Sometimes, your standard treats just aren’t good enough.
By Erin Kirkpatrick
Most dogs stop and stare when the word “treat” is uttered. They’ve been conditioned to react when they hear that glorious word and others, including “walk,” “tennis ball,” “park,” and “good boy/good girl.”
Treats are one way to signify our love and affection as well as reward a job well done (i.e. going to the bathroom, shaking a paw, etc). A recent study has shown that dogs might be taking advantage of our routine way of rewarding them. The nerve! Actually, it’s quite smart.
Let’s be honest. Many of us aren’t going to change our behavior because of this finding. We’re still going to dish out treats. We might as well accept that right away.
However, we can test out our dogs’ resilience to bizarre new treats. We’re still rewarding them, but we’re doing it with ostrich hearts, bull penises, chicken feet, kale, pig snouts, and other peculiar items.
Let’s beat them at their own game!
1. BULL PENISES
Credit: Homes Alive Pets
We thought we’d get your attention with this one! Bull penis treats, commonly referred to as “bully sticks,” are made from dried, braided cow penises and have no hormones or preservatives. Pups will love the meaty taste, while owners will love that this long-lasting option promotes healthy teeth and gums. Due to this treat’s high calorie count, vets recommend giving these out once a week. Homes Alive Pets offers bulk pricing, so you can buy more bull penises for your pet. Hint: You don’t have to tell them what they’re chewing.
– Made from free-range, grass-fed cattle
– Ideal for small to medium dogs
– Product of Brazil
– Minimal odor
2. YAK MILK
Inspired by an ancient hard cheese snack recipe enjoyed by the people of the Himalayas, the Himalayan Dog Chews were created! The no-preservative, no-additive chews are made with yak and/or cow milk, and are gluten-free. Chews are available for dogs of all size – starting at under 15LBS and over 70LBS. According to the product’s website, “dogs must work the end of the treat for hours, softening it with their mouths before small parts of it can be slowly chewed off.” That means, you now have many blissful hours of peace and quiet to enjoy!
– May not appeal to all canines
– Minimal odor, may leave behind crumbs
– Prices vary
Credit: Dogs Love Kale
The “kale craze” has found its way to our pets, or at least to their pet treats! Dogs Loves Kale has started a line of dog treats that, you guessed it, include kale among other super healthy ingredients. Their Tropical Delight treats feature green bananas that have been shown to improve the health of coats, muscle tissue, and digestion, while coconut’s lauric acid boosts immune system health. If green bananas and coconut aren’t your thing, Dogs Love Kale has a ton of other flavors that might pique your interest! Snap Pea treats are also available, too!
– 7 to 8 kcals/treat
– Wheat and grain free
4. ANTLERS OR HORNS
Credit: Got Antler
Elk, deer, moose, and water buffalo horns or antlers are a no-smell, non-splintering chew, and they’re lower in calories than bully sticks. Antlers will give your tail-wagging friend a boost of calcium and phosphorous, but be careful that they don’t damage the tips of their teeth. Based in New Jersey, Got Antler sells pre-cut or custom cut antlers for your dog’s chewing pleasure.
– long-lasting antler with marrow center
– Calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and water
– No odor
Credit: Skippers Pet Products
Let’s take a quick break from the red, gamey meats and look at aquatic life. More specifically, catfish. These air-dried catfish twirls are made from 100% natural catfish skins and are jam-packed with omega oils. You’ll see the difference in your dog’s coat, and hopefully, your pet will feel an easing in their joints.
– Hypoallergenic and grain free
– Mini twirls are between 4-6 inches long and 0.5 – 1.5 diameter
– Color and size may vary
Credit: Jeffers Pet
Louisiana Natural Alligator Biscuits are the first widely distributed dog treats made from alligator, shrimp and crab, and crawfish raised in Louisiana. Everything involved in these treats has been sourced and made in North America – say yes to supporting local businesses!
– Sourced from sustainable fisheries and family farms
– Other varieties available
7. PIG SNOUTS
Credit: Paw Struck
This one is, uh, memorable…
I didn’t know you could purchase a pig’s snout for your dog to chew on. Now, I have officially seen everything. I kind of wish I hadn’t seen it, though.
The snout is roasted in its own juices to enhance the flavor and contains no preservatives. Each snout is high in protein and low in fat, and dogs go crazy for them! Please supervise your dog as they enjoy this treat.
– Made in the US
– 100% digestible and highly palatable
8. CHICKEN FEET
Credit: Best Bully Sticks
At first glance, it may look like a witch’s hand, but it’s actually a chicken foot. While it’s a bit eerie to stare directly at it, this dog treat will cause your dog to drool. Chicken feet are free of any hormones, additives, or preservatives, and they help aid joint pain and dental health.
– Make sure to supervise your dog while they enjoy this bizarre reward as chicken feet do contain bones.
– Sourced from American chicken
9. RABBIT EARS
Credit: Raw Paw
While we’re showing you the bizarre, we might as well follow it up with something even more bizarre: dehydrated rabbit ears, complete with fur. Raw Paw advertises these treats to be “Just like chips but without the carbs!” I might have to knock these before I try them. I know, I know. They’re not meant for me, but I still feel this way.
– Hypoallergenic treat
Credit: Portland Pet Food Company
We know that you know that dogs can’t consume alcoholic beverages, but the Portland Brew Biscuits are the next best thing. Made from the spent grains harvested from local Portland breweries, these dog treats contain no alcohol. They do taste like beef — totally better than alcohol. Hello, delicious!
– Sourced in the US, manufactured in the Pacific Northwest
– 100% natural peanut butter, organic eggs, organic rye flour
11. GOAT JERKY
Credit: Rogue Royalty
R.A.W. Dried Goat Turkey Treats pride themselves on being made from the hearts, lungs, liver and trachea of healthy wild bush goats. These are not intensively farmed animals and have led a healthy life in the wild free from intensive farming practice and mistreatment. Now, that’s something we’re 100% on board with!
– Australian meat
– Jam packed with vitamins, fatty acids and healthy enzymes
– Sugar free
– Grain free
Credit: Petit Treat
This is a gourmet meal, and I would probably eat it as is. I love beets, unlike most of the population. Le Petit Treat recently released this line of treats featuring chicken, chickpeas, beets, apples, olive oil, and rosemary.
– All-natural, grain free
– Made in the US
13. WILD BRUSHTAIL
Credit: Addiction Foods
Addiction has packed these treats with free-range New Zealand brushtail, a nocturnal marsupial. They kind of look like squirrels, and that makes us sad. We bet your dog will be happy when you bring these wild gamey-flavored treats home.
– Grain free
– Available in 4oz and 12oz packages
14. OSTRICH HEARTS
Credit: North Coast Pets
North Coast Pets offers pet owners organic treats made from exotic protein. Kangaroo, emu, and ostrich are among the bold protein choices in these all-natural treats. Ostrich heart fillets are ideal for dogs with allergies and are super low in fat!
– 4oz bag
– Vet recommended
Finally, a treat jar!
Credit: Neiman Marcus
Now that you’ve got the bizarre treats, you need a safe place to store them. That’s where this handcrafted MacKenzie-Childs treat jar comes in! Store all those goodies in this vibrant, whimsically structured jar!
– Glass and hand-painted majolica
– 7.5″ diameter, 11″ height
– Dishwasher safe with collar accent removed
– Made in the US
The next time you visit a pet store in search of treats, why not pick up one (or all) of these bizarre rewards?