My dogs have spent the past year trying just about every all-natural treat the local mom-and-pop pet-supply store has in stock. Turns out, they just adore organs. Spot and Dolly drool in anticipation of such high-protein treats, while I can’t wash the residue — and smell, at times — from my hands fast enough.
Here are four of their favorites:
1. Dehydrated lamb lung
Helen Goldblatt, owner of The Bone Appétit Bakery with her husband, Joe, got Spot and Dolly hooked on this particular animal organ. As soon as we enter the store, she heads for the lamb lung bin and finds a large piece to break up for them. This crunchy treat gets my pups to sit faster than any other item in the store.
Shopping tip: If you pull from a bin like I do as opposed to buying pre-packaged, pass over lamb lung with fatty deposits. They leave your hands a greasy mess if you break the treat into smaller pieces, plus your dogs don’t need the fat.
2. Baked bull penis
I buy “bully sticks” for Spot and Dolly by the dozen, but only recently did I learn that the name politely disguises the actual ingredient: bull penis. My pups love the long-lasting chew, and I like that the treat promotes healthy teeth and gums while keeping my pups mentally and physically engaged.
Shopping tip: Bully sticks come in regular and low-odor varieties. While you probably prefer less-stinky treats, your dog might like the regular sticks better as some of the bull blood remains.
3. Baked buffalo ears
My dogs tried this treat for the first time just recently, and it was a hit. Spot strutted around the house with his ear, while Dolly got right to chewing.
Despite their appreciation of this particular animal organ, I don’t see giving the ears to them on a regular basis because of how long they last. They gnawed on their respective ears for about 10 minutes at a time for days, leaving them soggy and in places where I would accidentally step on them. Thank goodness it’s sock weather!
Shopping tip: If you have carpet in the home, avoid smoked buffalo ears as well as smoked bully sticks. Your dogs may love the added flavor, but you won’t like the stains they leave behind on the floor.
4. Dried salmon skin
The least disgusting (to me) item on this list rivals lamb lung as Spot and Dolly’s favorite. In addition to being packed with protein like the others, the Omega 3 fatty acids in salmon skin support healthy skin, joints, heart, and kidneys.
Shopping tip: Salmon and cod skins are the most commonly available in treat form, with salmon providing far higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids than cod.
While I find all of the above disgusting, some more than others, Spot and Dolly enjoy them as treats, so they will continue to get them — with the exception of buffalo ears — on a regular basis. I purchase all of the above from bins, as opposed to pre-packaged, at my local mom-and-pop pet store, the owners of which can tell me everything I need to know about a particular treat, from sourcing and processing to recommended sizes and servings. Spot and Dolly have never had any issues with these treats, but you may want to run them by the family vet first.
Let’s hear from you, readers. Are there any treats that make your dogs drool but disgust you? Share your experiences in the comments!