I love discovering new products that my dogs might enjoy
, so when I came across Stagbars I was intrigued. Stagbars are stag antlers that are made into dog chews - obviously you don't give your dog the whole antler, they are cut into size appropriate chunks and sold by weight. Stags grow new antlers every season, and shed their old ones, so this is a very environmentally friendly business, which uses basically a waste product and turns it to good use. Sounds good so far, the only question left was would my dogs be as enthusiastic as I was?
We have three dogs, Buddy a Labrador, Star a Bichon Frise, and Rusty a Border Collie. They each have their own personalities and preferences, and they approached this new chew with different attitudes.
We presented Rusty with his Stagbar and he immediately picked it up and threw it at our feet. He did this several times, as for him things have to move to be interesting. So we skidded his Stagbar over the kitchen floor and he gave delighted chase. Several times he retrieved it and brought it back to our feet. Then something about the new toy interested him, and suddenly he lay down with it and started to chew it. Being an intelligent dog he stopped every so often to sniff the middle of the Stagbar, which is tasty marrow. Rusty is our most hard mouthed dog - he can dispatch a tennis ball within one outing - and he does love to chew and gnaw, so he definitely gave Stagbars the seal of approval.
Next we gave Star her Stagbar. Now Star may be a small, fluffy dog who in another household might be bedecked in bling and stuffed into an armpit or a handbag, but she is all wolf at heart, so a tough new chew was right up her street. She gave it a sniff, did a play bow to the Stagbar, and then lay down to do some serious chewing. We could hear her teeth bearing down on the Stagbar, and though we smiled at her eagerness, the treat does help keep clean dogs' teeth, so it was nice to know that while she was having fun she was doing herself good too.
Buddy is full of enthusiasm for virtually everything despite being nearly ten years old, and having undergone three bouts of surgery recently. He wagged his tail when we offered his Stagbar, and took it straight out of my hand without so much as a sniff. He had a new plaything, and he was over the moon. He strutted round and round the lounge, wagging his tail, wiggling his hips, holding his Stagbar in his mouth rather like a pipe. It took a good five minutes before he calmed down, put the antler on the floor and sniffed it. He's been round the block a few times, and Buddy knew straight away he had been given a tasty treat, so he scooped it up, took it to his favourite place - the sofa - and settled down for a good chew.
Abracadabra! - three happy dogs. even our cats were intrigued by the Stagbars!
Now, several days later the only problem we have is keeping track of all three Stagbars as Star has a tendency to take hers behind the sofa (the joys of small dogs!) and then forget where she put it, and Buddy and Rusty take theirs all over the house. One drawback of the product is they are not good to stand on as you stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night, but that apart they are a great product. One word of warning would be that these do seem to be a high value treat, so if your dogs tend to squabble or resource guard do supervise or separate them.
For keeping a dog happy and occupied, with a natural product that's good for teeth, low in fat and environmentally friendly Stagbars are hard to beat! For more information about Stagbars visit the Pure Dog website and you can hear Debbie Connolly and me discussing Stagbars in Episode 25 of The Dog News Show.