Pet product review: Stagbars and Bullbars – long lasting chew toys for dogs

Dogs enjoy chewing: it’s one of their real pleasures in life. Why do they do it? Sometimes it’s play behaviour – the equivalent of human toddlers playing with toys. On other occasions, dogs chew because they’re hungry, enjoying the taste of the object they’re chewing. Other times they may be trying to open something that has treats inside it (such as a box of chocolates, as one of my own dogs, Kiko, has been known to do). But perhaps most often, dogs just chew because they like doing it.
For dogs, chewing is one of life’s pleasant experiences. If dynamic imaging studies of dogs’ brains were carried out while they’re chewing, activity would be seen in areas of the brain associated with contentment. If blood samples were taken, there would be raised levels of feel-good neurotransmitter chemicals. For dogs, chewing is one of life’s pleasant experiences, and it’s good for them too, helping to keep their teeth clean.
Understandably, humans are often seriously irritated when dogs chew objects that are not “meant” to be chewed, such as expensive shoes or furniture. I am sometimes asked: how can I stop my dog from chewing? My answer is that you shouldn’t even try to stop them: instead you need to find something they can chew that doesn’t annoy you, and preferably, that’s good for them
That’s where Stagbars and Bullbars come in. They are a natural product, made from 100 per cent natural deer antlers and buffalo horns. Dogs love chewing them: just look at the photo of Finzi. They last longer than rawhide chews or compacted vegetable starch chews, and as they are slowly worn down with the grinding action of a dog’s teeth, the dry marrow inside is eventually exposed as a treat.
If you visit the Stagbar/Bullbar website, you’ll discover that they are available in a range of sizes so that you can choose the right one for your dog. You can also buy Stagbars with ropes attached, so that you can use them as tug-of-war toys with your dog, if that’s a game you enjoy. (Tug-of-war used to be frowned upon with dogs: if you let them “win”, you were said to be “giving them the wrong message”. Nowadays, thoughts have changed, and it’s OK to let your dog win sometimes……)
There are some health warnings about all chew toys. First, you are never meant to leave a dog unattended while she’s chewing: there are rare instances where dogs can get into trouble, either by choking, or due to a piece of broken chew object getting jammed somewhere like the roof of the mouth. Second, dogs can break their teeth if they chew objects that are too hard: veterinary dentists say that dogs should avoid chewing rock-hard objects.
You can buy Stagbars in pet shops or online: the prices vary from £4 (€4.80) for a small one, to £13 (€15.60) for the biggest. Bullbar horn dog chcews cost from £6 (€7.20) to £10 (€12). They last for weeks or months, so you need to take this long-lasting value into account when choosing to buy one.
Finzi certainly enjoys her Bullbar, as you can see from the photo. When she’s engaged with her Bullbar, she’s a contented, pre-occupied animal: the shoes and chocolates in our house are safe!

Comments are closed.

Please note that I am unable to answer veterinary questions in comments. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health it is always better to contact your vet.

Privacy | Terms and Conditions