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Natural Dog Chews 101 – The Complete Course

Your dog loves to chew, whether it’s your shiny new Jimmy Choo pumps (which have now been, sadly, Jimmy Chewed) or your favorite belt that had your hard-to-replace work badge on it.

Dogs love to chew on things that are bad for them- like sticks, rocks, and even dangerous rawhide. These objects can cause choking, intestinal blockages, and other serious health problems.

But are natural chews the right choice for your pup?

A dog holding a bully stick with the words born to chew.


Natural dog chews are less dangerous to your pup and are considered healthy and easy to digest.

Furthermore, they are safer to eat and can also be more nutritious and less fattening for your dog to chew on.

Products like beef cheeks, bully sticks, fish skin, and collagen chews are much safer for your pet and supply them with a boost of essential minerals and vitamins while keeping their teeth clean!

High in protein but low in fat is where it’s at!

Natural chews have proven to build up your dog’s muscular health and provide their bones with helpful nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and glucosamine that keep them healthy and active.

Natural options like bully sticks are made from high-quality beef muscle. Chews like these will not splinter and become super soft and palatable as your dog chews.

Antlers are another all-natural chew that can come in a variety of sizes. Antlers do have some risk to the dog’s teeth because their durability and resilience can cause breakage.


Let’s look at some top natural chews that we know your pup will love.

Bully or Pizzle Sticks

Bully sticks, also called pizzle sticks, are a single-ingredient natural chew for your dog. Surprising or not, a dried steer penis is 100 percent natural and can be a great choice of chew to distract your dog if properly cleaned and preserved.

Size does Matter?

Bully sticks can come in a variety of sizes for smaller to bigger dogs, usually sticks ranging from 6 inches and larger. After selecting a stick size suitable for your dog, treat them to a bully stick for 10 to 20-minute intervals at a time.

Beef Cheeks

Beef Cheeks derived from cattle and then dried are a much healthier and easier-to-digest alternative to many dangerous chews on every pet store shelf.

They are collagen-heavy and packed full of beef flavor. Make sure when looking for Beef Cheeks that they are free of chemicals, additives, and preservatives.

Barking Buddha Pet has pure, natural beef cheeksTry our natural peanut butter flavor for your pup today!

White Bones

White bones from grass-fed, free-range cattle are a perfect alternative to regular store-bought marrow bones that can sometimes be bleached. These bones are typically made from beef femur.

White Bones are unlike typical “bones” and don’t splinter. Although everyone’s puppy wants the bones from last night’s rib dinner, these cooked marrow bones are not safe.

Not-so-Fun Fido Fact! You might think your dog can eat anything, and they probably would without hesitation. However, If even small bone fragments travel down through the gastrointestinal tract and reach your dog’s bowel or colon, they may collect and later on form dangerous blockages.

Yak Cheese Chews

Yak cheese chews are durable but softer-type chews made from simple ingredients and perfect for all sorts of dogs, including puppies and seniors. A great source of calcium, made from the milk of yaks and cows with just a pinch of salt and lime.

As delicious as they are for your canine, they also are gluten-free and promote their oral hygiene!

Himalayan yak chews can be great for their gums, which is vital considering over two-thirds of dogs over the age of three suffer from some form of periodontal disease.

Bonus Bite: You can microwave these chews for an extra cheese puff treat.

A dog chewing on a beef cheek roll.

Collagen Chews

New to the market, collagen chews are another single-ingredient, chemical-free dog chew. They are over 99 percent digestible and are perfect for healthy joint support. Collagen is a more nutritious source of protein with less fat.

Always keep a good source of fresh drinking water for your dog.


Size is a huge factor in the safety of your dog’s chew. Even with natural chews, it should be big enough that it can’t be swallowed whole by your pup.

Barking Buddha Pet offers a wide variety of sizes for each chew. When in doubt, go a size bigger to prevent choking.

Shop today  to find the perfect affordable natural chew for your dog.


Know Your Dog

While size can help determine a dog’s strength, small dogs can also be powerful chewers. Furthermore, some dogs naturally have more jaw strength. Bully breeds, both large and small, tend to need more durable chews.

If your dog tends to be a destructive power chewer, you’ll want to get a more durable chew like a white bone.

Although breed and size are important factors, it is most important to understand your dog’s habits and preferences.

How they eat, behave, and what kind of things they enjoy are the first things you should look for. As we know, all dogs are so different in their own special ways, so their chew should be just as unique to them.

Age also comes into play when finding the right chew for your best friend. Younger canines, like pug puppies, won’t do so well with larger, more durable chews. Just as a full-grown Great Dane wouldn’t fare well with a tiny piece of cheese chew.

It’s often sadly true that senior dogs have trouble chewing and swallowing as they get older, so that is another factor to keep in mind. These older dogs might benefit from softer chews like bully sticks.

Second, Check for Specific Dietary Needs!

Natural chews like bully sticks are an effective way to help meet your dog’s dietary needs too! Quality grass-fed beef contains healthy levels of glucosamine which is promotive to their joint health as they age.

Treats and chews containing organ parts might hold extra valuable nutrients for them.

Furthermore, yak cheese chews are a great source of calcium which helps the bones and muscular structure stay fit.

Lastly, Find a Quality Product!

Not all chews are created equally. Find a chew manufactured with safety and your dog’s health first and foremost in mind. When selecting any item for your pet, it is essential first to check product standards and what the product is made from.

Look at the details like:

  • Where are the materials and ingredients sourced from?
  • What kind of additives and preservatives are included?
  • Why are any odd ingredients being added?
  • Is the flavoring natural?


You might know of or have a dog that suffers from common allergens from foods like proteins, wheat gluten, or soy. Some dogs are even allergic to meat products.

You might notice allergy symptoms like:

  • Coughing
  • Excessive Sneezing or Runny Nose
  • Watery Eyes
  • Hives and Skin Rash
  • Signs of Facial Discomfort
  • Excessive loose stools
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Sores

Dogs that have allergies to certain foods and products can develop more allergies as they age.

Natural chews are great for dogs suffering from allergies because they are often single-ingredient. Or they have very few pure ingredients without any added chemicals or extra additives.

Products like safe and natural organic shampoo and conditioners are also available for our pets with sensitive skin.


Storing natural dog chews is a vital part of keeping these chews safe and healthy. It’s important to remember that many of these types of chews are considered food products.

So temperature and humidity are key factors in proper storage. When storing any natural dog chew, it’s best to keep them away from light, air, and moisture.

The best way to store any extra natural chews is in the freezer. It might sound silly, but this is the best environment for natural chews in the long run because it prevents moisture buildup.

dog chewing on a beef cheek roll


Finding the right chew for your pup is important, with many factors to consider. From breed size and age to dietary requirements and allergies, you must know what chew will be safe and beneficial for your pet.

Also, always check product standards when selecting any item for your pet, as well as where the materials or ingredients come from.

Finally, proper storage of natural chews is also key to keeping them fresh and reducing potential bacteria growth or bug problems.

With all these tips in mind, you should now better understand how best to pick out a quality chew for your furry friend!

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