Whenever I’m at the till of a pet shop I almost can’t help but word-vomit out “We’ll see how long this lasts – nothing lasts five minutes in our house”. But it’s true, toys, treats, chews – five minutes and it’s either crumbs in the carpet or stuffing under the sofa.
But now we’ve found a fantastic natural chew that can last Phoebe and Frank up to four days, or over an hour in total: hairy deer leg.
We found these small deer legs in Darwin’s Pet supplies for £2.50 each, but there were even larger ones for a couple of quid more, too. I wanted to start off small though, firstly to see if Phoebe and Frank would enjoy them, but also to see how well they last.
Many owners avoid any treats with bone in it, but the main danger with bones is if they’re cooked. While you should avoid giving your dogs boiled or fried bones as they can splinter, deer leg chews like this have been gently air dried, which prevents them from going too hard, while retaining nutrients, making them a safe and highly valuable chew.
These bones were around 30cm in length and around an inch in diameter, complete with hoof and hair. The 100% natural venison chew is gluten and grain free which is ideal for dogs who suffer with sensitivities or intolerances and are free from added artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavours.
The single protein source is great for bone, joint and coat health due to the cartilage being a rich source of collagen, while the legs also contain fat, calcium, manganese and iron, all of which are essential to your dog’s overall wellbeing.
When I gave these to Phoebe and Frank in the garden, both dogs took the treat and slunk off to gnaw at them in peace. Frank was a little unsure but did have a good chew before ditching it in favour of his Scooby Doo ball, while Phoebe gnawed at hers for half an hour straight, with half a deer leg still intact when I took them away.
Gnawing is a natural instinct and it’s great to encourage this in the right way, as it can combat boredom and act as a stress reliever. Not only that, but it’s great for their dental hygiene too, helping remove tartar and plaque build up better than any dental stick.
The hair on the leg can act as a natural de-wormer, much like with rabbit ears with hair, or hair cow ears, this is because when these hairs pass through the intestines, they work like a brush and remove undigested food and help remove worms from the intestine.
The following day, Phoebe and Frank both had their deer legs again, and without the distraction of a squeaky ball, Frank really sunk his teeth into the leg. Because the venison is firm but chewy, they’re ideal for aggressive chewers like Phoebe and Frank because it offers them a little bit of a challenge while strengthening their teeth and jaws.
Phoebe managed to break down most of the bone in her leg, and so there was only a small amount we threw in the bin, although Frank left a lot more bone after gnawing around it. In total, a small hairy deer leg lasted the dogs around one hour and 10 minutes, which was split over two days, but ideally, we’d split that over three or four days.
Next time, we’ll definitely get the bigger size now that we know they’re appropriate for the Scamps, as well as being low in fat and cholesterol. It’s definitely a chew better suited to bigger breeds and is excellent value for money. But as always, be sure to pick a size appropriate chew and always monitor your pets when they have treats.