things along.
2. Cleaning Teeth
Many treats help with dental health in terms of freshening breath, reducing plaque buildup, and preventing tartar from forming.
3. Rewards for Good Behavior
Even after your pug is pleasantly trained, you can still offer treats for good behavior.
You can give them a snack after potty breaks or when they listen to a command.
4. Creating a Routine
If your pug is anything like Sid, they thrive on repetition. Sid knows every night before bed, he will get a treat to go in his kennel.
It keeps him happy and serves as a good nighttime routine.
What Can You Feed to Your Pugs as Treats?
Pugs can delight in a wide variety of treats—some of which you may even have in your cabinets or fridge now.
1. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is extremely healthy for your pug, providing a wide range of benefits.
Fruit can improve skin and coat quality, boost the immune system, and help with digestion.
Some scrumptious fruits your pug is sure to love:
Steer clear of these fruits, as they are dangerous—even deadly:
Fun Tip: For a little summer treat, you can even puree fresh fruits and freeze them in an ice tray. Your pug can enjoy their own popsicle on hot days.
2. Fresh Vegetables
Fresh vegetables can also be very advantageous to your pug’s diet.
They may be a little pickier about veggies since they aren’t inherently sweet or desirable but always offer them anyway.
Surely your little one will find something they enjoy crunching.
Safe vegetables your pug can enjoy includes:
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
Stay away from these no-no veggies:
3. Coconut Oil
What is coconut oil not good for—am I right?
It may be one of the most nutrient-dense, useful oils on the planet, and it’s tasty to boot.
Not only can coconut oil clean your pug’s teeth by killing bacteria, but it can also be a delicious and nutritious snack.
You can add it to your dog’s food in liquid or solid form.
If the oil is solid, you can scoop it onto a spoon and let them lap it up as they wish.
Coconut oil can provide your pug with these benefits:
- Improve skin and coat
- Maintain cholesterol levels
- Aids in digestion
- Helps arthritis
- Boosts metabolism
- Strengthens thyroid function
- Prevents cancer
If you buy coconut oil, you can even apply the oil topically to moisturize skin or disinfect cuts.
So, it’s convenient to have in your home.
Note: Be sure to purchase coconut oil that hasn’t been hydrogenated for optimal results.
4. Dehydrated Treats
To get the most out of a protein source without all the fillers and chemicals in processed treats, you can dehydrate meat for your dog.
If you don’t have your own dehydrator, you can use your oven on a low heat setting to dry out the meat sections.
Try some of the following for your pug:
- Lean cut beef strips
- Chicken breast or thighs
- White fish
- Flank Steak
While you can try wild game, like self-hunted bison, deer, and other wild animals, it is best to freeze the meat first.
You want to kill any bacteria on the meat before giving it to your dog, such as E. coli and other parasites.
5. Manufactured Treats
You can purchase pre-made manufactured treats from the store.
However, be careful when you try out a treat. Lots of dog food snacks aren’t very healthy for your pug.
Try to stay with natural, healthy selections with minimal ingredients.
Also, if your pug has allergies, you need to be aware of any potential irritants.
Some ingredients to watch for are:
- High sugar
- Wheat, corn, and soy
- High sugar or fructose
- Synthetic, cooked, or raw bones
Because of the increasing awareness about popular dog treat ingredients, companies are starting to recalculate their angle for marketing.
Even if a brand claims to have all natural ingredients, always take a look at the contents before you trust it.
6. Homemade Treats
Homemade treats are typically healthier, but they do require prepping.
You can get some really nifty ideas online for recipes.
These will involve less ingredients and more nutrition than processed treats.
Plus, you are in full control over what goes into the creation process.
Some ideas you could try for a snack include:
- Homemade dog biscuits
- Vegan, gluten-free, or organic treats
- Frozen pureed fruit cubes
- Peanut butter snacks
You can bake, freeze, or tailor-make your pet snacks just the way they like.
What Treats Should You Avoid for Pugs?
Certain kinds of readily available treats are absolutely no good for your pug—or any dog, for that matter.
While some of these treats have remained popular despite being unhealthy, you should avoid these treats at all costs.
1. Sugar-Filled Treats
Treats chalked full of sugar can lead to obesity, addiction, and dental issues.
If they continue to ingest too much sugar over a long period, it can lead to more serious problems like liver failure and diabetes.
2. Rawhide Bones
You can find rawhide bones at practically any store, but don’t let that fool you.
These treats can cause severe disruptions in your pug’s digestive system.
3. Pig Ears
Pig ears are very tough, and they can break into sharp bits—posing as a choking hazard.
The shards can cause damage to your pug’s throat or digestive system.
Pig ears are also a breeding ground for nasty bacteria.
4. Artificial Additives
When treats are filled with artificial dyes, preservatives, and flavoring.
If your pug is sensitive to an ingredient in the treat, it could cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
It can also trigger allergic reactions and prove toxic.
5. Raw or Cooked Bones
You may think that raw or cooked bones are a healthy alternative snack for your pug.
However, raw bones can harbor lots of bacteria leading to gastrointestinal upset.
Cooked bones can split apart and cause choking or damage to the throat, stomach, and intestines.
6. Human Food
I know it’s tempting when those buggy little eyes are begging for a bite of your burger.
But human food is a bad habit to get started that leads to poor health.
Not only is it bad behavior, but a dog’s digestive system also isn’t able to handle that of humans.
3 Best Treats for Pugs
Here is my pug-approved list of favorite treats.
1. Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Meatballs
Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Meatballs are a real hit around here. Apparently, they’re delicious—Sid tells me so.
Real chicken is the number one ingredient here, which is something you want to keep an eye on when you purchase treats.
This selection has 20.0% crude protein, 12.0% crude fat, and 3.0% crude fiber.
There is 27 kcal/ piece. This product meets the quality standards for the FDA, USDA, and AAFCO.
You can break these little meatballs up to get the most out of them if you prefer.
I break one in half for Sid to reward him for a job well done and save the other half for later.
For a full-grown pug, they can safely consume 1-1 ½ pieces per day.
If your pug has food sensitivities, you may want to steer away from this one.
Chicken can be a trigger for allergies in some pugs.
- √High protein
- √Meat is #1 ingredient
- √Meets quality standards
- ⊗May trigger food sensitivities in some pugs
2. Zuke’s Mini Naturals Rabbit Recipe
Zuke’s Mini Naturals are ideal training treats for your pug.
They’re in tiny bits, so you can use them how you see fit during training.
There are only three calories per treat, and they are soft and safe for seniors and puppies.
The greatest thing about the portions is that you can reward your pug several times during their learning phase without overloading them with too many calories.
These are perfect for potty time rewards and teaching tricks.
This recipe is made of rabbit, which is an excellent choice if your pug is sensitive to common meat like chicken and beef.
These treats are also free of corn, soy, and wheat—which means it’s even less likely to trigger food-related allergies.
Even though this company makes it a point to use ingredients that are less likely to provoke digestion issues, some pugs can still have problems with the recipe.
- √Three calories per treat
- √Perfect for training
- √No corn, wheat, or soy
- ⊗Some pugs may show sensitivities
3. Greenie’s Dental Treats
These Greenie’s Dental Treats are excellent for freshening breath and keeping up with dental hygiene.
These treats are a tasty, hands-free option to make sure your pug’s mouth is staying clear of bacteria, plaque, and tartar.
Greenie’s Treats are accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), so you can rest easy knowing this is a safe product for your pug.
There is 30.0% crude protein, 8.0% crude fat, and 6.0% crude fiber with 52 kcal/ treat.
These treats are blueberry flavored and jam-packed with nutrients to aid in easy digestion.
These are not wheat-free, so it can cause problems if your dog has a gluten issue.
But the company offers a satisfaction guarantee that should ease doubts before purchase.
- √Prevents plaque and tartar buildup
- √VOHC approved
- √Satisfaction guarantee
- ⊗Not wheat-free
Overall, the Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Meatballs are my favorite treat for everyday use.
But if you wanted a treat for a specific purpose, one of the other two may more closely suit your pug’s needs.
Don’t forget to offer a variety of treats for your pug so they will have proper nutrition, keeping them happy and fit.