09 Jan Kitty Poppins and Treasure Hunting (for Chewable Treats)
This story includes bones, pig ears, cat nip, and other chewable treats and random objects. Do not try this at home (at least not before reading our list of perfectly safe chews at the end of the story).
Remember me? My name is Kitty Poppins. I rule a queendom filled with mysterious humans, claw-able furniture, and a tremendously goofy dog named Sherlock Bones. Today, Sherlock Bones and I welcome you to join us on our fierce treasure hunt around our new queendom. As always, our goal is to find a motherload of catnip, which the mischievous humans have hidden from us.
Ready, Set, GO!
We recently moved to a new queendom and since then, our humans have filled the cupboards and closets with odd “people-things”. However, amongst the nonsense, they also hide our favourite chewable treats, such as pig ears and catnip. But Sherlock Bones and I are not supposed to snoop and sniff around, our humans have repeatedly told us so. Of course, this motivates us to snoop around like nothing else. So, we’ve stepped aside, just to wait for that right moment to come, for us to investigate further. And that moment has finally arrived!
Chewable “Treasure” no. 1
My paws may not have thumbs on them, but that doesn’t stop me from opening a variety of closets, cupboards, and drawers. With Sherlock Bones tapdancing next to me, I stroll my way over to a closet by the cold food box the humans call “the fridge”. I open the closet with ease. So I dive in, pushing random objects on the floor for Sherlock Bones to nibble on. As a result, he’s going to dig in and learn which of the items are chewable and which are not.
Trying his teeth on multiple kettles, pots and pans, Sherlock Bones abandons them. He states his disapproval:
“Treasure” no. 2
I work my claws on the drawer handle. Nothing. I push against it, tap-tap-tap, shove and scratch. But it stays closed. Sherlock Bones tilts his head from left to right, following my struggle. Flustered, I turn around to push down a flower vase filled with daisies and lilies. Clink — the vase bounces off the floor and rolls under the kitchen table. What is it with humans and their obsession with plastic items around the house?
Sherlock Bones wobbles on his hind legs. It’s his turn to work his paws on the drawer I failed to open. Tug-tug-tug. A small opening is enough for him to push his wet nose in: the treasure chest is now wide open.
But no catnip. People have filled the drawer with keys, coins, and abandoned cat toys. Nothing chewable. One by one, my paws shove them down to the floor. As a result, Sherlock Bones attacks a colourful mouse toy, the very same our humans recently offered me, insulting my high intelligence and undeniable style. Only half-wits (like dogs) play with such senseless things.
For the love of purr, I hope we find catnip soon.
Treasure no. 3
The cupboard rises in front of us, from the floor all the way to the ceiling. Sherlock Bones on one side, me on the other, we scratch, push, tug, and pull the doors until the enormous treasure chest opens.
A shelf at a time, I leap my way to the top. From here I’ll work my way down, shelf by shelf, Sherlock Bones catching the items that fall from the treasure sky.
At the back of the top shelf, I spot a chewable bone, wrapped inside a plastic bag. Humans and their desire to wrap things… just another sign of unintelligence; why cover and hide something you’ve clearly bought for us to eat?
So, I shove the bone down to Sherlock Bones. He dodges and lets the treat land on the carpet. His teeth rip off the plastic. Like the numbskull he is, he then circles around the house, trying to find a worthy hiding place for the discovered, chewable treasure. Once he’s hidden the bone between the living room couch pillows, Sherlock Bones returns to the crime scene.
The second shelf down, I finally see it; the motherload. All four paws swinging, I push down each and every object around me. Catnip, chewy sticks, pig ears, kitty chow, raw bones, cookies, and a dozen goodie bags fly off the shelf and down to the floor. As soon as I’ve cleared the shelf, I launch myself down and land softly in the middle of the treat pile. Sherlock Bones wags his tail and stares at me with his tongue hanging out.
What the woof is okay for me to eat?
To chew or not to chew? — A short checklist for dog owners
Be careful with:
- Nylon or other plastic bones
- Hard cheese block bones
- Cow hooves
- Bones high in fat
- Large/thick, uncooked bones or meat bones
Nylon bones, hard cheese blocks, antlers and cow hooves are too hard and may cause dogs to chip their teeth when chewing.
Sticks may splinter and cause cuts in the mouth, sinking easily into the soft mucous membrane in a dog’s mouth or getting stuck between teeth or in the gums.
Excessive amounts of bones with a high fat content may cause acute pancreatitis.
Uncooked bones or meat bones that are not kept refrigerated pose a risk of bacterial overgrowth. There is also a possible risk of infectious agents, even when refrigerated, such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter. They pose a risk to pets as well as their owners.
Large/thick uncooked bones are very hard and may cause chipping of the teeth when chewed. Chicken and pork bones are likely to splinter whether raw or cooked, so they pose a risk to the mouth and rest of the gastrointestinal tract.
Generally safe to eat:
- Flexible dental chews
- Low fat bones and chews
- Jerky treats
- Steamed, cooked, or smoked bones
that are specifically manufactured for dogs
- Raw hide bones
Though these chewable treats may seem very sanitary, raw hide bones still come with a slight risk of salmonella. Don’t forget to wash your hands!
Keep in mind that jerky treats have been associated with Fanconi syndrome. Despite extensive research, the cause of Fanconi syndrome has not yet been isolated conclusively.
Aptus recommends flexible chews, especially if your dog is an aggressive chewer. Try out our thumbnail test: Press on the chew, does it give in a little? If it doesn’t, it’s most likely too hard for your dog’s teeth.
Steamed, cooked, or smoked bones that are specifically manufactured for dogs are generally safe, however it is important to choose the right size bone. If a bone is too small, pieces may break off and cause a choking hazard.
The risk of choking is something we need to consider with any chewable treat or toy handed to our dog. Don’t leave your dog alone with these treats, keep an eye out for trouble.
We wish all dogs happy and safe chew times!
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