Top 10 Best Dog Chews for Dogs
We all know that our dogs love to chew things. Infuriating as it is sometimes (and it can be really annoying), our dogs’ teeth actually benefit from having something to chew on, such as some best dog chews.
Dog’s teeth, like those of humans, can suffer from plaque buildup, tartar, gum problems, and other canine dental diseases and illnesses that are painful and hard to cure.
While taking your dog to the vet for routine cleaning is important, you should also ask them whether getting one of these best dog chews can help with your dog's dental problems. Chews for dogs are fun and keep your pet from chewing on things you’d rather they didn’t (such as furniture, shoes, everything). It can provide hours of entertainment and health benefits as well.
Chew toys I'm going to show you in the list of best dog chews below consist of mostly elk antlers, though there is a nylon Benebone and a boar bone (USDA approved) thrown in there as well. You might be asking yourself why you can’t just buy steak, chicken, or turkey at the grocery store, cook it, and give your dog that bone. And that is a convenient plan, but actually, butcher bones (bones taken from cooked meat that you prepare yourself) – according to FDA – are not always the best idea for your dog, as those can become soft and easily fragmented.
What are these best dog chews and why do pet parents need them
The FDA advises against taking bones from meat you cook and giving them to your dog for many different reasons. A lot of dog experts suggest finding chew bones for dogs as an alternative to meat bones. The boar bone that is on the list of best dog chews here is processed at a facility and is USDA approved. The bones you cook in your kitchen? Avoid them. There’s also a risk of germs and other illnesses that are food-borne and can leave residues.
Food poisoning in dogs is often caused by contaminated bacteria, viruses, or other parasites that latch onto the gastrointestinal system and wreak havoc. Dogs can get food poisoning as well, and you don’t want them to catch that illness (because if they get it from the bone in the meat you ate, you’re going to get it too and no one wants to take care of a vomiting dog while they are vomiting as well).
Elk antlers for dogs are probably not everyone’s first thought when they picture a puppy chew toy, but actually, elk antlers are great. They are either shed by the elk naturally or harvested during hunting season (if you’re squeamish about hunting, it might make you feel better to know that hunting use all parts of the elk after the kill it—no wasteful hunting just for hunting’s sake). Elk antlers’ texture is hard as bone and it massages gums, builds up dog's teeth, and helps jaw strength, all while doing so organically and naturally.
Elk antlers are a natural source of calcium, collagen, phosphorous and other important nutrients that help your dog grow strong and healthy. Elk antlers are also safer than butcher bones, as they are very dense and pretty much impossible to shatter. Those unfortunate people among us who have ever hit an elk while driving can attest to the fact that those monsters seem made of steel.
In the below list of best dog chews, I'll give you an overview of the product, as well as an explanation of why it’s in that position. I've done thorough research on the dog products’ characteristics and observed customers’ reviews of these dog chews (likes, dislikes, concerns, questions) to help provide you with the top ten best dog chews available on Amazon.
Top 10 Best Dog Chews in 2016
1Jim Hodges Dog Training Grade-A Antler Chews
OVERVIEW: This antler treat is grade-A premium, meaning that it is the highest quality you can buy. Jim Hodges’ sorts their antlers and discards of all of the ones that are imperfect or not high-grade, so that you can be sure that you’re purchasing the best product possible. Jim Hodges Antler Chews come in sizes from seven to twelve inches and are good for chewers of all intensities and dogs of all ages. They can be chewed indoors—there is no greasy residue, and the antlers are a source of calcium, zinc, phosphorous, and other minerals that will help your dogs’ teeth and gum quality improve.
WHY IS IT AT #1? This Jim Hodges chew is first on the list of best dog chews because it is extremely high quality and mess-free. And – according to a study – it will improve your dog's dental health. Customers were pleased by how little residue Jim Hodges Antler Chews left on their floors and in their homes and the lack of grease or grime was a blessing for owners tired of messier bones. Apparently, Hodges himself also personally inspects every antler that is sent out, and any customer complaints are dealt with immediately and directly. Pet parents’ dogs loved this antler and it kept them busy for hours on end (and away from the furniture, too!).
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “Jim Hodges has trained our Golden Retriever puppy and has always pointed us in the direction of outstanding products. I have complete trust that once again we will be completely satisfied with the results….”
2Buck Bone Organics Elk Antler Dog Chew Treats
OVERVIEW: This doggy treat comes in small, medium, split medium, large, and split large sizes. There are no preservatives or fillers and they are taken from elks that have shed their horns (no hunting required). These dog chews are also gluten-free, odor-free, and will not leave a mess anywhere in your home. Buck Bone Dog Chew are non-greasy. These antler chews do range in size and shape (no two elks are alike), but the sizing stays pretty much in an understanding range. The difference between “large” and “split large” and medium and “split medium” is that the split bones are cracked in the middle to reveal the marrow, whereas the regular large and medium are just the whole antler, no marrow revealed.
WHY IS IT AT #2? These second best dog chews are just as high a quality as the first, but the antler doesn’t last quite as long according to customer reviews on Amazon, so that’s why it had to take the secondary spot. Make sure you choose a size up if your dog is an aggressive chewer. A woman with a 25-pound terrier chose the medium sized Buck Bone Antler Chew and it still lasted after a month (she chose the medium instead of the small). These antlers for dogs may seem shorter than expected, but they are still a great chew for your Fido and will provide lots of entertainment for him or her.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “My family and I love bully breeds and have rescued three pit bull mixes over the last few years. We love their temperament, their smiles and their energy – but we don't love how strong their jaws are! All of my dogs can demolish a rawhide in under 3 minutes, so we need a tough chew product and this elk antler from Buck Bone Organics was a great choice! Many bones we…”
3Chasing Our Tails Elk Rack Snack
OVERVIEW: This elk antler comes from elks that have shed their horns, not from hunting. It comes in an extra-large size that fits dogs between 76 and 90 pounds. Their largest size horn is 10-12 inches. Elk Rack Snack is odor-free and contains calcium, potassium, zinc, and other tartar-removing minerals that will keep your dog’s teeth fresh and clean. The antlers themselves are very heavy—almost one pound. There is no flavoring or greasy residue, so your floors won’t get messy.
WHY IS IT AT #3? This is third of the best dog chews because the price has actually increased a lot in a short amount of time, something that some pet owners were not happy about. According to some dog parents regularly buying these chews for dogs, it went from $21.99 to $39.99. Other than that sticker shock, Elk Rack Snack antler is a great product from a great company. They’re great for aggressive chewers, and the XL size will hold up to just about anything. Be aware that the antler pictured is a dark brown (it’s not flavored, that’s just how it looks), but it can actually vary in color and may be lighter when you get it.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “Wow! My dog has jaws of steel and can crack deer antlers, so I decided to go with this antler (and my dog is the size of a border collie). I got the Amazon Prime delivery to my work… I work in an elementary school. This antler is so big and heavy that I couldn't help laughing a little when I unwrapped it and showed it to my students. They suggested perhaps I use it to smack them when they are naughty…”
4Deluxe Naturals Calcium Chewer Stick
OVERVIEW: This chew is for dogs that are gentle chewers and the XL size is for dogs greater than ninety pounds. The length of the XL chew varies from 6.5 inches to 8.5 inches in length with a perimeter of 3.5 to 4 inches. Deluxe Naturals Chewer Stick is split, so the marrow shows in the center. It has no antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, or other fake substances in it; the antler is also naturally shed. This antler contains 38% protein, 18% calcium, 1.2% fat, 1.8% crude fiber, and 9.9% phosphorous, among other teeth-building nutrients.
WHY IS IT AT #4? This is fourth of the best dog chews because although it has a lot of fantastic nutrients and vitamins, it’s only for dogs that are gentle chewers, so if your dog is an aggressive gnawer, you might want to keep reading to the next one because this is not for him or her. The sizes range from “Mini” to XL. Each dog antler is uniquely shaped and formed, however, so be aware that your product might not look as perfect as the one that is advertised (a hazard when it comes to something like this). Puppy owners found that their gentle-chewing dogs loved Deluxe Naturals Chewer Stick and it was long lasting and satisfying.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “My dog absolutely loves her elk antler. She is a Australian Yorkshire Terrier and will consume most bones I give her within a day's time. I don't like giving her rawhides because the pieces get too small and I'm worried she will choke. The antler doesn't have any smell to it, and appeared to be fresh when it arrived in a clean and sealed package; although I can't smell it, my dog must be able to, as she went nuts…”
5Downtown Pet Supply Whole Antler Elk Chews
OVERVIEW: This doggy chew ranges in size from small to jumbo, with the largest size being seven to ten inches long and the smallest measuring four to 5.5 inches. Whole Antler Elk Chew is odor free and all-natural. These antler chews for dogs are from North America (as are the others) and are naturally shed, so no hunting went on to harvest it. The company says that most puppy antlers will last several weeks before needing to be replaced. The antlers are also hypoallergenic, with no preservatives or artificial substances in them that could harm a sensitive dog.
WHY IS IT AT #5? This is fifth of the best dog chews because it didn’t last as long for some pup parents, so that was a drawback to it. Customers commented that Whole Antler Elk Chews only lasted a week for some aggressive chewers (those whose dogs were gentle chewers or non-obsessive gnawers found that it lasted much longer). For those whose puppy chews lasted the expected time, they found that their dogs loved it and for dogs with sensitive stomachs, the hypoallergenic, mess-free features of these antlers was great for them.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “I got some antlers for my four dogs on the recommendation of a friend that they are healthy and long-lasting, and if dogs start to lose interest you can dunk the antlers in beef or chicken broth and they become favorite chews again. Well I didn't have to worry about that, my dogs love these. They are constantly stealing each other's and hiding them. I ordered 3 small antler for my 3 littler dogs, 10 lbs, 19 lbs, and 23 lbs. I got…”
6Jim Hodges Grade-A Extra-Small Antler Dog Chews
OVERVIEW: These pet chews come in packs of three and four and are currently unavailable on the Amazon website, as well as those of other non-Hodges online retailers (a testament to how popular these are). These chews for dogs are for small dogs between three and fifteen pounds. They are naturally shed and come, according to the site, right “off the forest floor.” Jim Hodges Grade-A Chews contain calcium, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc. The size and shape varies, and the packaging (whether they contain three or four) depends on the weight.
WHY IS IT AT #6? We chose to put this sixth of the best dog chews because it had a size constraint—only for very small dogs—so we didn’t want to place it above other, more far-reaching antlers. Jim Hodges is the company I listed as my #1 best dog chew, actually, so these are of just as high a quality. It's been said online that Jim Hodges company cares deeply about their customers and if there are complaints, they work to resolved them personally. Customers were satisfied with the company and Jim Hodges Grade-A Chews and claimed that their small dogs, who previously had struggled to find an adequately-sized chew for them, loved these antler chews and were super entertained by them.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “We have a pomeranian pup who is 5 lbs, and he loves the whole elk antler. I haven't given him the split one yet, so I don't know how he will like that one, but I have a feeling he will love it just as much. He likes to flip the whole one from small end to larger end, over and over while he chews sometimes. He is teething big time right now, and for the last 4 months has been using a nylabone (which I…”
7Benebone Bacon-Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy
OVERVIEW: Taking a break from the antler chews, this Benebone toy is constructed of nylon with natural bacon flavoring slathered on it. The bone design is curved and is fun to play tug-of-war with. Benebone Wishbone is made in America and a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will go to animal shelters in Los Angeles and New Orleans. If your household has anyone with a nut allergy, don’t buy this product—the label makes chew toys in a facility that makes products with nuts in them.
WHY IS IT AT #7? This is seventh because it’s not organic, nor does it have the vitamins and minerals that come from elk antlers. However, from a dental aspect, Benebone Chew Toy still a good chew toy for dogs that like to gnaw on things. It holds up well—nylon is very strong—and the bacon flavoring is delicious and will be a hit for your dog’s taste buds (all dogs love bacon). If your dog is a heavy chewer, he or she will enjoy this doggy bone. Pet parents with dogs that previously chewed on everything were relieved at how their canines took to these. It got them away from the furniture and onto something they were actually supposed to chew on.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “I have a 1 yr old GSD/Black Lab mix and a 10 month old pure GSD. Until a couple of months ago when I bought 2 of these bones my dogs were only interested in deer antlers. They have a wide variety of Nylabones which they will chew on a little and have never really taken an interest to the Kong toys. Although the antlers are good chew toys they are also quite expensive. When we first got the Benebones it didn't…”
8Chasing Our Tails Elk Rack Large Snack
OVERVIEW: This product is different from the previous Chasing Our Tails antler chew I listed because it comes in a smaller size. The large size is recommended for dogs that are smaller than the other product; between 41 and 75 pounds. This chew is for indoors, as it will not become greasy or smelly. It weighs around one pound, making it larger than other competitors’ antlers. The large size ranges from seven to ten inches (as opposed to the aforementioned XL, which was 10 to 12).
WHY IS IT AT #8? This is eighth of the best dog chews because it isn’t as large as its fellow Elk Rack antler chew a few spots higher on this list. It also was reported by a few customers as not lasting very long against dogs that are aggressive chewers. This Chasing Our Tails wore down quickly under the jaws of very enthusiastic chewers, and although it was weighty, it still didn’t last as long a time as some customers would have liked. For those with dogs that aren’t aggressive gnawers, they were satisfied with the cleanliness of the chew and the overall quality.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “We have three Golden Retrievers from age 1 /2 – 6 years old. We located this product at a large Christmas craft fair last December. We brought two of them home to give to the two older dogs. They absolutly LOVE them.! They'll get tired of their toys but when we bring out this ELK ANTLER chew, they get all excited and could chew away for hours (if we let them. It's amazing how long they have lasted! These…”
9Jack’s Premium Boar Bones
OVERVIEW: These dog bones come from free-range wild Texan boars and are sealed to ensure sturdiness and cleanliness. The company is USDA approved and is located in Texas. There are no bleaches or chemical additives used to preserve these Premium Boar Bones. The bones are organically processed, cooked, and smoked for flavor. The flavoring is all natural and because it isn’t artificially processed, the bones’ nutritional content stays intact.
WHY IS IT AT #9? If you have an aggressive chewer, this dog bone is not for him or her as it can break into smaller pieces easily. This bone is for gentle chewers only. As is the case with many meat bones, no matter how they’re processed (and this is one of the best), it can be broken by a dog with strong jaws and tough teeth. For customers who had dogs that didn’t chew strongly, their dogs loved Jack’s Premium Boar Bones. The size of the bone (boars are big) made it last for a long time and dogs loved the smoky flavoring.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “My dogs absolutely love this bone! I give it to them as a treat and only when I'm able to keep my full attention on them since I know that no matter how these kind of bones are made they can still be considered a choking hazard so please don't let your furbaby gnaw on this without supervising. My dogs will lick and gnaw on this bone for quite awhile so clearly they like the taste. I love that this bone came in a…”
10Prairie Dog Pet Products Antler Toy
OVERVIEW: This company offers antler chews from several different animals, including moose, deer, and elk. The largest size is ten inches and it is hypoallergenic and odor-free. You can get the antler flavored with chicken if you want, but they also provide non-flavored Antler Toys. They are from the USA and come from both hunted animals and naturally-shed horns. The company recommends moose antlers for dogs that are tough chewers. The antlers vary in size, but the ranges (Small to Jumbo) have a 2-inch variation on them. It is 100% natural and packaged to preserve minerals.
WHY IS IT AT #10? This is tenth of the best dog chews because, if chicken-flavored, it is not mess-free and many customers were dissatisfied with the “Giant” size. They found it to be very small. This antler chew toy is for smaller dogs, despite the misleadingly named sizes of “giant” and “jumbo.” Prairie Dog Pet Products Antler Toy is thicker at the base and tapers at the tip. For owners with small dogs who didn’t feel cheated by the size, they were pleased at the way it cleaned and polished their dog’s teeth and gums. It was recommended to buy the non-flavored version, as the flavored one left a residue and mess that owners were unhappy about.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “I was VERY disappointed by the size of this. It was only about 7 inches long and less than an inch thick at the thickest part, some parts were less than 1/2 inch thick. Very expensive for what you get. I'll spend a few more dollars and buy the antlers that are made to last months!!! A giant sized chew should be big enough for my 80 pound dog not for a 30 pound dog!…”
How to select the best dog chews
When choosing a chew toy for your dog, it’s important to make sure that the material of the doggy chew you are selecting is impenetrable and impossible to shatter.
This isn’t just because an easily-breakable chew defeats the purpose of your dog having a dog chew toy in the first place, but also because it’s a safety issue. High-density bones such as those from boars (which we listed), or artificial materials like nylon are good examples of dense, sturdy best dog chews that won’t break down. It's considered that elk antlers are the best chews for dogs, as their surfaces are the hardest and they also provide calcium and phosphorous which build up your dog’s teeth and bones.
You can select a dog chew that is flavored or you can choose one that isn’t. Often, elk antlers and boar bones for dogs have natural flavoring that is irresistible to canines, but it’s not unheard of to purchase those with flavoring. Select a flavor that your dog likes, but make sure that it is organic. Unnatural or artificial flavoring can harm your dog’s health. Artificiality in food is something you as a pet owner want to avoid and, since you’re in control of your dog’s diet, you can make sure that they stay on the right track, health-wise and avoid any damaging fake substances.
Another feature of best dog chews that you want to look at is if they are USDA approved. If they are billing themselves as organic, a USDA stamp of approval should be on the product. The United States Department of Agriculture inspects facilities that are producing organic dog products and, if the product is above 95% organic, it will give it a certification.
Products that are less than that can be certified as “95% organic,” but anything below those numbers and the USDA won’t give it certification. A USDA certification is something to look for in any product, dog or human, when you’re attempting to buy organic, as that’s the most surefire way to know that you’re not getting scammed.
Lastly, a quick note: if your dog is a super aggressive chewer and somehow manages to chew through the dog antler or bone, you need to make sure you dispose of it right away once you see it cracking or tearing.
Don’t let your dog totally destroy his antler chew toy first, as that can lead to chunks breaking off and being digested by him or her. Dogs aren’t meant to ingest these dog bones and swallow them; the shards can give them lacerations or worse if you aren’t careful. So, at the teeniest, tiniest sign of wear and tear, chuck that bone or antler in the trash and go buy them a new one.
My best dog chews list has, hopefully, given you an idea of what you want to buy for your dog. Make sure you do your own research as well and double check everything before making any purchases. A consultation with a vet about your dog's dental health would also be a good idea. Happy chewing!
We want to make sure that our readers are aware that we are NOT sponsored by any of the manufacturers and dog companies mentioned in this article. Please note that we do our best to provide accurate information, but we highly encourage dog owners to always double-check other sources for additional tips on best elk chews for dogs so that you can make a more accurate decision of what’s best for you, and your canine.
The above overview of best dog chews should give pet owners a good idea of best rated dog supplies, but please also make sure that you read the more about top dog chew reviews from multiple customers before you purchase any dog products. Sometimes, those reviews from pet parents can provide more information than any dog supplies website ever could. Finally, I hope this list was helpful, and if you tried any of these dog products, please let us know of your experience in the comments below.
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