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Healthy Dog Treats Review | Apparently I’ve Been Living Beneath a Rock

We received free treats from Zuke’s and Riley’s in exchange for our honest review. The Zuke’s also sent a second box of treats for us to donate to a local rescue group…

Zuke's Dog Treats and Riley's Dog Treats Collage

Recently I was introduced to Zuke’s Dog Treats and Riley’s Organic Dog Treats; apparently I’ve been living beneath a rock!  I had a box of Zuke’s dogs treats and a bag of Riley’s dog treats at my booth at Poochapalooza and every dog parent who stopped by said that these were their dog’s favorite treats.  Really?  And they’re sold at our pet store?  Which aisle?

Since switching our dogs to a raw food diet, I’ve tried to be healthier about the treats I give them, which means that I pass by the treats aisle most days.  I was at Jones and Company Pets and stopped in the dog treats aisle and found tons of healthy, US made/sourced dog treats.  Hoo-Zaaaa!!!

Looking for Healthier Treats?

If you’re looking for healthier treats and don’t want to make them yourself, I recommend checking out the page I created listing healthy treat items and/or stopping by your neighborhood pet store.  As much as I love Petco, I find that my neighborhood pet store (not a chain) has more options for those of us who want to go the healthy route and aren’t interested in chicken jerky sourced in China.

Zuke’s and Riley’s are new favorites in our home, because there are no China sourced ingredients, they’re made in the USA, and the dogs love them.  Plus whenever I pick up the Riley’s bag, I think of our sweet puppy.

Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Puppy, Riley, Parvo, Symptoms of Parvo in Dogs

The Riley’s “cookies” – they’re small enough to make the dogs happy without adding to their waistline.  We tried several of the Zuke’s  treats and the dogs loved them all.  The  Z-Filets were the favorites, because they’re soft, meaty, and smelly just the way our dogs like it.

Zuke’s Dog Treats Our Dogs Love

Zuke's Chicken 'n Cherryz Flavored Mini Bakes Biscuits Dog Treats

Zuke’s Chicken ‘n Cherryz Flavored Mini Bakes Biscuits Dog Treats

These are training treats, “good boy” or “good girl” treats, and “night night” treats. What I love is their size. We still watch how many the dogs eat, but it’s nice that we’re not giving them a huge cookie to ruin their appetite (likely chance) or their waistline.

Chicken n’ Cherryz Ingredients: Ground Oats, Rice Bran, Chicken, Cherries, Potatoes, Oat Fiber, Blackstrap Molasses, Oil Blend (sunflower, olive and canola), Natural Vegetable Flavors

Zuke's Beef Jerky Natural Dog Treat

Zuke’s Beef Jerky Natural Dog Treat

What we love about these is that they’re soft and smelly. The dogs come running when I grab the bag and I break them in twos to not only make the bag last, but because the dogs are just as satisfied with a half of a treat as they are with a whole treat.

Plus, by giving them half, we can give them “two” treats.

Ingredients: (Lamb, Beef, or Turkey), Potatoes, Tapioca, Vegetable Glycerin, Gelatin, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Carrots, Apples, Blueberries, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Lecithin, Phosphoric Acid, Sorbic Acid (a preservative), Rosemary, Turmeric, Sage, Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols.

Zuke's Z-Filets Grilled Venison Dog Treats

Zuke’s Z-Filets Grilled Venison Dog Treats

These are awesome, because they are crazy smelly so the dogs go CRAZY when I open a bag.

See the lines? You can break these apart easily and make one treat last a while with the dogs.  All three of our dogs share one treat.

Ingredients: (Venison, Beef or Chicken), Potatoes, Maple Syrup, Garlic Powder, Salt, Phosphoric Acid, Rosemary, Turmeric, Sage, Sorbic Acid (a preservative), Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols.

Zuke's Z-Bones Clean Cherry Berry Dental Bones

Zuke’s Z-Bones Clean Cherry Berry Dental Bones


I wouldn’t normally give our dogs these, because they’re on a raw food diet and they keep their teeth clean by gnawing on raw bones.  And then I came home one day and a choice had to be made.  Fast.  When I come home, Blue runs around the house to come greet me – I stop the car and he jumps in and we have a few minutes of Mommy+Blue time.

One day, he smelled like garbage and a dead animal.  I thought he’d rolled in something nasty.  It was worse.  He’d hunted and killed a snake and they let off this scent (garbage and a dead animal) when threatened.  I gave him one of these and he was back to our normal Blue in no time.

Ingredients: Clean Apple Crisp: Potato Flour, Vegetable Glycerin, Peas, Tapioca, Pea Protein, Apple, Spinach, Lecithin, Natural Flavors, Parsley, Citric Acid, Zinc Propionate, Turmeric, Alfalfa, Rosemary, Fennel.

Want to Make Your Own Treats?

If you’re interested in making your own treats, then I highly recommend Feed Your Best Friend Better and Dinner for Dogs: 50 Home-Cooked Recipes for cool ideas.  There are tons of cookbooks for dogs, but these are the two that are at our house and well used.

What are your dog’s favorite dog treats?  Where can we buy them or what’s the recipe?


  1. These treats sound wonderful……BUT, dogs with epilepsy should not eat most of them because they contain rosemary, which triggers seizures. One of my 2 has mild epilepsy……very infrequent seizures… I have to read all the labels of anything he will eat.

    • I had no idea about the connection between epilepsy and rosemary. Thanks for sharing. It gave me an idea for a new post. 😀

  2. We use Zuke’s Mini Treats as training treats. They’re not greasy and don’t crumble. My Labs love them…especially the rabbit!

    • I wonder what the rabbit is like. Our dogs don’t get rabbit so I think I will try that me (for then, not me) next time.

  3. Zuke’s will definitely be the next ones we try. Luna isn’t picky, but I like to feel good about what I give her to eat!

    • That’s why I love these too!

  4. These are really great treats! Rocco loves Zuke’s peanut butter ones.

    • Our dogs are nuts about peanut butter – cracks me up.

  5. Thanks for this Kim. I checked to see if they’re available for cats too. The Zuke’s are but Riley’s doesn’t appear to be.

    I’ll check them out…my kitty is a treat monger.:)

    • What I love most about my cats is that if I shake the bag, they saunter in and then meow “I’m hear, now give me a treat” – then I get a leg rub as a thank you. So classy; they just crack me up. If they could talk, they would have a refined, British accent.

  6. Dagny loves Zuke’s z-filets but her favorites are Primal’s turkey liver and venison lung puffs!

    • Ohhhh, I’ll have to check out you recommendations :)

  7. Zuke’s are our absolute favorite treats! Apparently you were under that rock when I wrote my post “Zuke’s Treats Are The S*it”. Ha, ha We love the Power Bones, Jerky and Mini-Naturals (great, low-cal training treats).

    • I was at Scrub-A-Mutt today and saw tons of people with Zuke’s – wow they are popular!

  8. We have never tried Riley’s but Zukes are a huge hit here!

  9. Love your honest reviews Kimberly! I feed my two Dachshunds on a RAW diet, anything that helps with ‘garbage’ breath is a winner with me. Also, was that a pun on one of your replies above…. “Our dogs are NUTS about peanut butter” – cracks me up. HAHA

    • Thanks! I’m excited, because I never intend to make puns so when I do, I get tickled. I have a friend who can come up with a joke on the fly and they’re really good. I’m proud of my “nuts” pun :)

      Thanks for pointing it out so that I can try it out some more today.

  10. My dog loves beef jerky. Maybe she’ll enjoy Zuke’s too.

  11. I love Zuke’s Minis! My dogs love the rabbit flavor.

    I usually have chicken liver available as training treats. I boil them for a half hour, let them dry and then bake for an hour or so at 300 degrees. They go nuts for them and its really cheap.

    • I can do that, Michelle – that’s so easy. We have chicken liver in the freezer. I’m going to thaw it out and do this tomorrow. Thanks!

  12. Great article! It is so important to give your dog healthy food!


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