Himalayan dog chews, also known as yak chews, are long-lasting dog chews traditionally made from the cheese of Himalayan yaks. They are a healthy alternative to bully sticks and much safer than rawhide. Here is an in-depth review of Himalayan dog chews so share the best brands, the correct size, and what to watch out for.
Since discovering what bully sticks are actually made of, reading heart-breaking stores about dogs suffocating from rawhide chews, and learning of scary warnings about dogs choking on the ending stubs of bully sticks, I’ve been increasingly relying on these yak chews, sweet potato chews, and single-protein dog treats.
Over the years, I’ve tried out many different brands of yak cheese chews. I have some go-to brands that I want to share as it’s important to avoid those that can more easily fracture, mold, or be the wrong size for your dog. Here is my Himalayan dog chew review that I hope will help more people consider trying out this cheesy dog chew!
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What is a Himalayan Dog Chew?
A Himalayan dog chew is a hardened cheese snack made in the tradition of the Nepalese. When I say hard, I mean that I’m unable to break it apart with my hands. It’s definitely a durable snack worthy of the toughest chewers. Generally, Himalayan dog chews are made out of yak or cow milk, with minimal amounts of salt and lime juice.
If you’re curious about how to make it on your own, check out this Himalayan dog chew DIY instruction. Yak milk will produce a harder cheese. Cow milk will produce a softer cheese. Note, however, that you probably won’t be able to make it at home yourself but it’s still fun to read about how it’s traditionally made.
The Best Himalayan Dog Chew Brands
Himalayan Pet Supply is one of the original companies for yak cheese dog chews. It’s the first one I learned of and have been quite happy with over the years. They are committed to sourcing their products fairly and in keeping with the traditions of the Nepalese culture.
They originally partnered with small Nepalese farmers but have since been partnering with a third-generation family farm in Washington state.
They offer different sizes based on the weight of your dog.
I switched over from Himalayan Pet Supply company when I found out they now produce in the USA. There’s nothing quality-wise wrong with being made in the USA – I just prefer that when a product is made according to a specific culture, we should try to support that culture.
Himal Dog Treat is the brand I currently purchase. I like the idea of supporting local Nepalese farmers to purchase products that are based on their traditional methods.
Here are the various sizes for Himal dog cheese chews:
EcoKind Pet Treats | If your dog is a super aggressive chewer and goes through a lot of these chews, it might make sense to save money by buying in bulk.
Perhaps you’re having a doggie party, or you’re donating to a pet shelter. Or maybe your dogs really like these chews, and you’re stocking up.
How to Consume
The idea behind the Himalayan dog chew is that your dog really needs to soften it up with her saliva before being able to chew parts of it off.
My dog is occasionally able to chip off pieces directly from chewing it, which emits a loud crunching noise. This worries me a bit because perhaps the chew is too hard for her teeth, but I haven’t yet noticed any damage, so I’m okay so far. However, if it happens with your dog frequently, I’d ask your vet to make sure it’s okay.
You can let your dog chew off the cheese completely until it’s the size where it’s small enough to become a choking hazard. Definitely take it away, then. Good news, though – your dog can still finish the end pieces simply by popping it in the microwave.
How Long Do You Microwave a Himalayan Dog Chew?
When the Himalayan dog chew gets to the end stubs, you can pop it onto your microwave. Run it for 45 seconds and watch it closely. If it hasn’t puffed up completely, keep adding 10-15 seconds, all the time continuously watching and monitoring.
Too little and it doesn’t puff up enough! Too much and you get burnt cheese.
When I microwave my chews, it takes around 1 minute (but it depends on the power of your microwave, so best to monitor closely).
You’ll know it’s ready when it puffs up, doubles in size, and stops expanding. It’ll also smell like Parmesan crisps.
Once cooled down (give it 10 minutes to be safe), you can give it back to your dog for an easy-chewing treat.
Are Himalayan Chews Safe for Dogs?
Himalayan chews are safe to give your dogs as a treat. Through the years that I’ve given them to my dog, we’ve had to problems.
However, as with all dog treats and chews, please monitor them carefully while eating, especially at the beginning when they are first learning how to consume the treat.
Anything that’s meant to be tough can also carry some risks.
I don’t give my dog cooked bones because I’ve been warned about bones splintering and puncturing internal organs. However, it never occurred to me that I should be worried about hardened cheese doing the same.
As I was drafting this post, I wanted to consider some other customer perspectives since my own experiences represent a single data point. I read through hundreds of Amazon reviews, and some were down-right scary. Surgery stores, photos of shattered chews with pointy edges, and quality concerns. I started wondering if even I should reconsider giving these to my dog. It only takes one bad instance to change a dog’s life.
A Normal vs. Abnormal Himalayan Dog Chew
From my experience, this is what a normal gnawing will look like. No sharp edges and no splintering or cracking.
On the flip end, this is what I consider a sharp edge.
When I see these sharp edges, I take it away from my dog and request a refund from the company. I just can’t imagine those jagged edges doing down smoothly.
Will You Try Out the Cheese Chew for Dogs?
I hope this Himalayan dog chew review gives you more of an understanding of these vegetarian dog snacks. Will you be trying them out?
Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API