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Jul 24, 2014 10:49 AM

Good non-toxic, grain-free things for a puppy who is teething to chew on?

My sister recently adopted a Great Dane puppy. He's pretty healthy, but seems to be having some teething issues and keeps going for shoes and slippers. I'd love to keep something around the house for him to chew on, and wondered if any of you have any suggestions.

The people from Great Dane Rescue strongly recommended that he be kept on a grain-free diet, so that rules out a lot of teething biscuits, and I'd rather not give him plastic chew toys.

Are bones the best way to go, and if so, should I cook them first? I also saw some all-beef Bully Sticks in a local store at a fairly reasonable price (apparently made of bull penis - yikes), but a lot of reviews say they smell horrible. Does anyone have experience with this product? How bad does it smell?

Anyway, I'd be grateful for any suggestions.

Thank you,

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  1. Our dog loooooves dried penises. Seriously - they are her favorite things. And some of them do smell, but some don't. Sometimes I catch a whiff, sometimes nothing. Pig ears are usually a winner, but they can also stink - sometimes. We also bought a pig hoof (around 10 years ago for $.99) that's still a favorite. Basically all gross stinky things, but they make the dog happy.

    9 Replies
    1. re: NonnieMuss

      ninrn: these things sound weird, but hey the dog likes 'em! (note about pig ears, either get them dried or slow bake and dehydrate them yourself as the raw version will cause REAllY bad breath). all good and chewy with just a little cartilage.

      if you go for bones, pls. no chicken or pork and don't cook them as that makes them brittle and splintery.

      1. re: hill food

        I take bad breath as a given for our dog. Not something one can control, sadly. Agree on the cooked bones - don't cook them! But penises - the favorite in our house. We just can't get enough penises.

        1. re: NonnieMuss

          so is the dog's current nickname (mine changes almost daily) now 'dicka-licious'?

          1. re: NonnieMuss

            Yup, our little Salty loves the d! :)

            1. re: NonnieMuss

              <<We just can't get enough penises.>>

              Oh yes. Also called "Bully Sticks."

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Yes, or Pizzle Sticks, or Bully Springs, or what have you. But beware of Bully Chunks or Bully Nuggets, which are often dried chunks of lung and smell worse than anything.

              2. re: NonnieMuss

                Bad breath in dogs and cats indicates that a visit to the vet is in order. It is virtually always a sign that there is an oral or systemic infection. Pets with healthy mouths and organs do not have bad breath unless they've just eaten something foul, like carrion or feces, and halitosis of that sort is transient.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Our dog's health is just fine. She often finds and eats horrifying things though. I'm not the biggest fan of regular old doggy breath either though, to be honest.

                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                    but she doesn't complain about your breath...

                    mine likes to sniff my shins.

          2. when I was a kid we gave our puppy rawhide toys to chew on, they last a long time for a bigger pup and don't smell

            2 Replies
            1. re: BeeZee

              I never had trouble with rawhide but there ARE owners, breeders, and vets who will freak out about rawhide, pig ears, and other popular chews. Most are not USA-sourced and can have dangerous chemicals. Some dogs have died or required surgery for guts obstructed by strips/chunks of swallowed rawhide. As with other treats for dogs, monitor and take away if it looks like the animal is going to gulp big pieces.

              1. re: greygarious

                Hi greygarious,

                I think it was you that posted a link to a while back. It's a great site that offers premium treats (and other dog stuff) at a savings. Been very happy with everything I've got from them.

                My little dog thanks you. :)

            2. For teething, dishtowels or similar-sized terrycloth pieces, knotted in the center, soaked, then frozen. Smear some peanut butter or bacon grease on a section of the knot to get him started if he doesn't chew on it as is. Monitor to be sure he's not eating the cloth but as long as it's not a long strip, even if he DID swallow a little bit of cloth it should pass through uneventfully.

              3 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                soaked in broth is something puppies like.

                1. re: chartreauxx

                  The only reason I didn't suggest that is that it increases the chance the dog will bite off and swallow the fabric. Kind of depends on the individual, but for a small breed, this *could* end in tragedy.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    agree, but OP specifies a great dane :-) pretty sure that isn't a small breed. i wouldn't suggest the same for say, a chihuahua or a dachshund.

              2. Antlers. Thank me later. Expensive but they last forever and our puppy and teenage dog (in dog years) never tire of them.

                1. Now this didn't hold any interest for my dog, but friends swear by them.

                  Just fill them up with peanut butter and freeze them.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: EM23

                    Those kong toys are hours of doggie entertainment!
                    For the OP you may want to give it to the dog outside... My mom freaked out over a peanut butter gob that got on her rug....

                    1. re: EM23

                      Our dogs absolutely hated Kong. They had been recommended by our trainer, but rejected by out big dogs.

                      Antlers and tennis balls were the best

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        Yep. They are not for all dogs, mine included, but a few friends have/had dogs that love them, and kept them from chewing everything. My dog preferred eating furniture as a young'un...a costly alternative.

                        1. re: EM23

                          My dog turned up his nose at Kong & liked chewing on the walls as a pup. His tastes have now matured and he prefers used tissues.

                          1. re: almond tree

                            When my dog is not chewing on dried penises, she also enjoys whatever she can find in the bathroom trash, or the litter box.