I had thought my title to be pretty clever for a product review of a dog chew made from yak. You know, the long-haired bovine found throughout the Himalayan region of south Central Asia, the Tibetan Plateau, and parts of Mongolia and Russia? That yak?
Who knew that in the end, “yak” would describe how my dogs felt about it.
What first attracted me to the Himalayan Dog Chew was the product description, especially the part that read, “Dogs must work the end of the treat for hours.” I’m all for a treat that occupies my dogs’ mouths for hours if it means they’re too busy to bark at coyotes outside (also, clouds, dust bunnies fraternizing under the beds, and every time the furnace comes on). The problem was that my dogs wouldn’t touch the thing, let alone “work it for hours.”
But I digress. Let’s get back to the product description:
“The Original Himalayan Dog Chew is a very long lasting dog chew. Himalayan Dog Chews are made by boiling yak and cow milk and then dried for several weeks to create a hard chew. Dogs must work the end of the treat for hours, softening it with their mouths before small parts of it can be slowly scraped off. It is 100-percent natural with no preservatives. It is an authentic type of cheese eaten by the people of the Himalayas. When you give this Himalayan Dog Chew to your dog, you know that you are providing them with hours of high quality eating entertainment. Packaged by weight, quantities and size vary.”
Yum, right? But I’ve learned that a dog’s taste for this product also varies.
To be fair, other product reviews I read after coming to my own conclusion about it suggest that plenty of other dogs do like this chewie, and that’s the thing about reviewing something like dog food and treats. If, in my estimation, a product is natural, healthy, won’t cause harm and a dog likes it, I’m good with it. Not everyone loves black licorice, but everyone loves head cheese (wait. You don’t love head cheese?????) and dogs aren’t any different in having individual tastes. Of the items on the plate below, for example, my dogs will walk through a field of toe nail clippers to get to a bully stick, politely slime the Nylabone, amuse themselves happily with the antler, but totally ignored the Himalayan yak chew.
What you should know: The ingredients are all natural and the product has no preservatives, so that part is good.
Prices on Amazon.com range from $8.50 for a small yak chewie all the way up to to $15.08 for a six ounce extra large “stick.”
I’m not a fan of hard dog toys or chewies, as dental veterinarians will tell you that if you can’t leave a thumbnail mark in either, you should probably avoid giving it to your dog.Cow hooves and “Greenies,” while popular, can cause slab fractures, and trust me, you do not want your dog to have one of these. Some hard chews have lacerated a dog’s mouth and/or throat tissue, and some even lacerated their esophagus! While the Himalayan Dog Chew isn’t as hard as a hoof or Greenie, you should know that there are reports of powerful chewing dogs breaking off chunks of this product, and some owners had to get x-rays to ensure that their dog had no intestinal blockages. There is also a warning on the product: “WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD — Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.” So be smart about this. Stick to pig ears for the toddlers.
While my dogs have given this product a “paws down” review, I think that as long as you know that you can return the product if your dogs dislike it, too, it might be worth trying.