Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Need to Gnaw.

A dog's gotta chew what a dog's gotta chew. Alright, enough puns. You've probably noticed by now that most dogs enjoy chewing on things (like your shoes, your furniture, your mp3 player...). It's important for a dog to have his own safe chew items, especially for young dogs. Obviously for vegan dogs, rawhides (yuck), pig ears (double yuck), and many of the chew bones marketed for dogs are out. Worry not. I have searched far and wide to find chewies for your pup!

First, the "non-edibles". These toys are very durable.

Nylabone-UPDATE: In an email from the Nylabone corporation (thanks healingpaws!), they give the following info on which products contain meat and which do not:

Nylabone Non-Edible "Original" flavor chews (including Dental Chews) contain a small amount of chicken or other meat-based powder. The "Chicken," "Liver" and “Bacon” lines have extra flavor, meal or powder added. Our Dog-Safe Chocolate Flavor is an Original flavor bone coated with a chocolate-flavored caramel coating.

The following chews and toys do not contain meat or meat-based protein of any kind:

For Strong Chewers: Double Action Chews, Double Action Dental Chews, Bar-B-Chews T-Bone

For Moderate Chewers: Bar-B-Chews Cob Bone and Rib Rack

Interactive Toys: FRISBEE flying discs, Chubby Buddies (plush), Flexible Tug Toys, Rhino rubber Cones and Bones (vanilla scent), Rhino Tug Toys & Rope Toys (vanilla scent)

I hope this information helps you select an appropriate Nylabone for your dog.

Christa Wilding
Nylabone Consumer Care
PO Box 427
Neptune, NJ 07754-0427
Tel: 732-897-6897 / 800-631-2188 x8976897

So it seems that their "chocolate flavor" does contain traces of meat. (Aaargh!!!) Sorry for any confusion. The good news is several of their new items do not contain animal products, according to the email.

Kong-the other classic. A great toy for keeping your dog occupied, they can be stuffed with food to keep your dog interested. Good for keeping your dog out of trouble when you aren't home. (Their website is all graphics-y, so if you don't have a high-speed connection, be forewarned.)

Smart Chew- Sable was obsessed with these for a while. They are made by the Greenies company, but are not the edible chews (which are not veg by the way). These come in different "strengths" (Hard, Medium, Soft). The "Hard" seems to be made from nylon, like nylabones, The "Medium" and "Soft" are more rubber-like. They have "a burst of melon flavor", which could be why Sable liked them so much. (Yes, I did try to taste one, no, it didn't taste like anything.)

Now for the edible chewies:

Sam's Yams-I talk about these a lot, huh? Sable loves them. They are dehydrated sweet potato chips, great for dogs with food allergies, since sweet potato is the only ingredient. They don't last super long, but take longer to chew than a biscuit.

Vegan "Pig Ears"- Again, these don't take long to chew up, but they are a definite hit with most dogs.

Healthy Edibles Bones: Vegetable with Vitamins- According to Nylabone Co. these are a "100% vegetarian product". They come in various sizes, please find the one appropriate for your dog, and supervise to make sure she is not swallowing large pieces.

Cloud Star Farmstand Slices -Available in Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Apple. These are round, flexible slices that hardly last longer than a biscuit for large dogs, but Sable loves them just the same.

These various chews aren't in the U.S. unfortunately, but I believe the site will ship to you if you pay extra. There's a good selection listed here.

UPDATE: Ami Vegan Bone Chew Treats are now available in the US through vegancats.com!

All aboard the chew-chew train!