Many people assume dogs are carnivores, but they’re actually omnivores. Dogs have coevolved with humans for hundreds of thousands of years, so they’ve adapted to eat many of the same foods our ancestors commonly ate, including grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds – click here to find out why grain-free dog foods aren’t good for dogs.
Most dogs can safely eat the following plant-based foods (excluding dogs with specific allergies):
- Peanut butter
- Flax seeds
- Red ripe tomatoes
- Green beans
- Bell pepper
- Brown rice
- Cooked plain pasta
- Cooked plain oatmeal
- Cooked sweet potatoes
- Small pieces of whole grain bread
And many more…
But if the idea of vegan dog treats still sounds weird to you, you might be surprised to find out the first dog biscuit ever invented, which also happened to be the first commercially sold dog food, was practically vegan. The three main ingredients were: wheat, beetroot, and vegetables. Lastly, gelatin was added to hold the dough together, which is the only ingredient stopping the recipe from being 100 percent vegan. Simply replace the gelatin with another sticky, plant-based binder, like peanut butter, and you’ve got a vegan dog biscuit.
So, without any further ado, here are our top seven picks for the best vegan dog treats…
Vegan Dog Biscuits
Wild Earth Dog Snacks
Our dog loves these biscuits, and so do we! Wild Earth Dog Snacks are a “veterinarian developed” vegan dog treat made in the USA. The main ingredients are: oat flour, peanut butter, peanut flour, flaxseed, and pumpkin.
- No additives, artificial flavors, fillers, or preservatives.
- Money back guarantee if your dog doesn’t like the treats.
- Ideal for occasional rewarding.
- More expensive than some other vegan dog treats.
- Too large to be used as a training treat. Pieces need to be broken for small dogs and puppies.
Benefit Biscuits is a Portland, OR-based company that likes to keep things simple. They only make three products – Mint Fresh Breath Treats, Peanut Butter Protein Treats, and Pumpkin Digestive Treats – using a minimal amount of natural ingredients. It’s important to know that each flavor comes in a different size and shape, so you may want to take a close look at each one before you decide which one is best for your dog. Just Like Wild Earth, Benefits Biscuits are a high-quality, premium dog treat, and the pros and cons are virtually identical.
- All-natural ingredients, no fillers.
- Good variety for a wide range of dogs.
- Safe for dogs allergic to wheat.
- Too large and expensive to be used as a training treat. May need to be broken into smaller pieces for puppies and small dogs.
- Biscuits may be too hard for some dogs to chew.
Coconut Bacon Bones
Don’t let the name fool you. These Coconut Bacon Bones by Threepaws Gourmet don’t contain any bacon. The flavor comes from hickory smoke powder, and your dog won’t know the difference. Like the other biscuits we’ve mentioned so far, these treats are made from all-natural ingredients, and do not contain any fillers or additives.
- Ideal for small dogs.
- Easy to break into smaller pieces.
- Simple, organic ingredients.
- Gluten free.
- Treats are made fresh to order, shipped from Wisconsin.
Vegan Dog Chews
Sam’s Yams Veggie Rawhide
If you’re looking for a good rawhide replacement, look no further than Sam’s Yams Veggie Rawhide. The “rawhides” are literally just thick wedges of sweet potato that have been dehydrated, like potato jerky. When it comes to dog treats, it doesn’t get any more natural than this.
- 100% sweet potato, no other ingredients.
- Helps remove plaque from teeth.
- Keeps dogs busy for a while.
- Good source of nutrients.
- More expensive than buying and drying your own sweet potatoes at home.
Vegan Dog Bones
Dog chews might not fully satisfy your dog’s desire to gnaw on a bone, so you might want to try one of these vegan-friendly bones instead.
The Antler Box Premium Deer Antlers
First things first, you might be thinking, “how can a deer antler be vegan?” Well, no deer are harmed to get these antlers. The antlers are scavenged off the forrest floor from wild deer who naturally shed them. That means this is a real bone you can give to your dog that is also ethically vegan. I can tell you from personal experience that dogs love these antlers!
- Antlers may last up to six months depending on the size and chewing style of your dog.
- These antlers are organic and do not contain any chemicals.
- Deer antlers are a good source of calcium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and glucosamine.
- Antlers are an odor-free treat.
- If you have multiple dogs, they may fight over these, so keep an eye on them.
- Dogs may whittle down ends to sharp points, and need to be supervised while chewing.
- Chewing on deer antlers too often may damage your dog’s teeth and gums.
Whimzees Rice Bone
Whimzees Rice Bone is an all-natural, teeth-cleaning dog treat ideal for medium-sized dogs you want to keep busy for an hour or two – though some dogs might finish these much faster depending on how aggressively they chew. The main ingredients are rice, which makes up 50 percent of the recipe, and potato starch. The vegetable-based texture of Whimzees Rice Bone will help to remove plaque from your dog’s teeth; however, we still recommend properly brushing your dog’s teeth.
- Natural ingredients.
- May help remove plaque from teeth.
- Gluten-free and safe for dogs allergic to wheat.
- Easily digestible.
- Some dogs may finish Rice Bones quickly.
Vegan Puppy Treats
Vegalicious Healthy Chew Bits
Many of the dog treats mentioned above aren’t suitable for puppies. Their weak jaws and tiny, fragile teeth require a treat that is soft and small. Vegalicious Healthy Chew Bits are exactly that. These treats are the perfect size and texture for puppies, and they’re ideal for training. We recommend the Peanut Butter Blast flavor.
- Small size and soft texture makes them easy for puppies to chew.
- Gluten, corn, and soy-free for dogs with allergies.
- Puppies may choke on them if swallowed whole.
Homemade Vegan Dog Treats
Now that you know what the best vegan dog treats you can purchase are, you should also know you can make your own vegan dog treats at home. Here are a couple of easy recipes your dog will love…
Easy Frozen Puppy Pops
Blend together 1 sliced apple, 2 bananas, and 2 tbsp of peanut butter with a splash of water until you get a thick smoothie. Pour the mixture into ice cube trays, and freeze for at least two hours. The end result is a delicious, doggy-sized popsicle that is cold, wet, and crunchy. Don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to help yourself to a few.
Pro tip: serve this treat in a dish so your dog doesn’t make a mess all over the floor.
Sweet Potato Rawhides
Making your own version of Sam’s Yams at home is simple. Preheat your oven to 250º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut a large sweet potato into slices approximately 1/3″ thick, and lay out on the baking sheet. It doesn’t matter what shape you cut the slices into as long as they are at least 1/4″ thick – any thinner and they will get too hard. Bake for 3 hours, flipping the potatoes once halfway through.