Do you have a puppy who is quickly growing out of that cute-sleepy-tiny puppy phase and into the land-shark-who-chews-on-everything/one phase??
Yeah not so cute when they are drawing blood and ripping your clothes.
I thought it might be helpful to compile some of our favorite chew items for the little ones. Some of these may not be as economical as regular chews later on as they get bigger teeth and stronger jaws, but they can be great for puppies and small dogs.
As with anything new food, treat, or chew wise… take it slow. Puppies have tiny stomachs and it doesn’t take much of a new thing to cause some upset sometimes. My rule of thumb with new chews is to either allow 20-30 minutes of chew time, or allow them to eat 1/4-1/3 of the chew then take it away and wait. See what it does to their stomach/stools before proceeding. Space chews out if need be by a couple days too as they get used to them, this is why having several to rotate between comes in handy.
First up let’s talk rawhide as not all is created equal, but this is one of the most common name chew options out there.
If you aren’t familiar with how rawhide is often made here are two articles that talk about it.
Like I said, not all rawhide is created equal. If you want to go this route I would stick with strictly USA sourced and produced. Pick something that is size appropriate, and remove when the begin to soften it too much.
What rawhide do I like??
My pups and quite a few clients love them. They don’t get as gunky/sticky, they last muuuuch longer than typical rawhide, and they contain no chemicals or pesticides.
I have tried both the chips and the rolled up retriever rolls, they both last a long time. Even the large chips last my adult dogs (38-60lb) over 2 hours of chew time, I break it up into 30 minute sessions usually. You really can’t beat the longevity and quality at such a price.
Another option is a thick chip.
I was first introduced to thick chips at a local dog show by White Dog Bone, they are a great local company with all sorts of fun chews and treats. Thick chips are different than most rawhide in that they contained some of the collagen layer and were more like a harder cheetoh texture. Dogs would slowly chew off pieces they could almost crunch through rather than the usual slimy mess the store ones turn into. I have talked to the staff of this company and trust their quality. They only buy from USA sources, but as years went on they had a harder time sourcing this special hide so they are hard to find.
I have found some thick chips at Dr Fosters and Smith too, but not sure on their sourcing quality as much.
HIMALAYAN chews/ Yak Chews
Another great chew for many pups and adult dogs alike, it’s really just a matter of trying some to see how long they last for you, are Himalayan yak chews. They are simply a chew made of yak and cow’s milk. Because of their simple ingredients they often agree with the more sensitive stomachs too. They are quite hard but soften with chewing as the dog works on an end.
And here is a little trick, if your dog breaks a piece off or gets it down to a 2 inch piece or so that makes you uncomfortable you can actually stick that piece in the microwave and puff it up to have them chew again more safely.
You can find these chews all over the place, amazon, petco, chewy, or go ahead and jump to one of my favorite chew sites… Best Bully Sticks and snag them there along with any other chew options that strike your fancy.
This is another common chew you have probably heard of, and they show up all over the place these days. You might be shocked at the sticker price of them, but for tiny puppy teeth they really are a great chew as they also require a bit of chewing before things get soft. Quality brands will be free of most chemicals and flavors as well and thus many dogs can handle them quite well in moderation too. Avoid anything from China, as is always the case with chews and treats.
My favorite place to buy bully sticks is Best Bully Sticks, they have great prices, variety, and their quality is solid too. Best Bully Sticks even has low odor Bully Sticks which is suuuuper nice as they can get quite stinky. If you are an Amazon fan they often sell them on there as well right from Best Bully Sticks so that’s handy. Chewy carries one of my pups favorite, a 36 inch bully sticks. They get one every year for christmas, this size allows me to offer them multiple chew sessions too making it much more economical.
If you haven’t tried these you must but don’t go cheap. Check out your local high end pet stores or online. I used to suggest the packs of Bully sticks at Costco but with some recent stomach upset with client dogs who came with these I don’t trust them anymore.
There are maaaaaany other great chews out there, so feel free to browse these sites and give others a try. I have an entire storage tub full of chews for my dogs and they aren’t even puppies anymore but they still love to have a good chew, and I love the peace and quiet of content dogs. Win win all around.
I have written some other blogs about treats,toys, and chews we love. Check out the Things we love category on the blog.