It’s not rocket science — every dog owner knows dogs need to chew. And they happily purchase a variety of chew treats for their dogs. However, choosing a safe and healthy treat is not an easy task — it seems every day we are seeing another recall of chews for antibiotic residues, salmonella, or some yet to be determined, toxic substances. So many dogs have died from toxic jerky treats made in China. The recalls of these treats continues to expand, and I urge everyone to not purchase any jerky treat, chicken or otherwise. It’s just not worth the risk. (Need more information on recalls? Click here.)
So, you are probably wondering what chews I do believe are safe for dogs. My first rule for anything that goes in my own dogs’ mouths is that it is fit for human consumption — in popular terms “human quality” or “human grade”. This is essential, as the regulations and inspections are significantly stricter than for pet products. Not perfect, I admit, but better. Beef ribs are one of my dogs’ favorite chews. Find them at your favorite butcher or meat market, in a length appropriate for your dog’s size. They should be fed raw, and with excess meat trimmed a bit, depending on the amount of fresh meat your dog is used to eating.
While they love their ribs, my dogs have been getting a bit “ho-hum” about them. I imagine, “Not the same old chew!” was going through their minds. Fortunately, I discovered Beams, from The Honest Kitchen. Beams are dehydrated Atlantic catfish skins. (These are a marine fish, caught off the coast of Iceland, not the catfish found in our local lakes and streams.) Dogs are absolutely crazy for these chews! I was worried that they would be eaten in 30 seconds, but even the most eager chewer savors them for some time. And, unlike jerky treats and bully sticks, the dogs are getting beneficial omega 3 fatty acids and quality protein from Beams. There are no chemicals or other ingredients added. Nothing from China. No unknown ingredients to upset the dog with food allergies or sensitivities. Just human quality fish. So simple, yet so brilliant!