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navigator9

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Well it doesn't take very long to get confused when reading reviews online. So I thought I'd go straight to the experts and ask those of you who own dogs about this. I was going to get some Greenies for the little guy, but then started reading horror stories about them. So I looked for something else, and found Dentastix....similar horror stories. Wow, how do you ever feel comfortable giving your dogs ANY kind of treats? Reading the stories makes you wonder how either of them is still on the market!

I was thinking about ordering some of the all natural treats suggested in this thread, but also wanted something that would help clean his teeth. What can I use without worrying that it will poison him...it's very scary!
 

mx6inpenn

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I didn't see them on the test page, but puropets also usually carries deer antlers. They are fairly expensive, but last a long time. I'll message her and ask.
 

mx6inpenn

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I didn't see them on the test page, but puropets also usually carries deer antlers. They are fairly expensive, but last a long time. I'll message her and ask.
She does still have some small ones. You can message her on etsy or Facebook (puropets) and talk to her about it if you'd like.
 

Obsidian

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I give my dogs dentastix but not greenies. I've read too many instances of dogs not properly digesting big pieces of greenies, same thing with raw hide treats. My dogs are pigs though, they like to swallow really big pieces of almost everything.

They do get pig ears, cow hooves and if I can find them, big raw knuckle bones from a butcher are great too. The bones are the only thing that really help clean the teeth.

I have three doxies and they are prone to bad teeth, no treats have helped at all. Its important to have yearly dentals for small dogs, I skipped last year and our oldest girl ended up with a abscess a couple weeks ago. Cost nearly $400 to get it taken care of and she lost two teeth in the process.

Lucky they all eat veggies, doesn't help teeth but at least I know they are healthy and safe. Carrots are a favorite but they will eat any except celery.

ETA: Be careful of antlers and other very hard treats, if your dog is a aggressive chewer, they can break their teeth.
 

Scooter

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Wow, how do you ever feel comfortable giving your dogs ANY kind of treats?
Like so many things, this is partly a YMMV issue. I have friends who have given their dogs lots of rawhide treats and those dogs treat them like toys, nibbling on them gently now and again. If my dog gets hold of a rawhide, it disappears down her throat in a second. I seriously worry about them as a choking hazard for *my* dog.

Basically my dog gets no "treats" as far as food. She gets enough food to be heathy and at an appropriate weight and, this is key, she gets lots of long walks and tons of quality time with her owners since we both work from home. Oh, and she has a few toys, but mostly she completely dispatches them as soon as she gets them, so they are pretty simple, her toys--a bone that has been throughly cleaned with a little peanut butter smeared on the inside, a rope, and that's about it.

My opinion of "treats" is that, as far as my dog is concerned, she does not know about what she has never gotten. So much of the pet industry is about marketing to humans things that a lot of dogs may not care about either way. But that is just my opinion.

Scooter
 

Scooter

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Just one more thing... I got my dog at a rescue where she was the star pupil of a dog trainer who volunteers at the same rescue organization. My little doggie has been trained extremely well using positive reinforcement, and yes that involved/involves "treats"... done in a systematic limited manner. So my dog is food motivated. I used to give her treats as a part of leash training her but when I thought she had learned it well enough I stopped with the food treats.. what I do now, instead, is at the end of every walk, I play "jump up" with her. I throw a little kibble in the air and she catches it with her mouth. It is something she likes to do and I use her regular kibble so I can easily figure it into her daily rations. But I do not buy her pet-industry designated treats. Another thing some dogs like (mine does not) is putting their regular kibble in a kong.

Scooter
 

Hearthy

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I have two big shepherds with very sensitive tummies. For treats that I buy I've tried these two with success:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/264340699/deer-antler-dog-chews-free-shipping?ref=shop_home_active_3

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004DY35TW/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

The bully sticks are incredibly stinky but they have never made my guys sick. The antlers I bought about 6 months ago and they still are going strong chewing them. They handle Greenies ok too, but I still have my concerns.

For a nice treat when they've gotten a tummy bug or I run out of dog food I boil a whole chicken with no seasoning, make rice with the chicken broth/water, cut the chicken in pieces and mix it with the rice. I cool it and serve and they demolish it.
 
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Guspuppy

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Keep in mind that most people who are satisfied with a product will not think to write a review, especially if they just buy it at a pet store instead of online - but everyone who has problems with a product absolutely will write a negative review. I don't mean to imply that either of those things you mentioned are good, because I wouldn't give them to my dog either, but its something to think about when reading reviews of things!

For chew toys my dog gets elk antlers from yellowstoneantlers.com. (He's much bigger than your dog will be, but you can use deer antlers or cut/split antlers - easier to get the antler marrow that way too) One will last him literally years, and unlike the weight-bearing bones of a cow, they are not too hard. They soften up a small amount as the dog chews on them, kind of like a rawhide, but no bits break off. They just kind of wear away.

For 'treats' he gets only grain free cookies from Blue Buffalo, and freeze-dried beef liver which you can by in various size buckets at pet stores.

If you are just looking to give him something to clean his teeth, get one of those littler fingertip toothbrushes for dogs and just brush his teeth every day. You don't even need toothpaste. No poison worries!
 

navigator9

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Wow, thank you so much for all of this info...so helpful, and scary. It looks like dogs are a lot more complicated than cats! With my cats, their favorite treat has always been catnip, so no problems there. I did order a Kong, and it seems like peanut butter is a popular thing to fill it with, but then, there are also warnings against peanut butter. I don't know how anybody does this dog thing, without being a nervous wreck!!! But I did see something that made me laugh out loud, here it is, "Dog vs Peanut Butter". https://www.thedodo.com/ingrediant-could-be-deadly-dog-1449364385.html
 

navigator9

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For a nice treat when they've gotten a tummy bug or I run out of dog food I boil a whole chicken with no seasoning, make rice with the chicken broth/water, cut the chicken in pieces and mix it with the rice. I cool it and serve and they demolish it.
Thanks for the links, and especially for this, hopefully I'll never need it, but good to know what to do, just in case.
 

dibbles

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My parents had a golden retriever with a lot of tartar build up on his teeth. They took him to the vet for cleaning, but didn't like that she would have to administer anesthesia for the cleaning. The vet recommended they try this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000PICL5E/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

It looks like there is a newer version:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009T6KSKI/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

It made a huge difference. After using it for a few weeks, most of the tartar was gone. They used the spray, probably morning and right before bed and my mom would just wipe his teeth with a tissue. Research it to see if it is something you would want to try, and talk to your vet about it if you have questions.

For our dog, DH is a retired dentist and our dog tolerates him scaling his teeth. We only feed him dry food, and the only 'people food' he gets is raw carrot or celery pieces, apple pieces, and pieces of melon when I am cutting them in the kitchen. He loves his kong, and we will as a special treat put some of his dog food in it, and then a little plain yogurt and stick it in the freezer. It's about the only thing he can't eat in seconds. Also frozen banana chunks. We can't give him the rawhide chews since he will swallow them whole as soon as they are soft enough. He's a lab. They do that. My sister's two little dogs - one is a yorkie and the other a terrier-schnauzer mix will nibble on the rawhides though.
 
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bumbleklutz

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Well it doesn't take very long to get confused when reading reviews online. So I thought I'd go straight to the experts and ask those of you who own dogs about this. I was going to get some Greenies for the little guy, but then started reading horror stories about them. So I looked for something else, and found Dentastix....similar horror stories. Wow, how do you ever feel comfortable giving your dogs ANY kind of treats? Reading the stories makes you wonder how either of them is still on the market!

I was thinking about ordering some of the all natural treats suggested in this thread, but also wanted something that would help clean his teeth. What can I use without worrying that it will poison him...it's very scary!
I give my 3 pups milk bones as an occaisional treat, but I give them the ones for small dogs even though they're all large dogs. My smallest is 60#. At least that way I don't feel like I'm giving them as much "junk food".

For chews I like the Virbac C.E.T. Chews. They're treated with enzymes to clean their teeth, and also to help them break down if they swallow pieces of them. They're fairly expensive, but I feel safer about them than the regular rawhides from the pet store or grocery store. I get them from my vet's office, but I have seen them in the big box pet stores and online as well. As a side note they're actually cheaper in my vet's office than at the pet store, and as I really like my vet and his staff it makes me feel good that I can do something to support their business.
 

lenarenee

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I haven't had my own dog during my adult life - but I'm surrounded by dog lovers who talk about dehydrated sweet potato treats, and dehydrated chicken or beef jerky type treats.

Also, look into Livionex toothpaste for brushing your dog's teeth - the edta either removes or dissolves plaque.

Only 2 more weeks until you get your new love!

eta: Livionex also comes unflavored. It was made for humans, but dog owners started using for dogs because it works so well
 
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TeresaT

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I give my three dogs Iam's Proactive Health Adult Small Biscuits. They love their "cookies" and get two or three in the morning as a reward for getting in their crates and two or three at night before bed. Chase is especially good at letting me know when she wants a cookie. She'll get my attention by running around my feet or jumping up and down then running into her crate. If she's already had dinner, it's cookie time. If she hasn't eaten dinner, that's a subtle hint to get off my butt and feed her. I also alternate the Iam's biscuits with bully sticks. One month I get a case of bully sticks and one month it's a box of biscuits. The bully sticks are expensive and there are only 50 in the case. The biscuits are much cheaper and are 20 pounds. So a box of biscuits will actually last two months. That's why I started alternating with the bully sticks.

Max and Ivy both really love knotted ropes. (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LW3XBIA/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20) They love to chew on those and untie them. Max is particularly good at untying them so I had to buy the HUGE knot. Chewing on the rope keeps them occupied, out of trouble, and keeps their teeth clean. It's like floss for dogs. I just have to be careful that they don't try eating the string once the rope is untied (that's more of a Max issue, not an Ivy issue). Max's teeth are much cleaner and his breath is much nicer than the other two because he is constantly chewing on ropes and Kong toys and other things. So, personally, I don't think it's really about the edible treats as much as it is about occupying their minds and getting them to chew and play. Max is a heavy chewer, so his teeth are much cleaner than Chase's, who only chews on food. Ivy's teeth are cleaner than Chase's, but no where near as sparkly as Max's. Max will chew on tree limbs. I've tried to clear the limbs and branches whenever they fall, but there are too many. Max likes them. I checked with his vet and she said they're better for him than antlers. So, who am I to argue?

I have just discovered the miracle of bone broth. The thing I like about it is, the bones are decalcified and become extremely soft and will not splinter. I made the bone broth because Chase hasn't been eating well (leaving food in her dish) and I thought adding it to her kibble would help, it has. But the extra benefit was the bones became so soft that I was able to give femurs as treats without worrying about broken teeth and smaller bones without worrying about splintering. They're firm enough to give them a work out and cleaning, but the bones crush (much like a wet Rolaid or Tums being pulverized with a mortar and pestle). I'm hooked on it now. I can give them cooked bones with out worrying about splintering. I've given them raw bones in the past, but they are messy and pretty disgusting. I'm going to use my Thanksgiving turkey carcasses for the next batch.

It's very easy and you can use a crock pot or the stovetop to do it. If you've never done it, just cover the bones with cold water about two inches, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar (depends on how many bones you've got), and put the crock pot on warm for 24 hrs. If you do the stovetop method, you'd have to put it on the lowest setting you have. You may have to add more water and/or vinegar. The next time the pet store has smoked bones on sale, I'm going to try to make bone broth for the dogs using those. The broth will make Chase eat her food better and the bones will be softer. I'll feel better about letting them have bones to chew on.

From what I've been reading, people are substituting their morning coffee with bone broth for a jolt of energy and increased nutrition. There's actually a café in NYC that does bone broth instead of coffee. I might try some of the turkey broth, but I'm definitely making it for the dogs and not me. I'll probably freeze some of it in ice cube trays the next time and use that as treats.

Well, this is way longer than I ever intended. Sorry!

ETA: I added a link for the rope toys. That knotted ball in the photo is tiny compared to the one Max has. His is about the size of a soccer ball.
 
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mrsserena

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For treats, I dehydrate a mixture of hamburger and fruit that I put in a blender. Or baked sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Just mix it all up together, then I put in a zip lock bag, cut off the corner, and put it on the dehydrator trays in strips.

For longer lasting chews, bully sticks, yak cheese, or a Kong with peanut butter.

We also feed raw chicken, with bone, to clean their teeth. Turkey necks are good if you just want to give as a treat.
 

Dahila

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I cooked for my dogs, (there were huge) and baked my own treats.
This baby is so small you should cook the food, just cook meat with veggies and freeze into portions. I was giving my dogs the pasta, rice, grains and the most important oatmeal. for small dog like that i would go with veggies and meat.
My late dog (110 pounds) had a carrot and an apple a day, and once a week very dry bread, so she was actually cleaning her teeth :)
bake some treats and add activated charcoal, it is awesome to clean the teeth and perfect for sensitive stomach ;)
 

navigator9

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My parents had a golden retriever with a lot of tartar build up on his teeth. They took him to the vet for cleaning, but didn't like that she would have to administer anesthesia for the cleaning. The vet recommended they try this:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000PICL5E/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

It looks like there is a newer version:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009T6KSKI/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

It made a huge difference. After using it for a few weeks, most of the tartar was gone. They used the spray, probably morning and right before bed and my mom would just wipe his teeth with a tissue. Research it to see if it is something you would want to try, and talk to your vet about it if you have questions.

For our dog, DH is a retired dentist and our dog tolerates him scaling his teeth. We only feed him dry food, and the only 'people food' he gets is raw carrot or celery pieces, apple pieces, and pieces of melon when I am cutting them in the kitchen. He loves his kong, and we will as a special treat put some of his dog food in it, and then a little plain yogurt and stick it in the freezer. It's about the only thing he can't eat in seconds. Also frozen banana chunks. We can't give him the rawhide chews since he will swallow them whole as soon as they are soft enough. He's a lab. They do that. My sister's two little dogs - one is a yorkie and the other a terrier-schnauzer mix will nibble on the rawhides though.
Can't tell you how much I appreciate all this info, thanks Dibbles!
 
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navigator9

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I give my 3 pups milk bones as an occaisional treat, but I give them the ones for small dogs even though they're all large dogs. My smallest is 60#. At least that way I don't feel like I'm giving them as much "junk food".

For chews I like the Virbac C.E.T. Chews. They're treated with enzymes to clean their teeth, and also to help them break down if they swallow pieces of them. They're fairly expensive, but I feel safer about them than the regular rawhides from the pet store or grocery store. I get them from my vet's office, but I have seen them in the big box pet stores and online as well. As a side note they're actually cheaper in my vet's office than at the pet store, and as I really like my vet and his staff it makes me feel good that I can do something to support their business.
I'm putting all this info into my "Dog Stuff" file, thanks so much!
 

navigator9

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Well, this is way longer than I ever intended. Sorry!

ETA: I added a link for the rope toys. That knotted ball in the photo is tiny compared to the one Max has. His is about the size of a soccer ball.
Don't be sorry, I appreciate every bit of info! I want a happy, healthy dog! :)
 

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