30 Best Cheap And Safe Dog Treats From The Supermarket

If you’ve been paying attention, you probably think the pet food aisle of your supermarket is the worst place to buy dog treats. You’d be right.

But if you stay away from the pet food aisle, you can find dozens of healthy, inexpensive, and safe dog treats in your grocery store.

Honey prefers eating out to safe dog treats from the supermarket.

Or we could just eat out.

Why Buy Dog Treats At Your Grocery Store

I can count on one hand the number of good pet supply stores within walking distance of the marinas and anchorages we stay in.

But even if you’re not cruising on a boat with your dog, here are excellent reasons to consider your grocery store the next time you need to buy your dog treats.

  1. Convenience – Chances are good you’ll be shopping at the grocery store anyway. Why go out of your way?
  2. Cost – Check the unit cost the next time you buy dog treats. You’ll surprised to find that many human treats cost less per pound than dog treats.
  3. Safety – Buying human food is no guarantee that it will be safe. But the safeguards for human food are stronger than those in place for pet foods. So your chances of poisoning your dog are lesser than buying dog treats imported from China.

So why not take a look at our list and see if some of these treats might work for your pup?

Honey the golden retriever gets some ice cream.

And of course, ice cream is always an excellent option.

Best Cheap And Safe Dog Treats At Your Supermarket

You can find good dog treats in many sections of the grocery store (excluding the pet food aisle).

Meat & Seafood

Turkey Hot Dogs

  • Freeze the pack. You can run cold water over a single hot dog and separate it off before refreezing the rest.
  • Slice hot dogs thin and dehydrate in the oven at 170° F on a cookie sheet. When they puff up in the middle, they’re done.
  • If fat and salt is a concern for your dog, boil them in a pot of water before freezing them on a cookie sheet.
  • Once cut into small slices, hot dogs last 2-3 days in the fridge.

Liver

  • Slice it thin and dehydrate in the oven at 170° F on a cookie sheet. When dried to the consistency of shoe leather, store in the fridge.
  • Note that your house will smell like cruel death while preparing them. But your dog will be in nose heaven.

Liverwurst

  • It is greasy to handle. But it’s easy to freeze little pieces for easier handling during training.
  • Most dogs adore liverwurst. An excellent high-value treat. But use sparingly.

Smoked Salmon

  • Salmon makes a great stinky treat for nose work games.
  • Look for sales on salmon during the holidays. It comes in small packages of a few ounces.

Precooked Bacon

  • Use a kitchen scissors to cut it into small slices.
  • You can save money by frying your own bacon too.

Baloney

  • Buy thick-cut baloney in the lunch meat section.
  • Or ask your deli to slice it into thick sections.

Chicken

  • The easiest way to prepare chicken is by putting cheap cuts in the crock pot and cooking at a low temperature until it falls off the bone.
  • Freeze the resulting broth to make “pupsicles” or save for another recipe.

Fruits & Vegetables

Carrots – Slice and store in ice water so they stay crispy.

Apple Slices – Slice and spritz with lemon juice to keep them from browning. But most dogs aren’t bothered by brown spots.

Bananas – Slice them fresh for soft treats or use dried banana bits for crunchy treats.

Sweet Potatoes – Peel or wash with the skins on. Dehydrate in the oven at 170° F on a cookie sheet

Blueberries – Wash first.

Sweet Peppers – Slice into small bites.

Frozen Green Beans – Buy the thick beans, not french cut.

Frozen Peas – The perfect size for tiny treats.

Watermelon – Even the rind is edible.

Frozen Squash – Messy as a hand treat. But a great addition to a Kong.

Canned Pumpkin – Excellent combined with other items to stuff a Kong.

Tangerine – Some dogs love sections of seedless tangerines.

Dairy

Cheese – Don’t overdo it. Cheese gives some dogs diarrhea.

Yogurt – Mixed with pumpkin or peanut butter, it makes a good frozen treat.

Hard Boiled Egg – The yolks are messy but eggs make a good, soft training treat.

Grocery Aisle

Popcorn – Don’t add butter or salt. Air popped is healthiest.

Chick Peas – Good straight out of the can. Or roast in the oven for a crunchier texture.

Oat O’s Cereal – Not a high value treat. But inexpensive and some dogs enjoy them.

Dried Banana Chips – Dehydrate your own to safe money.

Crunchy Rice Cereal – A perfect size for training treats.

Asian Rice Snacks – Read the ingredient list to make sure they are not spicy or overly salted.

Jerky – Available in the snack section in beef and turkey.

Peanut Butter – An excellent addition to yogurt for frozen treats. Or a good way to hide medications.

Oatmeal – More digestible than rice. A good option for a bland diet with ground turkey or chicken.

What Are The Best Treats For Your Dog

Before adding these items to your grocery list, ask yourself the following questions:

What does my dog like?

Honey doesn’t like every item on this list. While she loves watermelon and tangerines, she turns her nose up at apple and blueberries.

So before stocking up on an item, check to see if your dog actually likes it.

While liverwurst is like doggie crack for most pups, some just don’t care for it. And if your pup doesn’t like it, you’ll be stuck eating it.

How will I be using the treats?

Do you want treats as training rewards? Snacks between meals? High-value treats for difficult training? Or something you can stuff into a Kong and freeze?

Different treats fit different uses. For instance, small and soft treats work well for training. Stinky treats are good for hiding treats.

What foods do my dog tolerate?

Some dogs have more sensitive digestive systems than others. You know better than anyone what is a healthy food for your pup.

Honey the golden retriever hopes for some barbecue.

Actually, I think southern barbecue is the healthiest treat for this pup.

Buying Healthy Treats For Your Dog Wherever You Are

When I find an independent pet store that features excellent products and food within walking distance of the shore, I shop there. It’s important to support local businesses that offer good products for pets.

But I don’t see any reason to go out of my way to buy treats at a pet chain. Especially not one that discriminates against some breeds or sells puppies and kittens from mills.

Good thing the supermarket has so many great options for safe and healthy treats for my dog.

Your Turn: What are your favorite grocery store treats for your dog?

Comments

  1. I am pretty familiar with the fruit and vegetable aisle for Ernest and Petey, but hadn’t thought of most of the rest. You have a lot of excellent suggestions here. I especially like your suggestions of various meats, and all the tips for how to freeze, cook, and prepare these. Being a boat dog, does Honey like fish?

    • Honey LOVES fish (even rolling in it). 🙂 And it’s such a great stinky treat.

      But dried salmon treats from the pet store cost a fortune. When my grocery store had a “buy one get one sale” on smoked salmon, the price was much lower than the dog treats.

  2. I have one dog that goes nuts for pears. It’s funny, because she’s a picky eater.

    London broil goes on sale every few months at the local Winn Dixie. I stock up when it’s BOGO Free. It’s an excellent high value treat for dogs and husbands alike.

    • Hmmm, pears? That is a new one to me. Although I was surprised to find Honey eating orange sections.

      The London broil is a great idea. A BOGO sale makes all kinds of human foods cheaper than treats made for dogs.

  3. Baby carrots are my stock item for dog treats, just the right size, cold and crunchy, I think they must be good for her teeth. Gwen loves most food, she would gobble up all of these items, the only thing she wonders about is oatmeal, she looks at me as if she is thinking “why eat this?”. Popcorn is a great treat for all of us to share. Thanks for the tip on the turkey hot dogs we will try that one. I also buy ground turkey or any ground meat when it is on super sale, I cook it up and add it to her meal as a super treat.

    • I can’t blame Gwen on the oatmeal. But it’s a healthy filler when you need a bland diet.

      The standard advice is to make beef and rice when our dogs get an upset stomach. But I find dogs don’t digest rice very well. However, oatmeal was a component of the homemade diet I made my last dog and it worked really well.

      Of course, Honey was relieved that the last time she had an upset stomach, I skipped the oatmeal and just fed her turkey and pumpkin.

  4. Paws down, liver or liverwurst. Liverwurst is always a great treat, just hard to handle and for us, it defrosts too fast to use for training. We get it in Kongs. Mom rarely stuffs our Kongs full. She puts a tablespoon or so smeared around the inside for us. Yum!

    • Your mom is smart to use liverwurst sparingly. It’s a pretty rich treat.

      And yes, it definitely defrosts too quickly. In those situations we use freeze dried liver.

  5. What a comprehensive and complete list of goodies. I love the descriptive phrase “cruel death” for describing dehydrating liver. So true and accurate. 😊

    • OMD, there is nothing that proves my love for my dogs more than dealing with the smell of dehydrating liver. You? 🙂

  6. Sometimes I’ll buy a container of plain yogurt and a couple of ripe bananas. When I get home I’ll put the bananas in the blender to make them “mushy”, add the yogurt and blend them together. Then I use a teaspoon to fill some molds and stick them in the freezer. These are great treats for the summer and they’re small enough that they don’t upset the girls’ sensitive tummies (as long as I dispense sparingly). I sometimes substitute either strawberries or blueberries. The girls like either one. I also liquefy watermelon and then pour it into the molds.

    • I would never have thought of liquifying watermelon and freezing it. But that is a fabulous idea. And so easy!

      Now I’m jealous that I don’t have a blender or a freezer. :/

  7. Hi Pamela!
    Zack and Zoe love kale, especially the crunchy spines (so we end up sharing, I get the leaves.)

    • What a great idea! Honey likes kale. But I never thought of giving her the spines I cut away. But it makes sense. Dogs have much stronger teeth so they probably find them no challenge at all.

      I’ll tell Honey to thank Zack and Zoe when she gets some extra kale next time we buy it.

      BTW, do you have any travels in your future? I often think of you all and wonder if you’ll be hitting the road again.

  8. Great list! I wish I would have seen this before we said goodbye to Linus. He wasn’t eating much the week before he passed and we tried many different foods from the grocery store including bacon, chicken, cheese, and eggs. He seemed to like variety so maybe trying everything on this list would have helped.

    • It is so hard when we’re facing goodbyes. Yes, trying to make them happy with delicious food is sometimes the best thing we can do.

  9. Dogs like things as smelly as possible, hence the liver! Mine love green beans and they’re very good when their waistlines get a little larger!