Over the years, I’ve had dozens of dogs that love to chew. At the time that Nylabone Healthy Edibles came into my life, I had four high-energy dogs – two coonhounds, one pointer and one herding dog – that had to stay outside in a kennel while my then-husband and I were at work. While I did my best to run them to their heart’s content after work, they still struggled with boredom during the day. Left to their own devices, these lovely canines decided to occupy themselves with chewing a gaping hole in the kennel and going for a joy run around town. Three of the four were exceptionally powerful chewers, so I was at my wit’s end trying to find something safe for them to chew that would last a while.
First, I tried backstrap tendon sticks, which are marketed as an alternative to rawhide. The safety of true rawhide is questionable at best, and unfortunately a definite no-no with dogs that can rip off and swallow large chunks of rawhide. I’ve even tried cooking the rawhide to make it harder, which does keep the dogs from getting large chunks, but an extra-large bone only lasts two hours. Also unfortunate, they finished rather large backstrap tendon sticks within the hour.
Finally, I broke down and tried the Nylabone Healthy Edibles “wolf” size bone. This was my last choice only because it gets incredibly expensive to give four different dogs a $10-$12 bone if they’re just going to eat it in an hour. Its introduction was met with great enthusiasm. The day wore on as the dogs chewed away. By the end of the day, each dog had a little nub of bone left. Luckily, the price has come way down now since my first purchase in 2007 – as little as $.65 cents a bone if you buy in bulk and have a dog that can enjoy the petite size.
The Healthy Edibles bone is similar to a rawhide substitute bone, but tougher. It’s supposed to be very easy for the dogs to digest, and the wolf size I bought measures about a foot long, so there’s a lot in there. I bought them locally for about $7.50 a bone, but now you can get a two-pack for that price from this Amazon link. I’ve bought these in turkey and rice, chicken, roast beef, and peanut butter. My dogs love them all. Nylabone is also introducing new flavors on a regular basis, which include such yummies as barbecue chicken, bacon, filet mignon, venison, and wild salmon.
One of the best features of Nylabone’s Healthy Edibles line is that it’s completely separate from the plastic-based bones that launched the company. Over time, people have gotten more and more hesitant to offer their dogs plastic to chew on. The powers that be at Nylabone know this, and put that information to good use with Healthy Edibles – this one has no plastic, uses only easily digestible ingredients, has no sugar, and even has extra vitamins to help keep your precious pups healthy.
Alright, so we’ve established that this bone will last my enthusiastic dogs all day and they enjoy the taste. However, it only lasted each of them the whole day. In other words, even at the reduced price of $3.75 per bone, it’s still $15 a day to keep four dogs occupied. While they love it and I love that it’s made to be healthier than other chews, it’s still pretty steep.
Today, it’s nine years after my initial purchase. Three of the four dogs I wrote about have died of old age, and the fourth (the pointer) is deaf and perfectly content to lay around and watch the world go by. When all four were active chewers, I shied away from Healthy Edibles a lot. Now that the price has come way down and my only really heavy chewer is a 4-year-old Catahoula, the bones have risen in my estimation. I work from home now, so my Catahoula is always with me and gets to run a lot more. As a result, one Healthy Edibles bone might last him three days. With my more “average chewer” Miniature Schnauzer, the small bone lasts all week if she can keep it away from her “big brother.”
I’ll readily admit that Nylabone Healthy Edibles probably deserve five stars for moderate and light chewers. For heavy chewers – they do provide some much-needed chewing relief and some great flavors, but I still wish they would last a bit longer for the price. It is tougher than most chews, the dogs obviously think it tastes good, and it doesn’t make a mess like real bones or some of the “gravy covered” alternatives do.
Overall, Healthy Edibles are a great choice for traveling and special occasions, or even for everyday use in single-dog homes. In multi-dog homes…well, you can still use it every day, I just hope your budget looks a lot better than mine in order to do it.