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native woman with Himalayan dog chews

Are Himalayan Dog Chews Safe? Are They Healthy?

With their exotic name and unusual ingredients, Himalayan dog chews are popular chew treats for canines of all sizes. We assess their safety and health benefits.

When looking at dog treats and chews, it can be hard to choose from the huge range of options. Some treats are good for big dogs, others for hyperactive dogs, and some shouldn’t be given to some types of dogs at all. So are Himalayan dog chews safe and healthy?

Most dogs can safely eat Himalayan dog chews without an issue, and they are a health treat as well as being good for the dog’s teeth. They take a long time to eat and will occupy even very large dogs for several hours. They are also a high source of protein.

We’ll look at the ingredients of Himalayan dog chews and consider the benefits and downsides of these treats. We’ll consider some aspects to be aware of around these treats and whether Himalayan dog chews are safe to give your dogs as a treat.

What are Himalayan Dog Chews?

Himalayan dog chews are a hard treat that comes in a stick or bar shape.

The main ingredients are yak milk and cow milk, mixed with salt and lime juice.

They are a low odor treat which won’t stink up the house, nor will they cause staining when consumed.

To make them, cow and yak milk is boiled. The resulting substance is then dried over multiple weeks and further ingredients are added, eventually forming it into a really hard chew.

This production process also avoids the need for any preservatives or additives, meaning the product is not overly processed and is fully digestible.

A common misconception of these treats is that they are bones or contain bone matter. While there are some elements of calcium in these treats due to the dairy, they are not bones.

These Himalayan dog treats are in fact better than bones, as even uncooked bones may have disease-causing bacteria. This can cause a range of issues including vomiting and diarrhea. 

And their dairy-based nature is easier for many people to handle than animal part treats like pig ears, deer antlers, or bully sticks (which are made from, yes, bull penises).

What Are the Health Risks of Himalayan Dog Chews?

One of the most common issues with giving new food or treats to your dog is ascertaining whether the new food may have ingredients that your dog is allergic to.

If your dog has had few health issues, this is easy to research, but harder if your dog has had issues in the past.

To do such monitoring, you should feed a small part of the food to the dog and observe them closely afterwards. Any adverse reactions or strange behavior will generally be quite obvious.

As we have already seen, Himalayan dog treats don’t have many ingredients, so their chance of setting off any given dog due to a milk allergy is low. The manufacturing process of Himalayan dog treats also means almost all lactose is removed.

The other hazard is a choking hazard, and you should therefore always monitor your pooch for any breathing or swallowing issues while they are consuming the treat (or any treat or chew for that matter!). Never allow a dog to have a consumable chew unsupervised. Safety issues can arise if small chunks break off, causing a choking hazard.

Puppies, especially under six months old, should not be having very hard dog treats. Puppy teeth are not permanent and can break rather quickly. 

What Are the Benefits of Himalayan Yak Chews?

As they are hard treats, your dog will need to suck and chew on them over time. This softens the treat enough for your dog to consume it, keeping your dog occupied for a period.

This same act of long term gnawing and chewing also helps promote good dental health, both by scraping away plaque build-ups or deposits and encouraging healthy gums.

The treats can come various different flavors which gives you a lot of options to please your dog. While most dogs are not picky eaters, it’s good to at least have the options to explore if the one flavor of Himalayan dog chews doesn’t interest your furry companion.

dog chewing on Himalayan dog chew

If you’re looking for a way to supplement protein intake, you’ll find that Himalayan dog chews are very high in this useful substance. Some brands, such as the Himalayan Mixed Dog Chew, will go above 55% protein.

While being high protein, these treats are also great for any dog on a low fat diet. You can expect less than 1% fat for almost any brand of dog treat listed as Himalayan dog chews. These treats are also often very low in sodium.

These types of treats are ideal for dogs on a diet who are still having food cravings.

These long-lasting treats can keep a dog thinking that they are eating a lot, but in fact they are spending huge amounts of energy on a very high protein snack that is not providing huge amounts of calories. 

One great tip with Himalayan dog chews is that they will occupy your dog for a long time. User reviews and advertising seems to put the figure anywhere from five hours to over 10 hours.

And once the treat gets to a small size, you can put it in the microwave for a minute or two. This will cause the treat to expand, giving you even more value out of the treat.

Keep in mind that the treat will get very hot on the inside when you microwave it. Let it cool for at least a few minutes before giving it to your dog.

Given the lack of ingredients that will spoil, these yak cheese treats can be stored in a dry container with little issues, and you can make it airtight by using a lid with a jar or similar, however this is not strictly necessary.

What Are the Downsides of Himalayan Dog Chews and Are These Dog Chews Safe?

The treats can be very tough and won’t suit older dogs who don’t quite have the strength in their bite to deal with these. 

Any previous teeth, gum or general mouth health issues will likely make your dog unsuited to Himalayan dog chews. If you’re concerned about teeth issues, one way to manage this is to only allow chewing sessions of about 20 minutes at a time.

These yak cheese treats can also be soaked in water for a few minutes to help soften them up.

Counterintuitively, it’s also not a great idea to feed these treats to dogs with very strong bites, as there have been reports of dogs biting off a large chunk of these treats, only for it to get stuck in their throat or worse yet, cause an intestinal blockage. Such obstructions usually require immediate surgery and can be fatal.

Given their dry nature, you want to make sure your dog has more than enough water. For this reason, it is probably best to avoid giving your dog such treats on incredibly hot or dry days to avoid taxing their health too much.

If your dog has a habit of swallowing large chunks of dog food (or anything else you feed them) then this may not be the best idea. Even a small chunk of a Himalayan dog treat will take a very long time to be broken down.

Superb Dog Editor

Superb Dog Editor