Ah, puppies. When I brought my Alaskan shepherd, Eira, home as a two-month-old, I couldn’t wait to cuddle up on the couch with her snuggly self. And at first, that’s exactly what we did a lot of: sit on the couch together, letting her get used to my toddler and to her new home. But as soon as she got comfortable, Miss Eira began to chew everything in sight with those needle-like puppy teeth. Bringing a stick inside for her to chew wasn’t an option (too messy). We didn’t have any bones around, and besides—I’d heard mixed opinions on whether bones are safe or not. After some Google searching to find out what I could give Eira so she’d stop chewing my winter boots, base moulding, curtains, stuffed animals, wood blocks, and so forth, I discovered Nylabone products. Now that Eira’s older, she doesn’t chew things she shouldn’t. But oh, how she loves her Nylabones!
The amazing thing about Nylabone products is that there’s a safe chewing bone for every dog, no matter the age or weight. Let’s first look at what you can give those young puppies who want to sink their teeth into every single item in your house.
Best Nylabone Products for Puppies 0-3 Months Old
Nylabone carries a line of products specifically for puppies who haven’t grown adult teeth yet. The softer rubber bones help ease teething pain, and they last a long time. Eira’s favorite bone, the simple chicken-flavored Puppy Chew Bone from Nylabone, lasted her for three months. When it got too small and became a choking hazard, I threw it away. (And got her a new one!)
Eira as a young puppy, napping with a Kong toy and her first Nylabone.
If you purchase this bone for a puppy without adult teeth—and who isn’t yet a strong chewer—it should take your pup time to break it down into a piece too small to chew. The bone becomes textured and somewhat stringy on the ends where the puppy chews, which acts like a toothbrush and floss on your dog’s teeth.
SaleNylabone Puppy Chew Bone Buy on Amazon
Still, make sure you don’t leave your pup with this bone all night, and keep an eye on her when she’s chewing it during the day. If you notice any pieces break off that are big enough for your dog to choke on, take the bone and pieces away. It’s time for a bigger Nylabone, or better yet, an edible Nylabone!
Yes, Nylabone makes edible chews. Eira’s favorites were these lamb- and apple-flavored Healthy Edibles chews.
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Shaped like little barnyard animals, the chews’ delightful texture and taste kept Eira busy during many car rides that would otherwise have been disastrous. The chews worked better than the melatonin tablets I gave her to try to keep her calm!
If your pup needs extra soothing, try Nylabone’s Puppy Pacifier.
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With an irresistible bacon flavor and an exciting ring with two dangling soothers, this pacifier keeps your puppy’s attention off your winter boots and leather work shoes.
Best Nylabone Products for Puppies 4-6 Months Old
By now, your puppy is beginning to lose her puppy teeth and grow adult teeth. She’s becoming a moderate chewer and needs stronger Nylabone products in order to safely satisfy her desire to chew.
While Nylabone offers chew toys on the ‘moderate’ chew scale, Eira skipped right to the ‘strong’ bones once her adult teeth had started coming in. The moderate bones were too soft for her. Even smaller breeds can be aggressive chewers once their adult teeth come in, so I recommend skipping right to the ‘strong’ bones. If those are still too much for your pup, try Nylabone’s Natural Nubz. These edible bones have raised bumps to help keep your dog’s mouth clean.
For a small Natural Nubz that your littler dogs will love, try these:
Nylabone Natural Nubz Small Buy on Amazon
At 4-6 months old, Eira loved the Nylabone stick chew. This ‘strong’ chew tastes like maple bacon and has real wood in it, but it doesn’t splinter into a million sharp shards like a real stick.
SaleNylabone Stick Chew Real Wood Buy on Amazon
Best Nylabone Products for Puppies from 7+ Months to Adulthood
Here’s where finding Nylabone products for your pup gets really fun. Depending on their age and jaw strength, you can continue to give them ‘strong’ chews or move them straight to ‘power’/’extreme’ chews, which are pretty much indestructible.
When Eira turned 7 months old, I brought home a Nylabone Femur Alternative Power Chew. It’s kind of gross-looking—it’s supposed to resemble a slab of femur meat, after all—but she loved it.
Nylabone Femur Alternative Power Chew Buy on Amazon
While smaller than the marketing photographs make it appear, the femur bone still provides a tasty chewing experience and is (much) less disgusting to have in your house than, say, a real femur bone.
We still have the fake femur bone, but it’s covered in dirt because Eira loved it so much, she took it outside with her one day. So, now she plays with it just before she takes naps in the languid Alaska summer sunshine.
Since she took her femur outside, I did some poking around to find out which Nylabone could replace it indoors. I wanted to find her something a little different.
This bison-flavored imitation wishbone did the trick.
Nylabone Bison Wishbone Power Chew Buy on Amazon
Eira hungrily eyes her new wishbone.
As you can tell from the photo I took, the wishbone is curved. While a small detail, this makes a big difference: Eira batted the wishbone all over the floor, turned it with her paws, and chewed on each bone nub. Not only is this wishbone tasty, but it’s also entertaining in a way that a straight, flat bone isn’t.
Her face says it all: she adores her Nylabone bison wishbone power chew.
A little later on, I did more research on the web before finding her next perfect chew: the Nylabone Power Chew Knot Bone.
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This one looks like a rawhide bone, but it’s safer—plus it tastes like chicken. And out of all the Nylabone products Eira has ever enjoyed, it’s the one that has lasted longest and showed the least amount of wear and tear.
She loves her Nylabone imitation rawhide bone so much, she brought it outside with her to pee!
Whenever I try to take this power chew away from Eira to throw it for her, she gives me a look like this:
“Don’t even think about taking my bone!”
I’m betting it will last at least another six months. That’s money well spent on a “rawhide” bone!
If you’re looking for a bone you can leave with your dog—an edible bone for power chewers—this is the one that’s lasted the longest for us.
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Eira loves how this bone tastes, and it takes her a couple of days to completely finish chewing and eating it. It’s our go-to bone for road trips or those days when we have to leave her home for more than an hour or two at a time.
A Few Words of Warning
The amazing thing about these Nylabone products is that they’re all safe for puppies, even if they’re power chews. If you have two puppies—a 6+-months-old pup and a 2-month-old pup, for example—always purchase the Nylabone suitable for the bigger dog. The reason is simple but important: you don’t want your power-chewing older dog to get ahold of a soft, ‘gentle’ Nylabone chew. Bigger, older puppies can more easily chomp the softer bones into small pieces, which can become lodged in the dogs’ throat or intestines.
Young puppies, on the other hand, can attempt to chew the stronger bones without risking their safety. If you want to give your young puppy a softer Nylabone chew, supervise her and your older puppy or dog the entire time, or put the puppy in a crate to enjoy her chew alone for a bit. Make sure to put the bones away whenever you leave your pups alone.
If your dog starts choking, perform canine CPR immediately. I had to do that for my German shepherd, Bella, once, and it wasn’t because she’d been chewing a Nylabone—just a stick. Dogs can choke on a lot of things, and Nylabones are generally safe as long as you purchase the appropriate size and chew strength for your oldest dog.
Once any of your Nylabones break down into chunks (as opposed to wear slowly down in one piece, as they should) throw them away immediately and watch your dog for any signs of an intestinal obstruction. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, inability to eat, and weakness. If your dog exhibits any of these signs after chewing a broken Nylabone, take her to the vet immediately.
A great way to keep tabs on how your Nylabones are holding up is to wash them regularly. Whatever you do, do not put Nylabones in the dishwasher. Don’t boil them in hot water. Don’t microwave them. The heat of any of these methods and more like them can cause the bones to become brittle and dangerous to your dog.
All you need to do is wipe your Nylabone with warm water, gentle dish soap, and a cloth or scrub brush. Check it for signs that it’s getting too small for your pup to chew safely, or for cracks that could turn into broken-off pieces.
While the Healthy Edibles line is generally safe to leave alone with your pup, I’d recommend that if she’s never had them before, give them to her when you’re with her. That way, you can watch and see if she has any issues chewing the bone or seems ill afterward. If she seems fine, you’re in the clear to give her a Healthy Edibles chew when you’re not around.
Just make sure to buy the appropriate size!