Something to Chew On (for my dog)
August 13, 2011 10:06 PM   Subscribe

What are good dog treats that are long-lasting chews?

I want something that is relatively healthy (i.e. no gunk like food coloring) and preferrably available for a reasonable price in bulk.

My beagle just chomps tendons and even bully sticks in almost no time and I want something to keep him occupied for a bit longer!

I have tried cow hooves and deer antlers too, but it seems he's more eager to devour the "consumable" treats.
posted by lirael2008 to Pets & Animals (20 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Ive heard peanut butter inside a kong takes a nice long time.
posted by HMSSM at 10:09 PM on August 13, 2011

My food-motivated toy-ignoring dog spends hours chewing basted rawhide "bones". I don't know how those compare in toughness to tendons and bully sticks; maybe it won't work for your lil dude.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:22 PM on August 13, 2011

Kongs are great! I used to put a couple of small pieces of dog biscuit in before the peanut butter so it would rattle around. (They make extra-tough versions, too.)
posted by Room 641-A at 10:24 PM on August 13, 2011

Be careful with rawhides. My golden was strong enough to bite big pieces off without chewing them. This resulted in a emergency trip to the vet and a lot of worry on our part.
posted by Silvertree at 10:56 PM on August 13, 2011

Best answer: Kongs + peanut butter can last if you add a few bits of biscuit in there with the peanut butter and then put it in the freezer over night. If you do a kong, be sure to just get the black / extra tough version. My dog chewed up a red one and ate the whole thing one afternoon. Lucky that it all, uhh, came out.

Our dog enjoys large smoked beef or pork bones. She cleans all the meat and marrow off them within an hour or two, but they retain enough flavor that she chews the bone on and off for weeks. She's a very powerful chewer and they're the only thing we leave with her unattended at this point. You can get them in various sizes at pet stores pretty easily, I think.

Avoid nylabones at all costs. We had a $1600 emergency surgery to have a large piece removed from our dog's intestines. Turns out it's not impossible to chew off bits after all (they don't claim that... but it was apparently much easier than we imagined).
posted by pkingdesign at 11:14 PM on August 13, 2011

Best answer: Himalayan Dog Chew. My dog goes through 12" bully sticks in 15-20 minutes, but these last him all day, and they're totally digestible if he swallows a too-big chunk, unlike the bone he had to have surgically removed, sigh.
posted by judith at 11:37 PM on August 13, 2011

Response by poster: Oh yes--I forgot about Kongs...will bring those out again. They're a bit messy though, but definitely a good idea!

And I might try the Himalayan dog chew...seen it at the store and it's mighty pricey but if it lasts long enough it could be worth it.

posted by lirael2008 at 1:29 AM on August 14, 2011

Best answer: Mix some peanut butter, a bit of water or yogurt, some broth if you have it around, carrot sticks, dog food, etc., and put it in the kong. Freeze them overnight and you have a little while to relax on your own :-)

No: nylabone, rawhides. Both can cause some major internal stress.

You can get hollow bones from a butcher and put stuff in the middle, then freeze it too.

The bully sticks here have been great. You can get super long ones, twisted ones, low-odor ones. If you sign up for their newsletter, they send out a few discount code. Their prices are a fraction of dog stores. A friend gets the "big shin" and it's definitely huge. I was under the impression only to give raw bones, but these look smoked or preserved in some way.
posted by barnone at 1:56 AM on August 14, 2011

Another frozen kong treat, one that's extremely cheap: half a slice of American cheese inside the kong. Microwave 10-15 seconds--long enough so it's barely liquid. Turn the kong over and over in your hand so the now liquid cheese coats the inside. Pop it in the freezer for a few hours.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 2:28 AM on August 14, 2011

My beagle/bulldog puppy goes through even the compressed rawhides in no time at all. We just got her a piece of elk antler that seems to be working out pretty well. No smell, no mess, but it does make a mighty racket when she drops it on the floor. I have no experience with the Himalayan dog chew.
posted by Jacob G at 5:31 AM on August 14, 2011

Also came in to recommend elk antlers, which I think I found out about in an earlier AskMe. They are very, very durable. We have two 75-pound dogs and buy the large size. I think they were slightly less than $20 a piece, but they seem to last forever (or at least until they get taken out into the yard and buried... we have cartoon dogs).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:58 AM on August 14, 2011

My 8 month old highly food-motivated Husky can't be bothered with Kongs, for whatever reason, despite my attempts with various fillings and with freezing. She loves bully sticks but goes through them faster as she grows. She's got tons of various chew toys, but they often lose their allure after they've been chewed on for a while.

My newest trick is to use really small amounts of the Kong Stuff'n in a can. Rather than use it in a Kong (which lasts only a couple of minutes), I've given her a very oversized rawhide "bone" that she can only kind of scrape the edges off. Accidentally leaving it out in the rain helped to soften it too. Once the layers of rawhide are exposed on either end, I just stick the nozzle of the Stuff'n can between the ridges and let very small amounts of the product out so that it goes pretty deep inside, making it a challenge for her to get it out. I do this in a couple of places on the "bone" and it keeps her attention for over an hour. This also works great in cow/sheep hooves and with many other chew toys-- just a tiny amount in the deepest corner and she's good for quite some time.

The rawhide trick only works if you can trust your dog not to tear off large pieces, of course.
posted by mireille at 9:00 AM on August 14, 2011

Best answer: A word of caution about really hard things like some antlers and definitely smoked/sterilized (and some raw) bones - dogs who are heavy chewers can and do break teeth on them (I have seen several dogs with a mouth full of nubs because of chewing on things that are too hard, and this is a direct route for infection and can only be rectified by extracting the teeth, not cheap!). Many chews that are hard enough to be long lasting are also too hard to be safe chews. I think buying the braided bullies or bigger bullies or freezing Kongs (low-sodium broth with some cookies in it also works well, especially in the summer) are much better choices than looking for something hard enough to be long lasting where your dog risks injury.
posted by biscotti at 9:14 AM on August 14, 2011

Our serious chewer loves nylabones. Something to remember is that you have to buy the right Nylabone for the dog. There is a reason that most pet store have half an aisle of the things. The big nylabones made of hard nylon (the durachew line) are the ones that we buy, and they last a long time. Donut would happily bite off chunks of the softer Nylabone brand products, and I wouldn't be surprised if she also managed to do something bad with the smaller hard nylon products.

Kongs are also popular around here, as well as tibias and other cow parts. We do have to watch the tibias, as she sometimes breaks of sharp little pieces, but they tend to go down just fine. Items that we mix with peanut butter include such delicacies as a dab of anchovy paste or a few drops of asian fermented fish sauce.

Cow hooves tend to be broken apart and eaten in chunks- bad news!
posted by rockindata at 10:54 AM on August 14, 2011

Veterinary dentists specifically recommend AGAINST the hard Nylabones, they are too hard and can break teeth.
posted by biscotti at 11:00 AM on August 14, 2011

I read this thread and went out and got a Himalayan dog chew. (It is cheese!) We have a Lhasa/King Charles mix, a smallish creature you might not associate with "serious chewer" but it takes him about four minutes to go through a small Dingo. We got him the large size which is giving him a little trouble length-wise but otherwise all systems are go. ;)
posted by Glinn at 2:36 PM on August 14, 2011

Large pet stores (Petsmart, Petco, etc.) should have bags of 10-12 cow's hooves. They take a long time to consume--they can last for weeks or months depending on how often you use them.

We put a scrape of peanut butter inside each hoof and freeze it.

They do stink a bit, but no more than a bully stick.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:26 PM on August 14, 2011

The carnivore mouth is not designed for chewing. Dogs are not ruminants.
posted by Deor at 8:16 PM on August 14, 2011

Seconding the antlers. Our little poodle mix is a pretty determined chewer and has slayed several synthetic "indestructible" chew toys with his tiny, determined front teeth. We got him an elk antler about six months ago and it's still going strong. Also, they dissolve without chipping so they're not a choking hazard.
posted by Lieber Frau at 8:04 AM on August 15, 2011

FYI for anyone who is still reading this thread. Based upon one of the suggestions upthread, I went ahead and got the Himalayan dog chew for my dog. She tore through the damn thing in an hour.
posted by msali at 8:43 PM on August 17, 2011

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