Dogs need to chew. It’s a totally natural, totally healthy behavior—the trouble comes when they chew the wrong things, like your couch!
Trainer Katelyn Schutz, CPTD, says, “Grinding and gnawing can clean tartar off teeth, while shredding and tearing aids in flossing for healthy gums. The dexterity needed to chew keeps the dog’s jaw, neck, and forearms well-muscled. So for our pet dogs, the need to chew is a hard-wired, healthy, normal dog behavior.”
Providing the right outlet for that chewing need is critical, otherwise they’ll find something to chew all on their own--and it’s usually not something you want your pup to chomp!
Unfortunately, it can be hard to know which chew is right for your pup because there are so many options. All-natural, digestible chews are the way to go. They’re safer than some of the manufactured versions you can find in pet stores and definitely safer than rawhides. When you’re looking for an all-natural chew, you’ve probably heard the most about bully sticks. They’re arguably the most popular of the digestible chews. But is the bully stick the best choice?
What are the pros and cons of bully sticks?
Bully sticks are a safe, healthy, tasty choice for our dogs to express their instinct to chew. What makes bully sticks a good choice?
- Bully sticks are all natural. Unlike some of the chews stocked in pet stores, bully sticks don’t contain a ton of chemicals and additive ingredients.
- Bully sticks are fully digestible. This is vital; other types of chews can sit in your pup’s stomach and cause all kinds of health problems.
- Bully sticks are full of rich protein.
- Bully sticks are affordable. You and your wallet can feel good about treating your pup!
However, read any product review of any bully stick, and you’ll find the number one con of a bully stick: the smell. It’s just a reality of this type of chew. They stink. It’s a smell your dog probably loves, btw!
What’s better than a bully stick?
What are some alternatives to a bully stick? Are there healthy chews without the smell? We’ve got you covered! Here are three healthy, delicious alternatives to a bully stick that will help your dog keep his teeth clean, express his need to chew, and keep him busy.
Buffalo Ears: a crunchy treat! Full-sized buffalo ears deliver long-lasting chewing fun. All-natural buffalo ears coated in honey provide your dog with an energy-rich chewing experience without a greasy mess.
Trachea Tubes: Scrape away tartar and plaque with the unique grooves and crunchy texture of a trachea tube.
Horn Cores: Perfect for chew lovers, the horn core lasts. For dogs who like to really dig into their chew and exercise their jaws, this is the one for you.
So, which chew to choose?
Dogs benefit from all different kinds of chews because each one exercises their muscles differently and cleans their teeth differently. Snag a few different options and rotate them to keep your dog entertained and enriched!
*photo by @goodboybear