The Busy Buddy Bristle Bone was one of the first toys I purchased for my first dog, Allie. When we decided to add another canine to our crew, I took full advantage of the opportunity to buy another similar toy by the same company, the Busy Buddy Jack. Well, that was about 3-4 years ago and it was time for a repurchase! As you can see, although these toys are completely ruined, they were well loved. My motivation for repurchasing was primarily the rubber rings – the nubs were rapidly declining and I can only assume my dogs were ingesting them (and again, this is after 3-4 years of good chewing so I’m not thinking this is a defect).
These toys are predominantly a hard plastic (nylon) chew toy that unscrew apart to allow two rubber rings and an edible ring to be inserted and cost $5-20 (online), depending on the size (XS-L). Four edible rawhide rings come with the toy and refill packs – which come in a variety of flavored rawhide or cornstarch – containing 16 rings are $4-8 (online).
DIY Busy Buddy Toy Refills
I’m not crazy about giving my dogs a lot of rawhide or cornstarch so I generally make my own refills with sweet potatoes. Using the fattest sweet potatoes that I can find, I cut them into 1/4-1/2in slices and use a heavy duty apple corer to punch holes in the middle of the slices. Then I dehydrate the slices for about 8 hours and voila! Yummy, chewy, healthy Busy Buddy refills! (No dehydrator? You can accomplish the same thing in a low heat oven for a few hours!)
Product: EOS Turkey with Cranberry dog treats by Plato
Cost: $9-12 for 12 oz of treats
Available: Chewy.com and other online retailers; small/independent pet stores
My lab, Luna, developed food allergies at a young age (probably from repeated antibiotic regimes to combat recurrent urinary tract infections), sending me on a frustrating hunt for single protein dog treats. Plato makes all its treats in the USA and is one of the few companies that offers single protein treats without a bunch of weird ingredients at a reasonable price – I regularly bought their Original Meats Duck Strips for about two years. Fortunately for me, my pup and my wallet, Luna’s food allergies apparently resolved around her second birthday, so I’ve been able to branch out and try other treats from Plato.
I’m not sure if the EOS treat line is new to Plato but they are new to me! We’ve tried the EOS Turkey with Sweet Potato and are currently into a bag of the Turkey with Cranberry. Like the Duck Strips, these treats come in bricks about 1.5″x0.5″. They’re treats are very high in protein like the Duck Strips but the consistency of the treats is a little less dense and more fibrous, which makes them super easy to divide into small pieces. Both of my dogs love these treats as much as the Duck Strips (which are surely in their Top 5 Treats) but the EOS bags are a bit cheaper! I particularly like the Turkey with Cranberry because, given my pup’s past urinary tract issues, I try to stuff as many urinary tract health products into her life as possible.
While I REALLY like Plato’s EOS and Original Meats treats, I don’t recommend their Thinker Meat Treats line. All of these contain garlic, which is a toxin to dogs and cats. While there isn’t any information about its use on Plato’s website, I’ve seen other pet food companies say they use garlic in such small amounts that it shouldn’t be a problem for most pets (although individual pets and some dog breeds may be more susceptible) and garlic improves the food or treat’s flavor/smell. What happens when you feed a dog food with a little garlic in it, and also treats with a little garlic in it? If your cat food has a little garlic in it, is your cat going to get hemolytic anemia when she steals a piece of pizza that was basted in garlic sauce? My philosophy: there are SO MANY ingredients that you can add to pet treats/food to make it smell and taste better – like MEAT for instance, or rosemary, basil, oregano, lavender, sage, lemon mint, etc. etc. – why use a known, albeit mild, pet toxin?