For lack of a better term, this is the category under which the class Nylabone would fall. Nylabones are infused with flavor, but are also quite durable, and not really ‘edible’ in the traditional sense.
Starmark (formerly Triple Crown) makes a fantastic line of treats and toys that fit together (Everlasting Treats and Toys), and create a great combination between rubber, Kong-like chew toys, and digestible, edible treats.
This category doesn’t always contain the most wholesome ingredients in the flavoring, but generally they are a fantastic way to make sure your dogs get their chewing fix (dogs are genetically designed, and inclined, to chew). Two other brands of toy/treat combos worth exploring are Kong, and Premier Pet Products’ Busy Buddy line; the Busy Buddies are particularly clever creations for your dog to explore.
As a point of reference we’ll explore how the Nylabone brand, in particular, has further blurred the line between treats and toys with their Healthy Edibles line. These are significantly more digestible than traditional Nylabones, and you’ll actually observe your dog biting off chunks and eating them; the Dura Chew, on the other hand is the hardest, and it works by breaking down into tiny little shavings that are easily passed by the dog if eaten, but it isn’t ‘edible’ in the sense that bites could be chewed off and swallowed.
Generally the harder chews and toys need less supervision than toy/treat hybrids that are more easily broken off and swallowed. More toy-oriented things like Dura Chews are fantastic for teeth cleaning, and low-supervision, I-need-to-keep-my-dog-busy for awhile toys, while Healthy Edibles are more of a longer-lasting, extended-reward treat.
The popularity of edible chews seems to be on an exponential rise. Bully sticks, beef tendons, tripe, pig ears, even buffalo bully sticks and tripe, are just some of the latest forms of more natural treats to hit the market; and these are some of our favorites for your dog.
While these treats certainly are processed to shelf stability, they are much more natural to your dog’s eating/chewing habits than synthetic chews and toys. Much of the emergence of these types of treats stems from growing concerns over rawhide. We don’t see rawhide as a boogeyman, but certainly dogs should not be left to eat large quantities (say a 4” sized bone or larger) in one sitting.
Things like bully sticks, however, represent something a dog might very well eat in the wild. There are also many higher quality options now available which source free range cattle and are chemical-free. Rawhides are often heavily processed, bleached, cleaned, etc. to make the product appealing to the consumer.