General Question

suncatnin's avatar

What are some long lasting dog treats?

Asked by suncatnin (628points) February 15th, 2010

I’m a doctoral student who is home probably 20 hours/day, and I’m basically a single “mom” to a 5 year old beagle, Roxy. She is extremely allergic to corn, epileptic, has acid reflux, and is highly destructive. Roxy’s currently tethered to my foot as the only way I can keep her from getting into trouble (attacking shoes, chewing metal, eating the carpet, etc) without just putting her in her crate.

She loves pigskin treats, but they make her smell like death, only keep her occupied for 10–20 min and they cause her to eat her own poo I’ve tried kongs/bones filled with peanut butter/kibble/etc, puzzle toys, bully sticks, and even the toughest toys are destroyed in <30 minutes. She’s ball-obsessed and will just bark at you to play fetch. Walks just give her more energy and doesn’t work at 1am in a city. She’s quiet in the yard during the day but starts playing doggy relay operator within 5 minutes at night, much to my housemates’ and neighbors’ dismay.

With all of this in mind, what are some long term (hour plus? please?) treats/activities that my dog can do indoors on her own? I’m thinking of maybe doing raw bones in her crate, but I’m afraid of upsetting her (extremely delicate) system.

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17 Answers

stemnyjones's avatar

You’ve tried bones like these? If so, good luck finding something she can’t destroy – my pitbulls couldn’t even put a dent in those things.

suncatnin's avatar

I can’t get the pre-filled ones like that because they all contain corn starch/corn syrup/etc. I get the empty ‘roasted’/natural ones and fill them, but she has no interest in the empty shell once she gets all the filling out/gets any meat remnant off the outside. She actually has broken the side off of one of the ones like this:

stemnyjones's avatar

Wow. Yeah, I had the same problem – my dog would lick out as much of the filling as she could, then she would just ignore it.

Well, even though she is a small breed, the company who owns Kongs does recommend that if your dog is able to destroy a Kong, you should try the next size up.

suncatnin's avatar

Yeah, the problem with the kongs though is that they don’t last long enough. Even if the filling is frozen and tightly packed (I was feeding her this way for a while), she’ll empty it in less than 30 minutes and go looking for trouble. She is positively obsessive!

I buy just about everything at least one size up, especially things for chewing. I thought about getting another Nylabone, which will periodically keep her interest, but she’s missing 3 or 4 teeth on one side from persistently chewing on metal and I was concerned about gum damage. I have to wonder sometimes if she’s part goat…

Thanks for brainstorming with me!

faye's avatar

Is it dog whisperer time? He says badly behaved dogs are unhappy.

suncatnin's avatar

@faye I’d love to have the money to address her issues with a dog behaviorist (we’ve been through Advanced Basic obedience, which is different, and I practice an adapted form of Nothing In Life Is Free with her), but unfortunately, all my discretionary funds go into her vet care! The yearly liver testing that goes with the phenobarb to control her seizures is $$$ and it took a long time (and a lot of money) to determine that her chronic UTIs and chronic ear infections were both linked to the skin problems caused by her corn allergy. Let’s not even get into eating rolls of pennies/cardboard/etc and the vet bills from that. I spend close to 15% of my gross yearly income on her and her issues, so I’m trying to come up with cheap and effective ways to entertain her so that I can get work done without having to crate her during the day/late at night. She sleeps in the bed with me overnight.

I’m aware that she’s not happy (nor am I, for that matter), and I’m trying to come up with things to make her happier. We used to go to the dog park, but she’s slightly too big for the small dog section and she does not like big dogs. They tended to play too rough with her, and I’m now dealing with dog-reactive issues towards large dogs with her because of it. The cats that live here beat her up (I’m renting a room from some friends, so she and I basically live in an 11×13 room together with kitchen/bath/yard privileges). The yard simply isn’t big enough to wear her out playing fetch, and she started resource-guarding the ball, so fetch is out for now.

I know she’s bored, which is why I’m trying to come up with some new activities/treats/chews to keep her mind, mouth, and body engaged. However, this dog is a destruction incarnate and has the attention span of a gnat (except for when she’s obsessing over something). I can’t even leave her unsupervised (4 years later…) out of her crate long enough to take a shower.

It’s come to a head right now because we’ve had snow on the ground for 2+ weeks now and she’s only been out on leash lately since I’ve been problem-solving a separate issue (coprophagia) with her. The cause of that issue is the pigskin chews that had been keeping her occupied, so I’m back to the drawing board on a new item to keep her attention.

marinelife's avatar

Raw bones should not upset her digestive system. Quite the contrary in fact.

sakura's avatar

try these, you fill them with treats or even just plain dog food and your dog has to try and lick the food out. The one I had for my dog, befoer he lost it worked a treat!! Especially if I filled it with philadelphia (cream cheese) He went mad for it!!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Get her bones from the butcher,meanwhile check out a book by “The Dog Whisperer”.He is very good.Good luck:)

CMaz's avatar

I am glad my dog likes to play wit rocks. Nothing else seems to last very long.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ChazMaz-Mine used to then switched to small logs.I then bought her a baseball bat that she carries on our walks so I can beat the shit out of coyotes.

CMaz's avatar

That is a cool dog!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ChazMaz -She really is.She’ll carry it 6 miles down the path.It’s cute.People on the path where I walk have taken photos of her before because she’s so charming with her coyote cracker.

Val123's avatar

@ChazMaz We had a dog who would just go ape over catching rocks we’d throw out into the lake. If you threw something designed for a dog to play catch with, and that floated, she’d ignore it. She had to have rocks. Plus, she then got into this thing of diving for them and bringing them up from the bottom then bringing them to us. They weren’t the actual rocks we’d thrown of course, but she didn’t know that! it was interesting to watch. She’d feel for the rocks with her feet, the she’d flat disappear under the lake like a seal or something, and come up with this rock!

suncatnin's avatar

@marinelife The only reason that I thought they might upset her stomach is the thought that they would be too rich and a change in her routine. I actually have to regularly give her acid reducers to keep the reflux under control.

@sakura I have a kong and hollow bones that work the same. I think cream cheese would not be a good idea fat-wise for my dog, and I try to do peanut butter only in moderation. Do you have any ideas for other similarly sticky treats that are lower in fat and completely corn free? She’s right around 27 lbs right now, and if anything, she should lose about 5, and not gain any.

@lucillelucillelucille I have the Dog Whisperer book, but I have some disagreements with some of the ways he does things (as do many in the dog behaviorist community). I do enforce “pack order” through modified Nothing in Life is Free: wait until I give the command before she can eat, I go through doors first, and I invite her to bed. She will listen if I give commands (sit/stay/wait/down/up/off/go to the room/go to the crate/find your toy/find your treat/drop it). I use a halti to keep her under control/in a heel during walks because the nose always wins with hounds :)

The epilepsy presents a unique challenge sometimes because in the 48 hours or so leading up to a seizure, her personality will completely change. She will become aggressive and obstinate, and while she may get into trouble the rest of the time with her curiosity (that’s really what this comes down to), she’s not a bad dog; she’s just insanely curious with a strong nose and a short attention span.

sakura's avatar

How about just softening her food biscuits with boiling water and putting them in the kong, that way she is only getting her normal food but having to work out to get it?

suncatnin's avatar

@sakura In the summer, I’ll actually do that and then freeze them in advance (mind you, I was pulling random bits of kibble out of the freezer for months after). :)

As a bit of an update, my local Kroger (I don’t know where a free-standing butcher shop would be) does not have raw bones, but I did get a variety of smoked bones and a new Nylabone, and I had some peace and quiet last night for several hours. It was quite lovely, though considering that she made it over halfway through a pork humerus bone in about an hour, could be a bit expensive in the long run. :) Thanks for the brainstorming everyone! Sometimes, you just need to be able to bounce ideas off of people.

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