You might have heard contrasting views among veterinarians and experts on whether rawhide bones are safe for your dog or not.
This article will lay down the facts on that argument to help you come up with an informed decision and be wise in purchasing a chew bone for your dog. A list of the best alternatives to the traditional rawhide treat will also be presented for you to choose from.
Should you give your dog raw bones? Or should you not?
Rawhides are made from the inner layer of cow or horsehide. According to Certapet, the United States strictly monitors the value chain in the manufacture of rawhide to ensure that these treats are processed legally for the safety of dogs. However, some still manage to escape the government’s imposition unscathed.
As such, there are still rawhide chews in the market that secretly use different chemicals—used as adhesive, flavoring, or bleach—that pose danger to your dogs.
For one, the consumption of chemical-filled rawhide may trigger indigestion symptoms. These treats, when chewed up into small pieces, may also trigger a choking hazard and chip away your dog’s teeth. Meanwhile, large pieces of rawhide may scar your dog’s digestive tract, thus, creating more serious problems that can lead to death.
What’s the best alternatives and their benefits ?
According to a study published in the Australian Veterinary Journal, raw beef bones can strengthen your dog’s gums and keep their teeth from tartar buildup.
Aside from this dental health benefit, there’s also a mental reward in chewing that helps dogs exercise their brains. Just as dogs give us emotional support, giving your pets a safe item to chew on is one of the ways that can cheer them up and prevent them from becoming so-called “problem dogs”.
Chew treats also fulfill a dog’s natural urge to chew. Restricting them from doing this can contribute to raising them to be a lot of trouble in the household.
If you are looking for safe alternatives to chew bones, here are 10 products that we’re sure your dog will love:
1. Natural Dental Chew Dog Bones by BLUE Bones
Manufactured by pet food producer Blue Buffalo, BLUE Bones Natural Dental Chew Dog Bones are made with essential vitamins that help satisfy your dog’s natural chewing instinct, thus, improving their dental health. These treats are rich in vitamins, which can help support their overall development
BLUE Bones Natural Dental Chew Dog Bones come in a variety of sizes to select from, depending on your dog’s physical structure. The company caters to all dog sizes, from miniature to big ones. However, these are encouraged to be consumed as early as possible to help your dog maintain their dental health.
BLUE Bones Natural Dental Chew Dog Bones makes use of all-natural ingredients. These do not contain chicken or poultry by-product meals and are free from corn, wheat, and soy. This helps Blue Buffalo offer its treats with an all-natural meaty flavor that makes the product a favorite among many.
2. Bully Sticks by Jack & Pup
Jack & Pup 6” Bully Sticks are sourced from grass-fed, free range cattle. These cattle were not raised with any additional hormones or antibiotics, which makes them the perfect source for healthier and better-tasting treats.
These treats are made by healthy dog food maker Jack & Pup, who said that their hand picking process is done with intense assessment to ensure that each bully stick is made natural, low-fat and protein-rich, and without any additives or artificial ingredients.
During its proprietary process, any obnoxious odor is eliminated without the injection of any additive or chemical. The natural method allows each of the sticks to stay fresh for longer periods than other bully sticks can hold.
Aside from the safety and freshness Jack & Pup 6” Bully Sticks guarantees that these products are flavorful and have a fresh beefy flavor your dogs will enjoy.
3. Natural Healthy Edibles Dog Treat Bone by Nylabone
Nylabone is a maker of chew treats, toys, and puppy care products that are made with natural ingredients—no sugar, salt, or artificial colors or preservatives.
The company offers a wide range of chewing treats that vary in package sizes to cater to your dog’s chewing capacity. Nylabone’s treats are helpful in pumping your dog to eat, which may not be ideal for dogs who already have a big appetite.
Nylabone’s products are mainly loved for their many flavors such as bacon, roast beef, venison, chicken, antler turkey and apple, lamb and apple, sweet potato and turkey, and beef stew, among others.
4. Nutri Dent Dog Treat Dental Bones by Nylabone
Nylabone’s Nutri Dent dog treat dental bones is made up of eight natural ingredients that freshen your dog’s breath while offering them a yummy experience. This includes wheat starch, glycerin, gelatin, lecithin, natural flavors, cellulose powder, oil hulls, and alfalfa extract.
These ingredients, in turn, maintain and improve their dental health sans the heavy effort and sweat you give when brushing their teeth. Nylabone’s products come in six nutritious flavors, which include coconut, filet mignon, and mint. The treats also come in T-Rex shapes.
5. Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy by Benebone
Benebone’s wishbone design is made with nylon, a material used for the construction of infrastructure, among other purposes.
With its wider surface, these wishbones are made more durable and, hence, may be used to be played with longer. The unique design also allows you to play tug of war with your dog. On top of that, Benebone’s treats can be given to hyperactive dogs who could not keep themselves on chewing on everything that comes their way.
Since the success of the wishbone, Benebone has expanded to other designs namely the dental chew and the pawplexer to widen their offerings.
6. yakySNACKS by Himalayan Pet Supply
The process to produce this treat stemmed from an ancient recipe that is cherished in the Himalayan Mountains. The method involves the mixing of all-natural products like yak or cow milk.
Among its products are the yakySTICK, yakyTOPS, yakyCHARMS, yakyPUFF, yakyNUGGET, and yakyCRUNCH. Its latest products under this line also include the yakyYUM, yakyCHURRO, yakySALMON, and all new flavored formulation of yakyPUFF.
Natural Himalayan Yak Chews are gluten-free and long-lasting. This means dogs must work to the end of the treat for hours, softening it with their mouths before small parts of it can be slowly chewed off.
7. Busy Bone Dog Treats by Purina Treats
These bone treats were literally made to form a twist that holds a strip of real meat in the center. Like other bone treats, Purina Treat’s Busy Bone Dog Treats come in different sizes. However, it rises above others because of the tastiness rewarded by the meat in the center—a flavor that seeps into the exterior.
Although the product may not be as lasting as others, its rich flavor positions it as a favorite by dogs, helping them stay busy for a while. Please note that this product has wheat and rice, which may not work well with some dogs.
8. Braided Bully Stick by Redbard
With three sticks tied into one, these Braided Bully Sticks are extra durable chew treats that can help your dogs have a cleaner set of teeth.
Redbarn Bully Sticks are a natural source of protein that are 100% digestible and extremely palatable. These sticks are grain free, meaning less risk of food allergies. Also made with no by-products or preservatives.
9. SmartBones Peanut Butter Dog Chew
Made with real peanut butter, these dog chew products are also composed of real chicken and vegetables.
Smart Bones’ Peanut Butter Dog Chew is laudable for its soft quality, making them absolutely safer than rawhide. However, do note that the product contains a coloration chemical—namely the FD&C 40—which is highly controversial as to its effects on dogs’ health.
10. Z-Bones Dog Dental Chews by Zuke
Zuke banks on its Z-Bone Dental Chews texture, which is made ideal to gently clean your dog’s teeth. You can treat your pet with these and choose from a wide variety of whole food ingredients. It is also free from both gluten and grains. Although the Z-Bones are sold in various sizes, these are not ideal for puppies or dogs that weigh 10 pounds or less.
These dental chews are sold individually in 8.25 oz. multi-count pouches, in 12 oz. multi-count pouches, and in 15 oz. multi-count pouches.
The Verdict: Dog Bones are Safer, yummier, and healthier than rawhide
Not only are alternative treats safer than rawhide, but they are also proven to be healthier as it provides entertainment, mental stimulation, and better dental health. Achieving all these aspects helps minimize the chances of your dog developing destructive behavior. This, in the end, helps you maintain a good relationship with your dog and keep you both happy in the long run.
Naida Alabata is a content marketing specialist from Avaris.io, she writes about business and digital/content marketing. She loves to write about animals’ health, food, and etc. as she opts to share her personal experience and tips about pets.
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