My last post was about awesome durable chew toys that your dog will be able to chew on and play with for a really long time. After writing that post I thought it only fair to do a post about some awesome edible long-lasting dog chews. These dog chew treats are intended to be eaten (woohoo! I always get excited about eating). So, no worries about your dog eating something they shouldn’t.
There are a ton of dog chew treats out there! It’s really overwhelming if you’re trying to find healthy dog chew treats that are also long-lasting. If you research some of the really popular chews you will find many are not all that healthy. Rawhide, for example, is often processed with chemicals prior to being packaged and sold. Those chemicals are then still in the treats and ultimately go into your dog. Not good.
I have gathered together here a list of natural, healthy, and wholesome long-lasting dog chew treats that your dog is sure to be tail-waggin’ happy about.
Bully sticks are a 100% natural beef product made from bull pizzles. I’m going to come right out and tell you what bull pizzle is in case you’re not sure … it is bull penis. Yep. It may seem kind of weird that a dog treat is made from that part of the bull, but dogs love them! It’s also great that parts of the bull that might otherwise be discarded are being used and not wasted.
Bully sticks come in several different thicknesses and lengths which makes it easy to get a bully stick that is an appropriate size for your dog. The thinner bully sticks are more appropriate for a smaller dog and the thicker bully sticks are great for larger dogs and will be the longest-lasting dog chew.
Braided Bully Sticks
This one really is still bully sticks but it’s like a mega bully stick chew treat!
For some dogs, a single bully stick can be a quick treat. A great way to give them this awesome treat but have it last longer is to get braided bully sticks. Braided bully sticks are three bully sticks braided together to make a much thicker, longer-lasting dog chew.
These braided bully sticks come in sizes appropriate for small to large dogs.
Antlers are a naturally grown bony extension of the skull grown by members of the deer family. The males grow antlers mainly to display their “masculinity” and increase their chances of finding a mate. Deer naturally shed their antlers once a year. These bony antlers that members of the deer family (deer, elk) drop can make fantastic long-lasting dog chews!
Antlers are exceptionally hard and probably one of the longest-lasting dogs chews you can find. Antlers are high in calcium and phosphorus which are good for your dog. They are also very high in protein which is also good for your dog but could give them a bit of diarrhea if they chew on them too much. An awesome plus is they are pretty much odor-free!
Purchase antlers that do not retain the sharp points as the points can be exceptionally dangerous for dogs to chew on and be sure the antlers are not chemically processed. Choose an antler that is too large for your dog to completely get in their mouth or potentially down their throat. It is important to get an antler that originates in the United States from a reputable company. As antlers become more popular some companies are selling lower quality antlers that could splinter and be dangerous for your dog to chew on.
Animals such as antelope, goats, and buffalo have horns. Horns are different from antlers in that they have a bone core surrounded by a keratin sheath layer (keratin is the same stuff that your fingernails and hair are made of). Some are sold with the bone core still inside while some have the bone core removed and are hollow.
Horns are also very hard so they will last your dog a long time! I have purchased buffalo horns for my puppy a couple of times. She really loves them and it takes an incredibly long time to do that horn any damage. I did notice after she had had it for quite a long while she was starting to get splinters off the cut edge.
I recommend purchasing a thicker-walled horn as it will take your dog longer to get through the horn wall. Also, purchase a horn that does not have a sharp point. Horns are naturally often curved in shape. I always worry about that sharp and/or curved point coming back around and poking a dog in the eye or perhaps poking through the roof of their mouth.
Himalayan Yak Chew
Himalayan dog chews originated from an ancient recipe for a hard cheese treat munched on by people in the Himalayas. Himalayan dog chews are made with yak and cow milk; are 100% natural; contain no preservatives or additives, and are grain and gluten-free.
The Himalayan dog chews are literally edible. Dogs chew on the hard cheese stick and the chewing softens that part of the stick. As pieces of the cheese stick get soft enough they will break off and the dog can then eat that little piece.
When the dog gets the stick down to just being a nub, you’ll want to take that away so they don’t choke on it. But what’s great is you can microwave that last piece for about 30 to 45 seconds until it puffs up, let it cool and then they have a yummy, puffy, crunchy treat to finish off.
These chews come in different sizes so be sure to select one of the appropriate sizes for your dog. Be sure that they won’t be able to get the chew completely in their mouth or down their throat.
Cow hooves make a great chew treat. They too are a very hard chew treat for your dog and are made of keratin. Keratin is not as hard as bone, so it certainly won’t last as long as antler. But don’t get me wrong, hooves are still a very strong dog chew treat and will last your pup a good long time.
What’s also neat about hooves is that they are hollowed out inside making it easy to slip a little peanut butter or soft treat inside. A downside to cow hooves is that they really do hit the nostrils pretty hard; they pack quite an odor. They might not smell too bad in the store but once they get slobbered on and chewed on, that smell really comes out. I personally would recommend them more as an outside chew treat.
Pig and Cow Ears
Pig ears are well, exactly what they say, pig’s ears. Dogs usually just go gaga for these chew treats. Pig’s ears are a thick pork skin, and what dog doesn’t like pork! Cow ears are also a tempting, yummy treat! These dog chew treats are much softer than some of the other options listed here so most likely best for moderate chewers.
Pig’s ears are also pretty high in fat so don’t feed too many of them or too often.
Some companies really overprocess their pig ears and use chemicals, additives, or preservatives. Be sure to select your pig’s ears from reputable U.S. companies and check out how they process the ears so you can be sure you are giving your dog a healthy chemical-free treat. Best Bully Treats offers a great selection of both pig and cow ears.
I know I say it with every post about chewing, but be sure to supervise your dog when they are chewing any of these long-lasting dog chews. They are all incredibly hard substances by nature, but that doesn’t mean one might not crack, splinter, or get so small that your dog will try to swallow it.
Splinters are dangerous as they can embed themselves in your dog’s mouth or anywhere within the digestive system. Splinters and punctures can be incredibly dangerous and cause major medical issues.
When these chews get small enough to fit in your dog’s mouth they might try to swallow the remainder whole. These chunks are usually too big to be swallowed and pose a choking hazard and/or G.I. obstruction hazard.
Because of the hard nature of these treats, there is also the potential for broken teeth, especially for the really aggressive chewers. Broken teeth often need to be pulled which can be a major medical issue and expense.
Chew with Care
While all of these make great long-lasting dog chew treats, it is best to supervise your dog while they have them. Kind of like you wouldn’t let a toddler have a lollipop unsupervised. You would want to be sure that the toddler is safe and doesn’t run the risk of choking on that delicious piece of candy. Similarly, you want to keep an eye on your dog while they enjoy their tasty chew treat to be sure that they stay safe.
Chew safely and wisely my friends