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Dog Chew Comparison - Choosing the Best Chew Toys for Your Dog

  

By Jess Rollins
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Chewing is very important for your dogs oral and mental health. It keeps his teeth clean, his body exercised and his mind occupied. Having your dog chew on a toy is also important to prevent behavior problems and chewing on inappropriate objects. A dog that has chewed for 30 minutes is busy, contented and then more apt to take a nap than steal your wallet! However, everything your dog puts in his or her mouth has a potential for harm. He or she could break a tooth, choke, become allergic, get some sort of infection, have trouble with digestion, and probably more things we haven't even thought of. Despite these risks, we believe that allowing your dog to chew on a variety of objects is a natural behavior that is important to allow your dog to engage in. In fact, not giving your dog a variety of chews will probably result in your dog finding it's own chews (i.e. your furniture, your shoes, sticks, rocks).

Below are my thoughts about the most popular dog chews to help you make an informed decision about what to give your dog to chew on. Please note that Pet Expertise has chosen to offer the best and safest dog chews that are natural, healthy and long lasting.

For dogs that love to chew anything, you can go with the less tasty chews but pickier dogs will need to have a tasty chew in order to give it a second sniff. 

About Our Overall Rating System: The rating is a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most natural, healthy, tasty, safe and long lasting chew imaginable. Items with a rating under 5 are generally not recommended by Pet Expertise.

Dog Chew Type

Our Overall Rating*

About

Tastiness Factor

 1=Yuck, 10=Yum!

How Long Chews Last

Estimations!

Chew Pros

Safety Concerns & Cons

Bully Sticks

Bully Stick Dog Chew

9 out of 10

Bull penises that have been rinsed and dried.

7 out of 10

30 Mins or More

Most dogs will take at least 30 minutes to consume a bully stick and some will take days or weeks.

Tasty for dogs

Natural

Nutritional value

Non staining

Some are available with low odor.

Non greasy

Non staining

Safety Concerns: Choking on the end piece, possible bacterial contamination, chemical treatment. Pet Expertise's bullies are not chemically treated. We recommend that you take the bully stick away when it gets small enough to choke on. (Or hold it for your dog!)

Cons: Some will have an odor.

Himalayan Dog Chew

Himalayan Dog Chew

9 out of 10

A very hard cheese chew.

6 out of 10

30 Mins or More

Most dogs will take at least 30 minutes to consume a Himalayan Chew and some will take days or weeks.

Yummy!

Natural nutritional value

Non staining

Non greasy

Pleasant smell

Unique

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece.

 

Antler Chews

Dog Antler Chew

9 out of 10

Deer antlers that are cut up.

5 out of 10

Weeks or More

Most dogs will take weeks to consume an antler and many last indefinitely with the dog chewing on them now and then.

Natural

Nutritional value

Non staining

No odor

Unique

Long lasting

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece, possible bacterial contamination.

Rubber Chews

Kong Chew Dog Treat Dispensing Toy

7 out of 10

Rubber dog chews such as the Kong brand.

3  out of 10 (unless stuffed with food!)

Months or More

These should last months at least.

Natural rubber

No odor

Not staining (unless you put PB inside!)

Durable

Long lasting

Good variety of sizes and strengths

Stuffable

Safety Concerns: Choking on a small piece, indigestibility. Pet Expertise offers blue Kongs and extra durable Kongs to help prevent the dog from eating pieces and if pieces do get "stuck" in the dog, the blue Kong will show up on an X-ray.

Cons: Dogs don't much care for them unless you put food inside. Don't really clean teeth much since they are pretty soft and smooth.

Zuke's Z-Bones Chews

Zukes Z-Bones Dog Chew

6 out of 10 A grain-free, edible and digestible dog chew. 8 out of 10 5 Mins or More

These are more of a chewy snack than a long-lasting chew. Picky dogs will take longer with them.

Natural

Tasty

Pleasant odor

Healthy ingredients

Dental benefits

Digestible, edible

Vegan

Safety Concerns: It's not likely, but it is possible that a dog could choke. Be sure to feed the appropriate size and supervise your dog.

Cons: Most dogs will consume these pretty quickly and they have a significant number of calories. It's possible that these could leave some crumbs depending on the dog. Could possibly stain carpet.

Yam / Sweet Potato Chews

 

Sweet Potato Chips, Organic Yam Dog Treats!

 

6 out of 10

A dog chew made from a piece of dried yam or sweet potato. We offer an organic version.

7 out of 10

Minutes

These can last only minutes for some dogs if they are avid chewers.

Natural

Nutritional value

Non staining

No odor

Non greasy

Digestible

Safety Concerns: Choking on a small piece.

Cons: Most dogs eat them pretty fast. They are more of a treat than a chew. Has a significant amount of calories.

Beams Fish Skin Chews  

Beams Fish Skin Chews

6 out of 10 Made by Honest Kitchen. Contains dehydrated Icelandic Cod skin only. 9 out of 10 3 Mins or More

These are more of a chewy snack or treat than a long-lasting chew. Picky dogs will take longer with them.

Natural

Tasty

Healthy

Dental benefits

Digestible, edible

Sustainable

Contains Omega Fatty Acids

15 to a package

Can be stuffed in a Kong

Safety Concerns: Choking is a concern but it doesn't seem that likely with these chews. They are also not hard enough to break a tooth.

Cons: Most dogs eat them pretty fast. They are more of a treat than a chew. Has a significant amount of calories. Could possibly stain carpet. These do have a fishy smell but it is not that strong.

The products below are not available from Pet Expertise. If you wish to find them, simply do a Google search for them.

Rawhide

Rawhide

5 out of 10

A layer of skin that usually comes from cattle. It takes quite a bit of processing to get it ready for your dog. It can be in sheets, compressed or formed from bits. The sheets are preferred.

6 out of 10

30 Mins or More

Depends a lot upon the dog chewing habits and how the rawhide is formed and it's quality. While compressed will last the longest it is also perhaps more dangerous since the dog will potentially ingest more rawhide. Generally a rolled rawhide chew will last several hours.

Not much if any odor

Readily available in many forms and flavors.

Have been in use for years.

Non staining

Non greasy

Safety Concerns: There are many safety concerns about rawhide which is why we have not added it to our inventory although we think it is probably pretty safe. The concerns are about chemical processing, possible bacterial contamination, choking, indigestibility.

Pig Ears, Pig Skin, Tendons and Other Animal Body Parts

Animal Part Dog Chews

5 out of 10

A chew made of a dried pig ear or skin, beef tendons, lamb ears, beef trachea and other parts.

7 out of 10

Minutes or More

These can take minutes for some dogs if they are avid chewers. They are best for picky dogs.

Readily available

Safety Concerns: Choking, possible bacterial contamination.

Cons: Can be greasy and high in calories.

Nylon Chews

Nylabone

5 out of 10

A dog chew made of hard nylon. In different shapes and sometimes flavored.

4 out of 10

Months or More

These generally last indefinitely unless you have a real power chewer on your hands.

Non staining

Readily available

Non greasy

No calories

No odor

Lots of different sizes, flavors and shapes.

Long lasting

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece. Indigestibility.

Cons: These are not natural and have no nutritional value. However, the bits should pass right through your dog.

Most dogs don't much care for them.

Gumabone from Nylabone

Gumabone

4 out of 10

Made by Nylabone, these are a softer "gummy bone".  Made out of a "thermoplastic polymer"

4 out of 10

Months or More

These generally last indefinitely unless you have a real power chewer on your hands. They will not last as long as a nylon bone.

Non staining

Readily available

Non greasy

No calories

No odor

Lots of different sizes, flavors and shapes.

Safety Concerns: choking on a small piece. Indigestibility.

Cons: These are not natural and have no nutritional value. However, the bits should pass right through your dog.

Most dogs don't much care for them.

Real Bones

Dog Bone

 

4 out of 10

Real bones for dogs. These are generally roasted or cooked in some way or sterilized.

4-8 out of 10

30 Mins or More

Bones can really vary in how long they last from less than an hour to months. The sterilized marrow bones are almost indestructible.

Natural

Nutritional value

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, bone splintering and cutting the dog, choking on a small piece, possible bacterial contamination, indigestibility, chemical treatment. Pet Expertise does not recommend feeding bones unless they are raw.

Cons: Bones can also stain and be greasy. Sterile empty marrow bones are not very tasty.

Cow Hooves

Chew Hoof

4 out of 10

Very hard chew which is a cut piece of a cows hoof.

5.5 out of 10

Days or Weeks or More

Most dogs will take days or weeks to consume a hoof and many last indefinitely with the dog chewing on them now and then.

Natural

Nutritional value

Non staining

Non greasy

Readily available

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, Choking (hooves are not very big to begin with), being cut by a sharp piece, possible bacterial contamination.

Cons: They have an unpleasant odor.

Hooves can become sharp and can be a hazard to humans with bare feet!

Corn starch chews

Corn Starch Dog Chew

3 out of 10

A dog chew made of compacted corn starch and flavorings.

5.5 out of 10

30 Mins or More

Most dogs will take at least 30 minutes to consume a corn starch chew and some will take days or weeks.

Non staining

Non greasy

No odor

Lots of different sizes, flavors and shapes.

Digestible

Bumps to help clean teeth

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece, allergy to corn.

Cons: Corn is not very nutritious for dogs and can be allergenic. There are also other chemicals in the chew that are not very healthy for dogs.

Is there a dog chew that you would like us to review? Contact us!

*About Our Overall Rating System: The rating is a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most natural, healthy, tasty, safe and long lasting chew imaginable. Items with a rating under 5 are not generally recommended by Pet Expertise.

Note, If you wish to find more about any of these products which are not available through Pet Expertise, simply Google the product names.

Related article: What's a Dog to Chew? Dog Chew Toy Tips for Different Types of Dogs



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