PRODUCT TESTING: Dog Chews/Bones

So after receiving a positive response from my treat post, I thought it would be a great idea to follow up with a bigger dog chew/bones list of Chloe’s favourites!

Treats are great for indoor and outdoor training, but what if you want to give your dog a bigger reward? This could be after they have mastered a difficult trick, when they need a little extra boost of energy during a long hike/walk, when you want to keep them occupied for a time or when you want to keep your dog’s dental hygiene in order.

*A note about rawhide: Like most new dog owners, I used to buy Chloe rawhides because they sounded natural (therefore I equated that with being great for my dog) and because they preoccupied Chloe for hours! This was of course before I researched them and decided that they are a dog hazard and should be avoided. Here are a couple of articles that highlight the realities of rawhide and why I have chosen to avoid these for Chloe:

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/rawhide-dangerous-for-dogs/

https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/rawhide-good-or-bad-for-your-dog#1

Now before I go into these I just want to write down a disclaimer here. As these chews are bigger and harder than regular treats, it means that you should keep your dog under supervision when you give them these and make sure that there is plenty of water to drink (have water on you if outside in a pub or on a hike when you give them these!). I know that Chloe always has a big gulp of water after eating these!

So without further ado, here is my top 5 list of chews/bones for Chloe!

 

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5. SmartBones – Vegetable and Chicken Dog Chews

I first came across these when I read up on rawhide and how dangerous it was for dogs, so this would have been about a year and a half ago. I immediately started looking for a safer alternative, I found this at Pets at Home and was keen to try them out after reading the packaging. The purpose of this chew was to help keep Chloe’s gums and teeth clean, but also to keep her occupied for a little time (the tempting element of rawhides).

Here were some of the things I liked about this brand:

  • Variety of flavours to keep your pup interested
  • Variety of sizes for all shapes and sizes of dogs
  • Doesn’t stain the room/furniture; colour free
  • Doesn’t have a strong/unpleasant odour
  • Highly digestible material (feels safer than rawhide, and they did tests to prove that is it highly digestible)
  • Meat on the inside so they have to bit through it to get it
  • Vitamin and mineral enriched
  • Good for teeth and gums

It’s so challenging to find alternative to rawhide and this one works well. It’s probably the most processed alternative to rawhide that I have found, and when you touch and smell it I think you will understand what I mean (quite processed, and doesn’t expire for 3 years!). It also doesn’t last as long as I would like, but it’s great as a bigger treat for when Chloe does a trick or command well i.e. go to bed at night. Chloe will eat it, but I think fussy eaters might struggle with this option!

 

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4. Whimzees – Rice Bones

I’ve only stumbled across these in the last month, but they are quickly becoming my/our favourite! I found these on Amazon and here are some of the reasons I love these:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten free
  • Great for dental care, supports healthy teeth
  • Tells you where the ingredients have been sourced on their website
  • Made with 8 all-natural ingredients, the vegetable-based texture will help remove plaque and tartar as they chew:
    • RICE (50%)
    • POTATO STARCH (Highly-digestible, gluten-free and a great source of energy)
    • GLYCERIN (Increases palatability and helps our chews retain moisture)
    • POWDERED CELLULOSE (A pure form of dietary fiber that helps polish dogs’ teeth and aids in digestive tract regularity)
    • LECITHIN (A natural emulsifier from vegetables for a long lasting chew)
    • YEAST (Source of B-vitamins, minerals and amino acids for a healthier coat and easy digestion)
    • MALT EXTRACT (Gluten-free. Improves metabolism, muscle tone and promotes strong bones, for vitamin B-12, magnesium, calcium and protein)
    • SWEET LUPINE MEAL

Just a quick note these are quite large in size, and it says on the package that they are not suitable for dogs under 5kg, as it’s quite a large portion, and there is only one size at this time. These are probably tied with the next brand as longest lasting alternative to rawhides from this list which means it keeps Chloe occupied for a while which is a bonus! I’ve also put these in old socks before, and this way it takes her SUPER long to get it all out, so would recommend this small adjustment if you are looking to make these last longer.

 

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3. Yeti Dog Chew

So these are definitely the fastest growing, international treats brand! I’ve seen them crop up in Pets at Home (they carry their own label version of this now, stopped providing this company sadly) and immediately loved them. Then on a recent trip to Canada I saw them everywhere a well which just goes to show how great they are!

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Long lasting is the big on here, lasts much longer than any Dentastix or regular treat!
  • Doesn’t stain – this is a big one as some of the treats we’ve had in the past have left stains on my carpet
  • Minimal odour – you can smell it a tiny bit but nowhere near the amounts that some of the bones we’ve had in the past and it’s easily ignored
  • 3 ingredients: Yak milk, cow milk and lime juice
  • Great alternative to raw hide
  • Comes in different sizes depending on the breed/size of dog

There is only one flavour at this time, so if your dog doesn’t like this one there isn’t an alternative (although they do sell other types of treats in different flavours). I love that it only has 3 ingredients, and that it expires within a year, because this feels much more natural than some of the half-decade long dog snack lifespan!

 

April Chloe blog

2. The Dog Bakery – Chicken Jerky Strips

I came across this on my trip back to Canada and I was immediately sold on it after reading up on the brand and the ingredients they used – Chloe’s one spoiled pup!

Here is what took me about these strips:

  • Easy to understand ingredients, and processing procedure (3 day air dried then slow baked)
  • Natural ingredients – chicken, coconut, pumpkin, flaxseed
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Grain free
  • Versatile, as can cut up to make treats
  • Ingredients really good for coat i.e. flaxseeds, pumpkin and coconut
  • Smells like the ingredients listed, but isn’t overbearing
  • Chloe goes nuts for these!

I’m trying to hoard it a bit as we can only get these in America, but I have used this recently at the vets to distract Chloe while she was getting her stitches removed. Vet couldn’t believe how well behaved she was, because of the this high value treat. She goes ga-ga for it!

 

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1. Cotswold Raw – Venison Wild Shot

So after I noticed that Chloe had some brown patches on her teeth (despite using Dentastix it seems…), I freaked out and wanted to find ways to prevent her teeth from getting damaged and unhealthy. I’ve been told by my vet that if we don’t keep our dog’s teeth clean, if they get bad enough, they have to put her under to do a full teeth clean (scary and expensive). Ummm, no thank you! I tried to search of natural methods, surely dogs in the wild have to find ways of dealing with this? They don’t have any vets to help them! After extensive research I kept reading up on how important chewing on dog bones were to ensuring that they teeth get a bit of a scrub. This is why I chose Cotswold Raw’s Venison Wild Shot for the job, instead of processed ones:

  • Real bones contain natural nutrients not only in the bone marrow but on the bones themselves that dogs digest when they chew on them
  • Meaty bones function as natural toothbrushes, meaning they keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy
  • Believe it or not, chewing on bones releases endorphins in your dog, actually leaving them happier and healthier
  • Real bones containing marrow provide nutritional benefits to your canine (collagen (which supports healthy joints and connective tissues), valuable minerals, phosphorus and calcium
  • Flavour that you just can’t up with anything else!
  • Takes her ages to get through them

This is by far her favourite treat and she only gets them on special occasions (every 2 months or so). She’s never willing to share these! The only drawback to these are, as they are real meat, the smell isn’t fabulous. It can be tolerated (I’ve definitely smelled worse!) but either way it’s something to be aware of. To avoid this, I tend to feed her these when she’s outside in our garden – it’s a win-win!

 

Q: I’d love to know what your favourite chews or bones are, and why of course!

 

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