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Joey the dog sometimes needs to be distracted. He doesn't like fireworks and hates thunderstorms. In fact, as he’s grown older he will mark places when the sky darkens and things seem ominous.
Because of this I try various things to take his mind off frightening sounds and sights.
Mainly I supply a Jumbone to Joey and this did work for a while but he does tend to make a mess with these, and he was starting to get through rather a lot of them. Initially when Joey was given Jumbones during stressful times he would walk about carrying it and it did distract him well but recently he began to eat them too quickly. This meant they didn’t really take his mind of whatever was scaring him for long.
When I was looking for an alternative to Jumbones, I noticed Nylabones in several pet stores and wondered if these would help Joey.
Nylabone Dura chew are flavoured tough nylon shaped bones. They should keep a dog occupied and deter chewing furniture or slippers.
I think that Joey likes his Nylabone although it’s hard to say really because he doesn't do much chewing on it. He guards the bone and can be seen prowling about carrying it in his mouth, looking for somewhere to hide it.
His favourite places seem to be in a corner of the living room or on my slipper.
When I am sitting on the armchair, after dinner, enjoying a cup of tea, Joey will keep walking past me, Nylabone in mouth, and he will knock me with the bone while it’s in his mouth, as if challenging me. He will keep doing this and when I ignore him he will jump at me and tap me with a paw, showing me the Nylabone but not parting with it.
Occasionally he will let my husband throw the bone and return it for a few times until he turns his back and chews the Nylabone for a few minutes before trying to hide it again.
I would say that the Nylabone works fairly well in distracting Joey. I don’t feel it would work in bad storms but if he is just playing up a bit then pointing to the Nylabone does distract.
When he was first given the Nylabone he seemed to like it and chewed it for a little while; he must have liked the flavour.
If he was a dog who chewed furniture, I don’t think the Nylabone would stop this as he doesn’t chew it much.
Really, for Joey, the Nylabone, is a toy that works in distracting him and not much more.
I can’t remember where I bought Joey’s Nylabone but it would probably have been The Range or Pets at Home.
Nylabones come in different flavours and sizes. Prices vary according to size and store. I think I paid around £4 to £5.
Our Alaskan Malamute Kunu used to have seperation anxiety and would chew (and destroy!) almost everything in our house. We didn't expect the Nylabone Dura to solve this problem, but we thought that it would help with his cravings to chew.
There doesn't seem to be much of a scent to these bones, which is great for the household, but I don't think it did anything to help entice Kunu to take an interest in it. The shape is your typical bone shape and comes in small, medium, and large. We bought the large (Kunu's around 42kg) at £5.99 a couple years back and I don't think the price has changed that much since.
Kunu seemed to sniff it, lick it, pick it up and move it, but he didn't chew on it very much. When he did he looked like he expected it to give a little, or break down so he could eat it. But when it didn't he lost interest very quickly.
We still have it, years on, and it only has a couple of teeth marks in it. It's a pity because it's supposed to really help with cleaning his teeth, but you can't force a dog to like a toy!
Eddie the dog is a very stereotypical dog, he likes bones. You will always see this boy with a bone in his mouth, chewing away, he carries them with him everywhere he goes and its the only thing that will make him sit and cuddle with us in the evenings if he has a bone in his mouth. He's a working cocker spaniel so he has tons of energy in him and one of the things he really likes to do is chew. When he was a puppy this usually meant on our wooden table legs so we needed to find something else for him to chew on and bones became his favourite thing. He usually has a rawhide bone to chew on but I limit them as I don't want him eating too much of them each day so we decided to get him one of these Nylabones.
A nylabone is made of tough, durable nylon and it really is very tough. The company say that these bones are designed for powerful chewers and thats definitely something I agree with. The bone is really quite hard and if you drop it on the floor it makes a big bang. Its almost like it is made of a very hard plastic. Eddie has had this nylabone for probably almost a year now and he has hardly made any dents in it at all. There are a couple teeth marks in it but that is about it. At times he really gnaws on this and gets his teeth around it and gives it a really good chew. You can see that it definitely satisfies his need to chew.
This version is shaped liked a bone and has little indentations on each side, like a bone joint would. I like that it looks authentic as I'm sure its more tempting for Eddie than just a normal boring looking toy or bone. The company say that this ridge and nub design provides dental stimulation and chewing satisfaction and actually Eddie just had his yearly injection/check up at the vets and they said his teeth were in really good condition so maybe this bone has been helping with that. Apparently bristles raised during chewing help clean teeth and control plaque & tartar build-up so I think it probably is helping.
You can buy the bones in different flavours too but I think the flavour must be like high pitched whistles to a dog, I can't smell the flavour of this bone although Eddie is quite attracted to it. He has the bacon version although it also comes in chicken and liver too. You can purchase different sizes too depending on the size of your dog and they are available from Pets at Home and start at £5.
The Nylabone Dura is a dog chew made of very tough plastic (from the name I assume its a type of NyLon) that's intended to be tough, tempting and good for the dog's teeth and jaws. Unfortunately, the two I bought for my dogs when I first brought them home have gone more or less unchewed for most of the last year. They don't seem to be too tempted by the nice clean, hygienic plastic bone and prefer more disgusting smellier options sadly.
The nylabones are nothing special to look at, a traditional bone shape in a creamy colour and available in a range of sizes to suit the size of your particular dog's jaws. They come with minimal packaging and are easy to find in bigger pet shops. They're always at Pets at Home and I've seen them in the bigger Tesco Extras too. They seem to be popular so maybe my dogs are an anomaly in being uninterested!
The nylabone is certainly tough, they seem like they would be very satisfying to chew on but would last a long time with even a very determined chewer. One of my dogs managed to completely destroy a kong within a matter of weeks so you'd think he'd have enjoyed the challenge of the nylabone, but no dice. It isn't completely inflexible which could put them off, it does have some give and no sharp edges that might hurt their mouths.
I think when it comes down to it the nylabone just isn't tasty, smelly or satisfying enough to tempt my two disgusting little pigs! They much prefer a stuffed kong, a pig's ear, a tripe stick or their newest favourite, a stag bar. Nylabones aren't incredibly expensive so they're worth a try just in case your dogs are more enthusiastic about them than mine! If they like them, stick with them, because trust me they're a far less disgusting thing to find 'buried' around your house than half a soggy tripe stick!
Tora had been rehomed at least 3 times when she came to us. She was cut up pretty badly, and her front canines broken, which coupled with behaviour when taken out at night led us to believe she had spent part of her life badger baiting. She was friendly, but terrified, and I've also felt chewing is good means of stress relief for dogs. Additionally, she would need something to help keep her teeth clean, and being a staffy, chew toys would have to be very sturdy.
You would think that she would be easy to please, having gone through some tough times, but she was surprisingly fussy, both with toys and with food. She loves nothing better than a stick or stone, but these are not ideal chew toys and she had enough trouble with her teeth. She never chewed indoors, but does try to eat bicycles outside. I ordered her a nylabone original in a 6" size to see how she got on with it. When the post arrived she immediately started jumping up and down and showing great excitement, and happily took the bone to lay down and chew. As she has never responded to post before or since in such a fashion, I can only assume that she was able to detect the scent through all the packaging.
Eventually the bone was worn down too far to safely keep. Nylabone advises you to bin the bone once the nubs are worn off. I let it go a bit further, but once she started to get the end down to a sharp point, it was time to bin the bone. I ordered Nylabone Dura Chew thinking it was the exact same thing, except available in a larger size. This time I chose giant size, which at 8" is OK for even a very large dog, but Staffies have a lot of chewing power for a small breed. There are more differences between this and the original wolf chew than size though, and while Tora is happily chewing as I speak, I do think she liked the wolf bone best.
All nylabone chews are made of a special nylon. The hard plastic nylabone products are designed especially for powerful chewers. This is not indestructible. Nothing is indestructible with a Staffy! But it is meant to be impossible for the dog to break off large chinks of the plastic *. Instead they chew slowly, raising small hard nibs in the plastic which are meant to help clean the teeth as well. Eventually the bone will wear down, but it usually takes years. I have had nylabones for upwards of 5 years before, depending on the usage. All nylabones are also meant to be scented and flavoured. I do have some concerns about the chemicals used to scent and flavour these, but I feel far safer in this respect than with hide type chews.
When this bone arrived my youngest son opened it, and was playing with it before we brought the dog back in. I was shocked to see had decided to play doggy and was chewing away. I told him he had a tooth brush and the bone was for doggy, but since he had already had a taste I decided to ask him about the flavour ( after I snapped a picture of course). This is meant to be chicken flavoured, but my son says it is not. He says it is nice creamy taste. We then brought Tora in. She always knows if I am holding her Nylabone wolf bone, but she did not seem to notice anything this time. I held the bone out to her - and she walked away. I did eventually get her to try this, and once she got started she is enjoying this, but she seems to have more trouble finding it than the other and my guess is that the scent is not as strong. Of course I can only guess. I tend to be very sensitive to smells, but I really can't smell anything on either. When it comes to a sense of smell, we humans have virtually none in comparison to other animals.
I have noticed there is some difference in the feel of the plastic as well, and it is a slightly different shade. I also feel that this plastic is softer than the original wolf bone, she has made some very deep ridges into this and pulled off a few shreds, and we have only had it for 3 days. The advantage to this bone is that the nibs are softer than on the original. The nibs on the original bone often felt quite hard, and at times her gums would bleed some when chewing. That doesn't happen with this toy. I expect it will wear out sooner as well, but at £5.29 delivered ( Amazon), if they even last 6 months, I'd be happy enough. In short I think we have made a trade off, sacrificing some of the long levity and some of the scent and flavour, but gaining a softer product that is easier on the gums.
Tora is much calmer than when we got her now. She seems to have adjusted our family, happily spends much more time indoors and doesn't seem as stressed but she still enjoys her bone. I feel that all dogs do need something they are allowed to chew and having something that smells significantly different from our belongings is likely a bonus, making confusion less likely. She has never chewed anything she isn't meant to have indoors and her teeth remain clean and tartar free despite a real terror at having her mouth touched. She does prefer these to rawhide chews, but will take a pigs ear over either one, and prefers a meaty bone outside. I also feel this is safer alternative to rawhide. Staffies are such powerful chewers, they are less prone to choking on rawhide than many breeds as they tend to be more interested in chewing than eating and usually mash it into paste. I am very concerned by the level of chemicals in rawhide chews though many of which contain arsenic, insecticides and other nasties. I was also upset to learn that rawhides from Thailand are often made of dog skin rather than beef, and the slaughter process for these animals is pretty horrific.
* Nylabone claims that pieces no larger than a grain of rice will be chewed off, which if ingested will pass through the stomach harmlessly. I have read of several cases where people have claimed dogs have been harmed by these toys though. In many cases it seems to be a case of too small a toy for dog. Obviously, a yorkie sized bone presents a hazard to Rottweiler. Many other cases involve nylabone Gummy, a softer product which does not appear to be on the market anymore. I would note though, that Nylabone gummy was never intended to be chewed on by large dogs. Many of the products were meant to be used only with a human, like a tug toy or frisbee, others were meant for very small breeds. Please be very careful to buy the correct size and type of bone for your breed, and if in doubt buy a larger one, or ask your vet.This specific bone is very hard and meant for the most powerful breeds, but Nylabone has a large range of products, many of which look very similar. Be sure it says Dura Chew if this is the product you want. Many pet stores will also be familiar with the line and be able to advise suitable bone, but I'm afraid some pet shops do offer advice without really knowing what they are talking about. Working in pet shop does not require any qualifications. The harder chews are best for the powerful breeds, but I would strongly advise supervising a pet with a new toy, if the dog is able to break off any bits larger than grain of rice - the toy is not suitable - when in doubt - throw it out! Many accidents have also taken place when owners buy a small bone for a small dog and a large one for a larger dog, as the larger dog often helps himself to the smaller dogs stuff! Finally once this wears down enough that there is any possibility of it fitting down the hatch, it needs to be replaced.
I have had Staffies most of my life, and have always had nylabone chews. I have recommended them over and over, but common sense does apply. Watch your dog and inspect the toy regularly. Any sign of serious damage, don't hesitate - get rid of it. I would also point out that these bones are hard. They are not meant to be thrown. Catching any hard object may injure teeth. I can not promise that these are 100% safe. There could well be many things about this toy I don't know. I accept that any product may carry a minute risk. Dogs have been injured by natural bones, rawhides and virtually any type of chew product imaginable. But dogs do need to chew, and wild dogs chew bones as well. I have found that when owners fail to provide anything to satisfy a dogs chewing instinct - the dog usually chooses something himself - often with disastrous consequences. The number one cause of death in young Staffies is ingestion of foreign body. But all things considered, after years of experience of this product with several dogs, I feel this is the safest option going for indoor chew toys and will continue to buy these. For outside use - I would still prefer natural, raw meaty bones, although there is some debate as to the safety of these as well.
Information on rawhide chews can be found here:
Butchered dogs used in rawhide chews
( this is long graphic and horrific report focussing on the dog fur trade in which rawhide chews play only a small part - although the chews discovered were from Thailand - China also has a huge dog skin trade. Please be warned if you read this you will be sick and possibly in tears - the butchering process is 100 times worse than slaughterhouses, and some dogs are skinned alive.)
http://www.humanesociety .org/assets/pdfs/ What-is-that-they-re-wearing_ FurBooklet.pdf
The Dura Chew is a true classic from Nylabone and is covered in extremely tough and hard-wearing nylon for dogs with a particularly strong bite