Best Treats for Pitbulls

Positive reinforcement, training, soothing, or maybe just plain spoiled, there are many reasons to give your pit bull a treat. We know that your dogs love to eat and chew for a number of reasons, but maybe you’re concerned about what is safe and healthy for them to try.

What To Consider Before You Buy

Before you buy your pit bull a treat, there are a few things you should consider beforehand. 

Dog treats

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Nutritional Balance

Dog treats are not dog food, so it's not necessary that they are AS nutritious as your pit bull’s food. However, it is still a good idea to see how many calories are in a serving, as well as whether there are a lot of preservatives in ratio to the amount of protein or nutrients it provides. 

This can also help determine what purpose you will use the treat for. For example, a high-calorie treat may be fine in moderation but will not be good for training.

Pit bulls can sometimes naturally be prone to getting chubby. If you are trying to help them lose weight, then make sure that you are including treats as part of their daily calorie count. Treats can be included in a healthy diet.


If you are buying dog treats that are specifically made for dogs, then they will probably have dog-safe ingredients. However, be careful when giving a dog non-dog treats such as peanut butter or fruits, as they can contain dangerous chemicals.

Be careful of dog treats that contain a lot of salt or syrups, like molasses, as they’re fine in small amounts but can quickly build up if you’re giving your pit bull too many treats. Opting for gluten-free options may also help, as they normally don’t contain grains or bleached wheat flour, which can cause unwanted reactions in some dogs.


The best dog treats are the ones that are an appropriate size for your pit bull. If your pit bull is still a puppy, then they will need a different size to an adult dog. Treats that are too big, or just small enough to swallow can be a big choking hazard.

If your treats are too big, or if your dog treats are homemade - such as fruits or meat - consider cutting them up into smaller chunks to prevent an issue.

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Tasty Treats You Can Find At Home

It might surprise you to find that there are many safe, cheap, and largely preservative-free treats for your pit bull already in your pantry. Some of these are healthier than others, but many of these are classic favorites. [1]


Pit bulls are muscular dogs and need a lot of protein in their diet. Most of this will come from their food, but if you want to supplement a bit of it in their dog treats, then they will probably enjoy it.

Boiled chicken is a good option. It can be cut into chunks or shredded for easy distribution, and if you’re cooking it yourself, then it won’t contain unnecessary salts or potentially harmful seasoning. The same can be said for mince, though you should be careful of giving your dog old, uncooked mince as it can lead to food poisoning.

Dried meat is another option, though it often contains a lot of salt.

Yogurt, cream, and cheese are other options for pitbull treats. Pit bulls cannot digest a lot of dairy, but a small amount as a special treat is not normally a problem. Even ice cream can be ok in small doses. Cottage cheese, cheddar, and other low-fat cheeses are normally best.

However, be very careful when checking the ingredients on ice cream or sweetened yogurts, as many of them contain xylitol, or ‘birch sugar,’ which is very toxic to dogs.


The simple option. Pit bulls are not as picky as humans. While it's nice to give a special treat every now and then, there’s nothing wrong with just giving a bit of extra food for easy and quick training treats. Just remember to include it as part of their daily calorie count.

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Vegan and Non-meat Options

Pit bulls, like all dogs, can and should eat a more varied diet than obligate carnivore animals, such as cats.

Many meat-based dog treats also contain large amounts of grain. While dogs can eat grains, their digestive systems are not designed to be able to handle large amounts. So whether you’re interested in veganism or merely want to include more options to keep your dog healthy, there are alternatives.

Peanut Butter

One of the classic dog treats. Peanut butter is high in calories, but it contains a lot of fat and flavor. It can also provide some mental stimulation for your pit bull since its sticky nature makes it tricky to get out of dispensers and lick mats.

Despite having ‘butter’ in the name, most peanut butter doesn’t contain any dairy products. However, beware of ‘sugar-free’ varieties, as they normally contain xylitol, which we’ve already established is highly toxic to dogs. Normal varieties can also be high in salt and sugar.


Fruit may seem like an odd choice of treat for a pit bull, but small amounts of fruit can make a tasty treat for a dog. A lot of these fruits, when frozen, are also a good way to keep your pit bull cool during the hot summer months.

Warning: Some fruits, such as avocado (yes, avos are fruits), are dangerous to dogs. [2] Even safe fruits contain a lot of sugar and can cause tummy upsets if eaten in excess.


Apples are low-calorie, sweet, and crunchy. While the cores may cause an upset stomach, the fruit is perfectly safe for dogs to eat.


Bananas are a good source of potassium and act as a good binding agent for many homemade treats.


Berries such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are good sources of antioxidants and are safe for your pit bull to eat

Cantaloupe and melon

While somewhat high in sugar, these fruits contain a lot of water and can help your dog stay hydrated after exerting themselves physically.

Pitbull enjoying a treat

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Most of the best dog treats contain some form of vegetables. Most veggies aren't really tasty enough to be considered a treat for most pit bulls, but there are some exceptions.

Vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potato are high in fiber and quite filling. They are also quite sweet. Boiling a sweet potato in the morning means that you can tear chunks of it off throughout the day to provide your pit bull with a treat that's tasty, filling, and healthy.

Chew Treats

Chewing is a healthy and necessary part of dog behavior. It's in a dog's instinct to chew to clean their teeth and relieve stress. Chew toys are fun but if this chew is tasty, then it's an added benefit.

Bully sticks are a good, single-ingredient alternative to things such as bones that can break off and splinter. The bully stick is a long, 100% real beef stick that can provide hours of stimulation. The bully stick is a good choice for an anxious dog, and many treat companies offer some variety.

Other chew treats can include dried fish and animal skins, rawhide, or dried meat. Be careful of dried meat that's made for humans or that has a lot of artificial flavors.

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Pit bulls are large dogs, and like all dogs, they love to chew and enjoy tasty treats. However, the best treats are those that are nutritionally balanced and included in your dog’s diet. Take time to make sure you're not giving too many ‘human food’ treats or ones with artificial preservatives.

Some good treats with all-natural ingredients that you can find at home include unseasoned boiled meats, peanut butter, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, fresh or frozen fruits, and proteins such as yogurt, cream, and cottage cheese.

If you are looking for something stimulating, then consider going for a chewy treat such as dried meat or bully sticks. You can also make the process of giving treats more fun by investing in a hollow toy or opting for a lick mat.

Remember, training treats are going to have to be given often, so they should be low-calorie and low-sodium, especially if given to young pups. [3] 

If you are in the middle of training your pit bull, consider Sparkpaw’s no-pull harness collection. We offer a number of harnesses that have large dogs in mind and that can help you to make sure your pit bull is leash-safe and ready…just make sure you have a treat on hand for a job well done.