Tired of your high-energy dog chewing up everything in sight? Here are some great treat alternatives to keep your pup busy.
Paws-a-tively good choices for busy dogs who love chewing:
Pet parents have been stuffing this classic rubber toy with all sorts of goodies since 1976. You can get small, medium, and large KONGs at pet supply stores like Petco. The company says the average dog owner fills a single KONG between 5 and seven times per week! Once you’ve stuffed it, put it in the freezer overnight to make your dog work even harder for his treat. All of these recipes call for low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter:
Peanut Butter Goodness: Layer ½ cup creamy peanut butter and ¼ cup plain yogurt inside a KONG. Freeze overnight for extra fun; we love the sound it makes when we shake them around! Cheese Lovers: Mix 1 tablespoon warm water, ½ cup shredded cheese, and 2 tablespoons of cream cheese. Stir and spoon into a KONG. Freeze overnight and give it to your pup. If you’ve got a cat around, try stuffed kitty toys too!
Pigs Ear Dog Treats
No one can resist these crunchy natural chews. High in protein and low in fat, the only ingredient is pig ear. Pigs ears are available from most pet stores or from your local butcher.
Himalayan Dog Chew
It’s a type of cheese produced in a remote region of Nepal! They’re all-natural, fairly expensive (usually about $15 for a 3″ x 5″ stick), and contain no chemicals or preservatives. This one takes a bit longer to enjoy–at least an hour!–and provides hours of entertainment as your pet gnaws away at this hard cheese stick. Plus it’s much healthier than real “cheese snacks.” It comes in several flavors, but the original is the most popular.
KONG Tires Dog Toy
We tried this one recently and it’s a slam dunk! It’s ideal for high-energy pups who love to play fetch. Since it bounces unpredictably, your dog will be busy all day chasing after it! The KONG Tires are available in four sizes (Mini, Small, Medium/Large). We stuck with Mini but depending on how big your dog is you might need to get a bigger size. If you have an extra-strong chewer on hand try this out–it can take some abuse! Plus they’re machine washable … if yours gets dirty just toss it in the laundry.
Ballistic Dog Toy
Most dogs love retrieving, and this toy is designed to make your dog jump and play for hours on end. The exterior is covered with six rows of stitching and tough nylon fabric that stands up to gnawing and biting during playtime. It’s ideal for use at home or while traveling since it’s 100% machine washable. This one also comes in several sizes (small to large), but we stuck with the medium because our pup isn’t very big!
Bones & Chews Variety Pack
If your pup doesn’t have any food allergies these 3-inch long beef marrow bones from the US are a great choice. They’re high in protein and low in fat, but they last forever! The bones usually run around $1 per bone depending on where you get it from.
These make great treats as well as chew toys.
Most dogs love chewing on these 100% natural beef pizzles–they are completely digestible! Be warned that even though they’re all natural they still smell terrible, and dogs will go crazy for them. They’re also available in a variety of sizes and pack a real punch when it comes to protein – about 60%!
And if your dog is an overachiever, try out these nine-inch long bully sticks! They’re exactly what you think they are – larger versions of the regular 6″ bully sticks. These are great for bigger dogs since they’ll last longer than the regular size.
Sensible Chews 3-in-1 Bone Dog Toy
Your dog will love munching down on this unique toy – it’s like three toys in one! The bone contains food-grade bacon flavor throughout (you can actually see little pieces floating around inside), while the orange exterior is made with tough cotton canvas and features two handles that make it easy to pick up and throw around. Your pup will love to play tug of war with this toy because it’s a little thicker than the other toys on our list.
Duck Feet Dog Treats
These 100% natural gourmet duck feet are a great alternative to regular pig ears, which can be hard or chewy. They’re high in protein and low-fat as well as completely digestible for dogs! Because they’re slow-roasted in their own juices you’ll know exactly what your pup is chewing on – yum! Duck feet usually run pretty cheaply at local retailers, but you should check bulk bins at the grocery store first since you might get a discount if you buy them in packs of 25 or 50.
Beef Marrow Bones
If you want your dog to really chow down on something, these big beef marrow bones are excellent choices. They’re low in protein and last forever (if your pup doesn’t demolish them before then). The only downside is that they smell terrible because they’re 100% natural, but your dog won’t care! Beef marrow bones usually run around $1 per bone depending on the size you choose – we bought three of the largest ones available at our local pet store for less than $6 total.
Make sure to check with your vet first before giving any treats or chews to your pet. Also, some dogs can be allergic to certain foods. If you think that’s the case with yours talk to your vet about safe alternatives as well.
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/n-rylytkvsM
Love our content? Share it with a friend or link it to social media. Like short clips of cute household pets? Training tips? Follow us on instagram @nydognanny or on YouTube at nydognanny. Have some news you needs to get to dog and cat parents stat? Email email@example.com with your article pitch.