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Many of you asked about the goodies included in your holiday gift baskets.  Those were beef trachea!  As I keep telling people, no part of the animal is wasted.  “Bully Sticks” are a common item these days at any pet supply shop or store, but they can be costly.  If you know me, I am a bargain and thrift store shopper,  not only by need, but at heart.  That said, I couldn’t stomach the mark up prices for the all too popular Bully Sticks.  You know them even if you don’t – they are the long pieces of what looks like a hard Slim Jim.  Dogs love ’em, and just so you know, if you don’t already, they are essentially the penile  shaft of a bull.  What you received for Christmas was the trachea of the bull.

I personally find with all my dogs (that belong to me or that I service) that they prefer, and given the option, go for the Trach, and that is good news.  The Trach is far more cheaper, though it goes down quicker, but let’s make it known, I love the Bully,  just not the local  price.  With all that noted, here are few thoughts and recommendations:

Buy Bully Sticks or Trachs in bulk online.  I purchase mine from  Best Bully Sticks.   A 25  bag of 6 inch Trachs  (for a big dog)  is only $24 bucks (costing you approximately $1.00 each)  compared to $2.00, $2.50+ individually retail.   The 50 pack  of 3 inch Trachs is only $22 (costing you $.43 each) and generally unavailable at retail outlets.  An item of note:  if you prefer Bully Sticks, I find, at least with my Great Dane, and a few other bigger breeds I service, that  the larger longer ones aren’t as  cost effective as they take longer to chew through and at some point the dogs simply discard them and just want a new one.  I buy the 1 lb bag of Super Crunch Bully Sticks  (generaly 6 inches longs) which seems to satisfy small and large though the latter will blast threw them, but long enough for you to get out the door and they forget about you and sit in those fleeting moments of bliss or separation anxiety.

My  local and even cheaper alternative: raw turkey neck bones or bone marrow soup bones.  With each of these, I give them raw and frozen.  I purchase what is essentially a 10 pack of neck bones for about $2.50 or a 4 pack of soup/marrow bones for $3.50.  Neck bones go down a little more quickly (5-7 minutes for my Dane and 20 minutes for my JackChi) and they can actually serve as a meal supplement for little guy (14 lbs)  or smaller.  A marrow bone is  a longer last, most dogs will lick the inner and work at the hard bone throughout the day though ultimately rarely finish it.

Most Giant Supermarkets carry the soup bones, but sometimes only limitedly (Giant Blair Mill Road – (301) 585-1670)  primarily in the winter months when people make stews and soups.  The Giant Piney Branch — (301) 587-3450),  likely due to the ethnic diversity  in that local,  generally carries them perennially, and the Bestway International market – (301) 587-5262) at Piney Branch and Flower next door is your place for neck bones (and cheaper oxtails, lamb, pigs/chicken feet, tripe, oxtail,  tongue if you have a culinary need),  whenever.  On a side note, their produce is out of this world!

So, give your dog some great treats and show them even more love in 2015 with these delicacies!

Jennifer, Antigone, & Little Jimmy