I absolutely adore my dog, but she has a very ~active~ mind and might chew a table leg off if there’s nothing to do. Boredom is the enemy, and we will leave no dog behind when one of us is lacking a bit of playtime energy. Good dog chews should last longer than a few seconds, taste great, and lack the calories of so many treats.
You should ALWAYS supervise the fun—when some large chews get down to a not-so-manageable size, the last thing you want is for your pup to accidentally choke or end up swallowing it and have it cause issues. Safety comes first, and your dog will thank you.
Chances are you’re at least a little familiar with this one, and I won’t deny that with some dogs an ordinary bully stick might not last super long. That’s why I highly highly recommend the next best thing—a twist of 8 bully sticks braided together into one monster of a good time.
In theory, this bad boy will last 8 times as long, and these are low odor, free of artificial ingredients, hormones, and chemicals, and are (like all bully sticks) a fantastic source of protein.
Dogs like gross things—if you know what bully sticks are, then you understand. My pup LOVES beef trachea, and it’s a huge bonus that they’re chock full of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. It will typically take her at least a half hour to get through one of these; they’ll last even longer if you smear a little peanut butter on the inside so they have to lick it off first.
On the stink front, I can confidently say I’ve never had a smelly trachea, though some do complain of an odor. They tend to be a little oily or waxy as a trade-off and might be best given on a kitchen floor or outside. I have never had issues with tracheas staining the carpet. Like many chews, these can also be treated as “dental chews” since they act like a very strange looking toothbrush.
Benebones are made of crazy-strong nylon and flavored with food-grade bacon, peanut butter, and rotisserie chicken. While these super tough “chews” are meant to be chewed and not swallowed, the dogs in my family go absolutely NUTS for them. And they’re still around for WEEKS intact.
The wishbone-shaped option is designed specifically for a secure grip by paws, and it’s available in 3 different sizes. As with any snack or toy, be sure to remove this from your dog if he appears to be ingesting it or if it’s ready for a replacement.
Like antlers and other bone-type chews, buffalo horns are low in calories, high in protein, and last quite a long time. Luckily, unlike cooked bones (which I would never recommend giving to your dog, no exceptions), these will not splinter as they’re chewed.
Another awesome benefit—there’s no odor! I’ve never experienced carpet staining or any issues with water buffalo horns, and they stay “alive” in our house for weeks to months on end.
Yak milk, cow milk, salt, and lime juice are the only ingredients in these ancient Himalayan snacks. They wear down over time as your dog gnaws and are good for keeping plaque at bay, though when they get small enough (down to an inch or so) you’ll want to take them away. Don’t throw it in the trash just yet though! If you pop the little piece in your microwave for about 30 seconds it will puff up like a piece of popcorn and come out nice and crunchy. It will be hot, so don’t give it to your dog right away; once it cools they should be able to munch it like a regular treat.
These are a tad difficult to ship due to their frozenness and rawness, but any local pet supply store should have a freezer stocked with vacuum-sealed marrow bones. My personal pick is the beef marrow bone from Primal Pet Foods. For a dog new to raw snacks, I would limit them to one bone per week, though Primal advises that you can offer up to two.
These raw bones are NOT meant to disappear, meaning once your dog scrapes out all the marrow and any leftover meat left on the bone, discard the bone itself. Unlike a “stuffed” bone from the pet store, you won’t want to leave a raw one lying around too long after the fact. Out of anything and everything, my pup would do backflips for these.