Top 5 Best Treats For Golden Retrievers (2024 Review)

If you’re looking for the best Golden Retriever dog treats, you’ve come to the right place! 

Sometimes, you want your pupper to do something special.

image of golden retriver urgently waitng for a treat being held in human hand

Like, impress your date by shaking their hand. Or refrain from knocking down the hot new mailman (or … er… mail-girl?). 

This is where treats come in.

The best treats are healthy, convenient, and pleasantly budget-friendly.

You could make them yourself in a pinch. (And I often do!) But you could just as easily order them online or run down to the shop for a pack.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • The top 5 treats for Golden Retrievers 
  • How to pick the best treats 
  • Different types of treats to choose from 

And much more! 

Let’s check out some snacks for Golden Retrievers! 

Nudges Dog Treats 
  • Real USA sourced
  • No corn, wheat, soy
  • 16 oz (454g)
  • Real USA sourced
  • No corn, wheat, soy
  • 16 oz (454g)
View on Amazon
Cowdog Chews Retriever Rolls 
  • All natural
  • 10" long
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • All natural
  • 10" long
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
View on Amazon
Fruitables Baked Dog Treats 
  • Made in USA
  • 8 Calories per treat
  • 7 oz (198g)
  • Made in USA
  • 8 Calories per treat
  • 7 oz (198g)
View on Amazon
Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats 
  • Made with real chuck roast
  • Fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals
  • 25 oz (709g)
  • Made with real chuck roast
  • Fortified with 12 vitamins and minerals
  • 25 oz (709g)
View on Amazon
Racheal Ray Nutrish Real Meat Dog Treats 
  • Cooked in the USA with no ingredients from China
  • No added grain
  • 12 oz (340g)
  • Cooked in the USA with no ingredients from China
  • No added grain
  • 12 oz (340g)
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On January 20, 2022

Based on successfully taught tricks and an eagerly wagging tail, Nudges is our top pick. It has a rich texture and flavor with zero animal by-products.

While it’s a commercial treat, it looks, feels, and smells like your golden Retriever knocked it off the grill (but it won’t burn your dog!)

These treats are made with real meat, so they suit your dog’s digestive system. And they’re portioned for convenience.

Your Golden Retriever can safely handle a full treat, but the snacks are easy to break in case you want to offer half.

And it has no wheat or soy so that helps tooG

What's In This Guide?

      Our Top 5 Best Treats For Golden Retrievers

      Despite being described as gun dogs, Golden Retrievers are not great snipers!

      The term ‘Gun dog’ is simply another word for a ‘bird dog’, meaning they were used to catch fallen birds after the master (or mistress) shot them.

      Now, we can easily teach our dogs new tricks with these five treats: 

      1. Nudges Dog Treats 
      2. Cowdog Chews Retriever Rolls 
      3. Fruitables Baked Dog Treats 
      4. Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats 
      5. Racheal Ray Nutrish Real Meat Dog Treats 

      But Golden Retrievers are instantly recognizable by their straight tails, puffy coats, and gorgeous grins.

      Their fur can be straight or wavy, and their waterproof undercoats are built for swimming.

      They’re fine with kitty chaos, rowdy kids, and other pets, so you won’t need to bribe them often.

      What’s So Special About Treats For Golden Retrievers? 

      Golden Retrievers are mid-sized gentle, affectionate furballs.

      And because of that, you’ll want to be careful to avoid overdoing it with snacks – as those calories quickly pile up!

      Still, the most common use of dog treats is training while some puppy parents use treats as a substitute for TLC.

      But this is a bad idea! So find other ways to bond. Ideally, methods that involve movement.

      Because Golden Retrievers are such gluttons and prone to obesity, it’s best to use treats that are low in carbs and have minimal added sugar.

      Fortunately, these dogs are big people-pleasers, so it’s not too difficult to control portion sizes.

      How Do Treats For Golden Retrievers Work?

      We all know Golden Retrievers love to eat, and also love to make their owners happy. This is why they respond well to treats as a training tool.

      You’ll want to use tiny pieces as a reward to reinforce the trick you’d like them to learn. Most vets suggest any nutritious treat should be half the size of your thumbnail.

      But knowing your dog can easily get too fat – especially when they’re younger encourages me to leave the treats as a last resort.

      Puppies are especially at risk because their bodies grow faster than their frames. And in extreme cases can lead to structural bone disorders. 

      A woman hand holding a dog treat in front of a golden retriever dog

      What Are The Different Types of Treats For Golden Retrievers? 

      The trouble is…Pets like these are a magnet for treats…And I’m the first to admit that sneaking leftover food under the table isn’t always the best option. 


      However, dog treats will provide a far better alternative! 

      Here are some common kinds.

      Soft Treats

      These are the best treats for golden retrievers because their texture appeals to your pooch.

      But you’ll need to use small pieces so your dog won’t spend the whole day chewing. Let them enjoy that tiny piece and be motivated to perform well.

      The promise of further treats does wonders.

      Crunchy Treats

      Crunchy treats include dog biscuits, kibble, and cookies. They’re dry and often leave crumbs.

      So between the extended chewing and lapping up the crumbs, some dogs may find this snack too entertaining to serve as a functional training treat.

      Those cute shapes will tempt you though.

      Dried Treats

      These can be prepped in a dehydrator or a freeze-drier. The ideal option is jerky, because it’s all protein.

      Dehydrated vegetables and dried fruits are popular, but their high carb and sugar content can work against your canine foodie’s ideal weight goals.

      Stick to protein when possible.

      Synthetic Chews

      Synthetic treats are often referred to as dental chews or bone substitutes and are frequently vegan too.

      They’re tougher and take longer to consume, so they’re best after a heavy meal or a vigorous run.

      These are meant to exercise doggy jaws. Your dog will want to curl up and gnaw at its own pace.

      Animal Treats

      If your ethics allow it, you can offer animal bones and hooves to your golden retriever as a treat.

      Many farming households do because these snacks are easily available.

      But use them with care because they can crack your dog’s teeth. And they’re not particularly effective as training aids.

      Rawhide Et Al

      Other farm by-products that you might offer your dog as a snack include hides (dried animal skin) and pig ears.

      Dogs enjoy nibbling these, but they’re bad training treats for three reasons – they take too long to eat, they can be fatty, and they can block your dog’s gut.

      Fruits and Veggies

      If your Golden Retriever regularly eats off your plate, human food makes a good training treat. Try safe fruits and vegetables cut into cubes.

      Check the starch levels though. And be careful, your dog might develop the habit of begging at the table if you give them too many goodies.

      Homemade Treats

      If you scour the pantry, you’ll find lots of things you can toss into the oven as a homemade treat for a Golden Retriever.

      Ingredients include white meat (tuna, salmon, chicken), flour (wheat, coconut), eggs, and the stinkiest cheese you can stand. Bake the concoction, cool it, and freeze.

      What Should You Look For In A High-Quality Treat For Golden Retrievers?

      You may have noticed your Golden Retriever loves to chew on shoes, tennis balls, and anything within reach of their jaws.

      It’s a distinctive breed characteristic, so avoid chewy snacks which will seem like an exciting toy and distract them for a long time.

      Here’s what you should look for:

      Strong Scent

      The primary purpose of the original Golden Retriever was to help 19th Century Scottish hunters. so they have an exceptional sense of smell.

      I generally go by the rule of “the worse it smells to you, the more your dog will love it”.

      Low Calories

      To keep them affable, Golden Retrievers were bred to mature more gradually than other breeds. This way, they retain their adorable puppy personalities.

      But while they grow up slowly, they bulk up quickly. Their weight can soon overwhelm their bone structure, so go low on the sugars.

      PS: Yes, dogs love peanut butter. And yes, it has an impressive protein content. Buuuut … fats!!!

      Our Reviews Of The 5 Best Treats For Golden Retrievers

      Pick #1: Nudges Dog Treats

      The reason I love Nudges is its variety. This particular dog treat is from their Grillers line – a snack made of wafers that simulate char-grilled chicken.

      And while most of their products are chicken-based, you can experiment with chicken slices, jerky chews, jerky bones, and biscuits.

      You could also try their homestyle treats, packed to resemble DIY dog cookies. Or opt for beef biscuits.

      These treats are high in protein, which is perfect for Golden Retrievers. But they also contain ground rice so it’s not just junk food.

      You even get a trace of fiber to make it more filling.



      Pick #2: Cowdog Chews Retriever Rolls

      The American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize red dogs as true Golden Retrievers.

      But if your pooch has a flat tail and an irresistible smile, they’ll still enjoy these treats.

      They’re rolled into a stick to trigger your dog’s retrieval instincts and have a convincing beef flavor.

      The retriever rolls are fashioned from grass-fed cows and treated to remove any chemicals, hair, or fats.

      These rawhide snacks only have one ingredient (cow skin) so they won’t cause allergies or upset your furbaby’s stomach.

      And they last a while so your pooch will be giddy for ages!



      Pick #3: Fruitables Baked Dog Treats

      Vegan dog owners will often bend their beliefs for the sake of their pooches.

      But if your dog regularly eats off your plate, they’ll acquire a taste for fruits and veggies.

      In which case this treat is perfect. It contains six fruit/veggie medleys (and one variant even includes bacon!)

      The treats are baked, so they’re healthy. And their powerful mixed aroma will entice and delight your dog.

      Plus every snack is a remarkable 8 calories and is infused with manganese, vitamins, potassium, fiber, and anti-oxidants.

      And it has no artificial additives, flavorings, or meaty bits. 



      Pick #4: Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats

      We looked at a mixed-fruit snack, which is great for dogs with meat allergies.

      But for the typical Golden Retriever, this meat-medley is orgasmic (at least in the foodie sense). It has real chuck roast and filet-mignon for that beefy kick.

      But be careful – these are as bad as chips or cookies!

      They pack a powerful caloric punch, and you do need to break them into bits before serving. It also has tons of additives, so that’s worth considering.

      Still, it tastes great and your dog will certainly love it. Your vet – however – will be less than pleased. Vets like the pill snacks though.



      Pick #5: Racheal Ray Nutrish Real Meat Dog Treats

      Racheal Ray is a lot of things, but she is not a calorie counter. (And these stand at 19 calories per piece, FYI.

      Some flavors get as high as 34 calories – I’m looking at your turkey bacon!

      That said, she cooks as lovingly for dogs as she does for humans, and these treats are pure perfection.

      She has 8 flavors, from bison burger bites to chicken waffles. The dog treats are grain-free but they’re beefed up with potatoes.

      And they do have chemical preservatives, so there’s that. But textures range from waffle grids to sausage chunks. The variety will please your pooch so much!



      Our Top Pick: Nudges Dog Treats

      Our favorite treat for golden retrievers is Nudges.

      Rather than poisoning your dog with weird chemicals, this all-natural product uses paprika to give the tender wafers a delightfully barbeque-y color.

      Its texture is realistic and its scent is drool-inducing – at least for the dog. 

      If you prefer to buy a bigger pack for budgeting convenience, that still works out great. Why? The packs are freezable and resealable so your furbaby can enjoy them for months!

      The snacks are made of real chicken, but you don’t need to worry about salmonella or e-coli. Sorted!


      Golden Retrievers aren’t very big, but their double-coat can hide unwanted weight.

      And because they’re so eager to please, respond easily to instruction, and need an hour of HiiT every day, you want to limit their treat intake.

      Otherwise, they’ll soon get fat and that’s bad for their health! 

      If you do want to incorporate treats into their training, consider opting for high-protein, low-sugar snacks. Softer ones are better.

      Your dog can chew and swallow quickly, returning their attention to the training session. Crunchy treats are time-wasters and annoying distractionsR

      Picture of Leon Angus

      Leon Angus

      Leon Angus is a London, UK-based blogger with a plan to improve the pet industry one post at a time. He is the senior editor at Dig Doggy and oversees every piece of content before publish to ensure the highest quality and most thorough research has been carried out.

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      Leon Angus is a London, UK-based blogger with a plan to improve the pet industry one post at a time. He is the senior editor at Dig Doggy and oversees every piece of content before publish to ensure the highest quality and most thorough research has been carried out.

      About Dig Doggy

      DigDoggy® is a free resource for dog owners, with everything from expert product reviews to trusted pet care advice.

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