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My first dog Seamus, could care less about Nylabones.  He wasn’t much of a chewer, although he loved real meat bones and Greenies.  Seamus was a Rough Collie and a very mellow boy.  His trainer, and my good friend, Gerilyn Bielakiewicz of Canine University used to tease us that Seamus was a reincarnation of a gentleman, and not a real dog.  So, when Cassie came along, I finally had a “real dog” and she is very INTO chewing.  She loves Nylabones, and so does Moxie.  It took a while to figure out how to shop for the right Nylabone, but it was worth the effort.

When Cassie was six months old, we took her on a two week sailing trip to Rhode Island.  I was asking a lot for a puppy to be confined to a 32′ sailboat and to curb her enthusiasm while at sea, especially when we were under sail, or in rough conditions.  We kept her safe with a good life jacket and flexible tether so we could harness her to the boat while we were underway, and she did great.  To help keep her occupied during times when she needed to stay low and quiet, I brought a variety of Nylabones.  Cassie must have been at that pivotal period between puppy chews and adult chews, because the Nylabones I bought for her weren’t lasting any time at all!

At one point in the trip, I gave her a rubber Nylabone, and within 5 minutes we had to take it away from her when she ripped a corner of rubber right off the bone.  Another time, when we were motoring through the Cape Cod Canal in fog so heavy, we couldn’t see either side, I gave her a standard Nylabone to keep her busy for the time when we all had to be on watch duty.  The bone barely lasted 20 minutes!  What the heck!?!

So when we got home, I sent a note off to Nylabone and got a great email back from them suggesting I return the packaging and rubber bone back to them, and in return, they would send me some bones that were more appropriate for her.  NICE!  What we got were all labeled “Non Edible for Powerful Chewers” in the Wolf size.  These bones made all the difference, and lasted for months until the “nubs” were worn down and the bones got replaced.  Kudos to the great Customer Service at Nylabone.

Now on to the Double Action Chew.  The one pictured here is our second in three years.  We’ll need to replace this soon.  This is a very hard chew on the ends, with a rubber center that is perforated.  Cassie likes to carry the bone in her mouth while playing with the rubber part (she likes that it squeaks a little from the rubber friction on her teeth), but she chews on the ends, which gets rough with splinters as she chews, and satisfies her need to gnaw.  This bone is well chewed already, and as soon as we see the hollow core in the center, the bone will be replaced.  Nylabones don’t replace real meat bones, but they are a lot cleaner than real bones, and if you want bones that are allowed in the living room, Nylabones are great.

So, when looking for the right Nylabone, follow the guidelines on the packaging… Edible means the bone is made to be digested, and these bones won’t last long at all.  We choose the ones labeled “for aggressive chewers” and also look for ones that match our dogs’ weight.  We also really like the DuraBones and will review them later.  Unlike some of the specialty toys we’ve reviewed, you can get Nylabones almost anyplace that sells pet products, even the grocery store.   Plus you can print out a coupon for $2.00 off your purchase by going to http://www.nylabone.com/about/coupons/.  The coupon featured now (expires 12/31/10) is for their new line of Dura Toys, which we haven’t tried yet.  We’ll let you know how they do!   I also signed up for their “Club Nylabone” newsletter to get more coupons and offers while at their site.

If you are already using Nylabones, tell us which ones you and your dog like best.