As a dog owner, you have a lot of responsibilities. Keeping your dog happy, healthy, and safe is a full time job, filled with walks, doctor's appointments, and cleaning up a lot of messes. Some of those messes are unavoidable, but some are caused by a dog's need to chew. Finding your dog the right chew toy can be a key to keeping your dog happy, but it isn’t always the easiest question to answer. While the needs of your dog are specific, there are, however, options for chews that are inherently worse or better for all dogs. 

A lot of dog owners choose to give their dogs rawhide to curb the chewing instincts (and, sometimes, to save their furniture from their dog's teeth). But what they don’t know is rawhide has the potential to be very dangerous. First, rawhide can be contaminated with bacteria that is harmful to your dog, such as E. coli or Salmonella, which can cause digestive issues. But more so than that, most pet owners are unaware of the process through which rawhide is made. Rawhide is made of leather- the same leather used for your furniture, purses, and belts. Though many would expect the rawhide process to be more pet-friendly than the process for these other materials, unfortunately that is not really the case. A variety of powerful chemicals are used to separate the leather from the animal. Then, more chemicals are used to bleach and dehydrate the material, so as to make it tough enough for your dog to chew on. The process continues with painting and artificially flavoring it, so that it is no longer its original unappealing color and scent but rather resembles various meats that you would feel comfortable feeding your pet. Finally, it is glued back together, with yet another combination of chemical enhancers.  

Not only is the process to make rawhide complicated and full of chemical treatments that could be harmful to your dog, the final product raises some red flags as well. With all of the treatments rawhide goes through, the result is a product that is easy to soften but hard to tear apart. 

If rawhide is not a safe enough option for your dog, the question naturally follows: what chews should you use? There are a variety of chews out there, each suitable for specific dogs. One of the healthier, safer alternatives that everyone is talking about is Yak9’s flavored Himalayan cheese chews. They have used flavors with nutritional benefits like Turmeric, Honey, Coconut, and Flaxseed. All of their added ingredients are organic and they also have the traditional Himalayan yak chews along with a premium 100%yak milk chews too. These chews are much more natural in their production, consisting of essentially organic ingredients- the. There aren’t added chemicals through complicated processes- the cheese is dried using the sun’s heat and smoked over a wood fire for months before it solidifies to a hard chew. The resulting chew is a long-lasting, low fat, high protein treat that will keep your dog happy for a lot longer than other chew alternatives. Additionally, certain manufacturers add other natural flavors with their own benefits, like turmeric as an anti-inflammatory, or honey as a stomach soother. These chews also come in various sizes and packaging, meaning that no matter the dog there is a chew that is right for them. Particularly the companies that partner with farmers in Nepal have an emphasis on natural production methods, ensuring that there is nothing in the process that can be inherently harmful to your dog. 

Overall, again, there are many responsibilities to being a dog owner, and sometimes ensuring you are keeping your dog happy and healthy requires a little bit of extra research into what best fits your specific dog. However, in making your dog’s safety a priority, certain chews, on the whole, will be a better fit than others.

June 07, 2021 — K9 Corporation