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SmartBones Chews Review: Are They Good for Dogs?

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Are you looking for an alternative to rawhide chews for your dog? We are always looking for safe chews for our dogs that don’t have rawhide–so we put SmartBones Chews to the test. Check out our review below for our dogs’ opinion and ours–both the pros AND the cons!

SmartBones Chews

Why We Don’t Give Our Dogs Rawhide

Our dogs love to chew, especially Irie who is a true power chewer. We are always eager for them to try out a new chew. To be honest, we haven’t seen them turn down any chews we give them; all the more reason for us to make sure that their chews are safe and nutritious.

We used to give Irie and Tiki rawhide chews but not any longer since we discovered the potential problems with rawhide chews, such as the possibility of choking or internal blockage.

Irie especially was too too quick to consume rawhide chews, swallowing chunks of rawhide before they’re completely chewed, a real choking risk. Today we no longer allow them to have rawhide chews.

Also we no longer give our dogs marrow bones because of the shattered teeth–and subsequent extractions–those caused.

SmartBones As a Rawhide Alternative

Because of the potential problems with rawhide, we were especially interested in reviewing the SmartBones®, developed as a safe alternative to rawhide chews. Their slogan is “The Healthy Alternative to Rawhide®.”

They look like the traditional tied-in-a-knot chew (they also offer twists, wraps and sticks) but are made of a chicken base beneath a vegetable wrapper and enhanced with vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients.

SmartBones are available in several sizes to accommodate all sizes of dogs and are available in chicken and peanut butter flavors.

We received samples of the Mini SmartBones in both chicken and peanut butter flavors for review, and it didn’t take Irie and Tiki long to polish them off.

Even though the chews were intended for smaller dogs, they enjoyed the chewing and there was no choking or gagging after the chews (which used to happen with rawhide chews.)

The chews seem to be somewhat softer than a rawhide chew.

The company’s research shows that “9 out of 10 dogs prefer SmartBones® chews over the leading rawhide chews,” and notes that SmartBones “are 99% digestible.”

SmartBones® Ingredients

The chicken-flavored chews contain:

Corn, Chicken, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Fructose, Pork Gelatin, Barley Malt Syrup, Maltodextrin, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Carrots, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Ferrous Sulfate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Sulfate, Milk Flavor, Niacinamide, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate (preservative), Sodium Pyrophosphate, Sodium Propionate (preservative), Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Vitamin E, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, FD&C Red 40.

The peanut butter version adds real peanut butter for flavor. More nutritional information can be found at the SmartBones website.

In all, we loved the fact that SmartBones® Chews are highly digestible and safer than rawhide. And we love the fact that they’re made with chicken and vegetables.

What We Don’t Like About SmartBones

Our main concerns are some of the ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide, which is used in products to produce white pigment and is a somewhat controversial ingredient.

The chews also contain FD&C Red 40, and, let’s be honest: dogs don’t care about these coloration issues…this is just for the purchaser.

Another negative to SmartBones® is the fact that they are manufactured in China.

In all, we’re lukewarm on the SmartBones; we love the fact that they don’t contain rawhide and they’re completely digestible but we wish they weren’t made in China.

With these negatives, unfortunately this is a chew we will not be purchasing for our dogs. If you would like to purchase SmartBones, they are available at Walmart and major grocery stores, many pet supply stores, and on Amazon.

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SmartBones dog treat review

Disclosure: We received samples of SmartBones to review; we were not paid for our review. All statements are entirely our own.

Paris Permenter
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