Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pet Natural Chews

In addition to rawhide, other naturals are pig ears, chew hooves and bones. Following is some information to help you decide if these treats are right for your pet.

Pig ears are all natural pork, processed without preservatives, artificial coloring or flavoring. They're 100% digestible, and easier to digest than rawhide. They're also high in fat (which helps keep skin and coat healthy) and high in protein (essential for healthy muscle tone). Because they're high in calories, we recommend that you limit pig ears to no more than one per day for large dogs (over 70 pounds) and proportionately less for smaller dogs.

Chew hooves are one of the many usable by-products of meat processing. They are 100% protein, which makes them fully digestible. However, hooves have the potential to splinter, especially if your dog is an aggressive chewer, so you should only offer your dog chew hooves when you can be there to supervise.

Certain bones are good choices for dogs to chew as long as they are not too small or too brittle. Chicken bones, for example, are small and could splinter easily, getting caught in your dogs throat or digestive system. The best bones generally come from the femur (leg bone) of a large animal, such as a cow. They are very dense so they don't splinter, yet are a manageable size for a dog to handle. They even come smoked and basted, so your dog has a variety to choose from.

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