Give a dog a bone!

At our house, a good bone is worth its weight in gold…

…because we have a puppy who just loves to chew, gnaw, bite, and chomp.  When she’s resting, she simply needs something in her mouth.  Just like Little Red Riding Hood’s infamous “Grandmother,” our own “Little Wolf” has some lovely sharp pointy teeth…which can find their way around things such as furniture, wooden moldings and cabinets, the piano, and the seat belt buckle in the car (learned all of these facts the hard way BTW)  if we do not provide Cookie with enough of a bone selection to direct her urge to chew on an acceptable place.  And so, over the course of the seven months we have had Cookie, I have bought a LOT of different kinds of bones for her.  I immediately discounted the big baked biscuit-y types of bones – they last for five seconds and then Cookie looks at me with a “what else you got?” expression.  And they’re usually a few dollars each, not a great use of money.  So after much trial and error, I have three types of bones I can strongly recommend to you, each for different reasons:

First, the bully stick.

While these are smelly, and give Cookie bad breath, she LOVES them.  And in those moments when I need to be sure she’ll be content for a bit in the house, or we have a long car ride, or some other circumstance where we just need her to stop acting like a wolf and chill, nothing is as reliable for achieving this as a bully stick.  There are different manufacturers of these, and they do come in a non-smelly formula, but of course, she really doesn’t care for those as much.  They are made from beef by-products.  If you purchase these be sure they are from a quality American manufacturer and are USDA approved – there are a lot of these out on the market, some from countries as far away as China and India – and it can be questionable how safely they have been produced for your dog.  A good size bully stick is not cheap – around $3. is the going rate for an 18″ stick in my area, and they last Cookie 45 minutes at the most.  Dole them out occasionally, and consider them junk food for your dog.  You can read more about these treats at  www.bestbullysticks.com

Second, one of the BIG Nylabones

If you can get your puppy into Nylabones it’s a good thing, as they are synthetic bones, and highly durable.  Cookie was never really into the small ones we gave her as a puppy, but I recently bought her this one, from the Nylabone Big Chews line, and she loves it.  It is large, heavy, a substantial shape, and feels interesting in her mouth.  She loves to carry it and then unexpectedly drop it on the floor with a loud THUD, adding to the fun of the toy.  You can coat Nylabones with peanut butter to give your dog a treat too.  An investment, as a bone like this can cost around $20. but your dog will get a lot of use from it.  Visit http://www.nylabone.com.

Third and last, for overall fun and good value, we love Red Barn filled bones.  These are white, cut hollow femur bones that are sold filled with a meat mixture.  What’s great about these is that once your dog has eaten all the meat mixture, they continue to enjoy the bone, and you can put in new treats such as peanut butter, trainers, etc. as you want to reward your dog.  This company has good quality controls so you can feel good about the sources of these treats.  Red Barn also sells Bully Sticks too by the way.  Filled bones come in a range of flavors and sizes, and the price ranges accordingly, starting at around the $4. range from what I’ve seen in stores out there.  Check out www.redbarninc.com

Just like we don’t always want the same kind of treats ourselves (potato chips today, cupcake tomorrow) I find Cookie likes to shift between her bones depending on the day.  Having a good supply of a variety of bones in your house helps keep your dog content and out of trouble!  If there are any other bones out there you swear by for your dog, let Cookie know!  Warm and Fuzzies, Diana

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