Frequently Asked Questions
As with any dog treat, please supervise your dog(s) when eating our treats and be cautious to discard when all potential hazard presents itself (i.e. small pieces, choking, indigestion etc).
Consider reading the following sites for proper warnings!
FDA's warning on use of Bones: We believe our Chew is as hard as regular bones, even though it softens after licking for several minutes enough to be gnawed:
» No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog
There is no expiration date on the package, so when does it expire?
The packaging contains a small desi-pack to absorb any moisture and oxygen in the bag after sealing it, preventing any growth of microbes, as long as they are sealed and have no tear.
We have been conducting experiments since September 2007, to figure out the expiration dates on the Himalayan Dog Chews. We created six possible environments for home and retail stores (dry conditions), and started with 12 each Himalayan Chews. Each year in September, we take one from each sample container and send them for tests for the following: .
- E. coli
- Water Activity
Thus, it is safe to say that the HDC has expiration date of approximately 4 years from the date of opening the package, as long as they are in dry conditions.
How to store the chew after opening the pack
Please store the chew in open package in dry place such as table, shelf etc. The chew will go bad, if it sits on moisture (such as water) for more than one hour, and if the dog is not feeding on it.
How do I know if the chew is bad?
Although very rare, please stop feeding the dog and call us immediately if you see fibrous white/light green/blue spots on the chew. This is a sign of mold growth and is hazardous. We would appreciate if you can put them in a zipper bag and send them to us for testing. In return we can send you the replacement chew right away.
Isn't milk supposed to be bad for dogs?
Milk in its raw form is what is difficult for dogs to digest. Once it is made into cheese, the cooking process actually alters the protein making it more easily digested. Positive rewards-based obedience trainings often encourage the use of small pieces of cheese as motivators for behavior. In addition, our product is extremely hard and depending on the dog's chewing habit - quite long lasting, and because of this, the amount of dairy that a dog can consume at any one time is extremely limited.
Generally speaking, about 10% of the dogs that try our product experience an initial loose stool or gas that always resolves. We have never had a problem with repeated or lasting GI issues. We have been giving this product to our dogs since the beginning, and we have had no problems over this sustained period of time.
Most or all lactose is removed during the cooking, and cleaning and removal of whey liquid from the solids after the coagulation of the milk. So, the final product have little or no lactose to contribute towards the intollerance among dogs.
Isn't salt/sodium supposed to be bad for dogs?
The amount of salt included in the creation of these chews is negligible. It is included by the people as a flavor enhancer, not for the flavor itself.
Is the cheese fattening for dogs?
The fat content is less than 1% of the whole product of Himalayan Dog Chew.
What if my dog gulps down big or sharp pieces?
In the 6 years using this with dogs, we have seen many different dogs gulp down every size of chew imaginable. On two occasions our Boxer has passed smaller versions of what he had gulped down, but never have we had any medical problems as a result. Unlike rawhide, and with exception of larger ones (depending on the size of the dog), these chews are fully digestible.
The Durometer tests confirmed that: Himalayan dog chew 5 mm thick pieces –Durometer (shore A scale) hardness of the chews was reduced an average of 49 and 46% for pieces immersed in simulated gastric and intestinal juices (respectively) for 8 hours. The pieces were flexible and much softer than prior to soaking
The Digestibility tests confirmed that: Himalayan Dog Chew 5 mm cubes –had digestion reaching an average degradation of about 33% within 8 hours, which is much faster than bones, antlers and rawhides but much slower than other softer treats.
But regardless, please be careful since the results may not be the same for your dogs.
Is this fair trade?
Currently, we are proud to know that our Beyond Fair Trade policy is contributing to the economic development of the world's second poorest nation in Nepal. We purchase direclty from the farmers, and help them make that extra money in one year, that they would have been able to make in five years by selling the chews. As of November 2011, there are over about 900 farmers (family) who make these chews for the Himalayan Dog Chew brand.
Do you manufacture the chews yourselves?
We do not have a manufacturing factory anywhere. Instead we collect all the hard cheese from rural community co-ops of the Himalayas (currently Eastern Nepal and mountains of West Bengal in India), which use traditional methods in making it for human consumption.
How are the cows and yaks treated?
Cows and yaks are raised in sheds, the way it has been done forever. No modern equipment or techniques are used in raising or milking the animals. They graze on open grasslands or are brought fresh cut grass by their families, and have never been introduced to hormones, prophylactic antibiotics, or other chemicals. Cows and yaks are considered to be sacred life-givers and are directly responsible for the improved economic situation of the family.
What do you recommend I give my dog?
We believe that there is no size too big, and you can always give larger chews to smaller dogs without any problem. Generally speaking the small size is intended for dogs under 20 pounds, medium for dogs 20-55 pounds, and large for dogs bigger than 55 pounds. In fact, our Boxer and German Shepherd have access to (and yet continue to steal whenever possible) all sizes of this product. They are just as happy to work on a small piece as they are to work on a big one.
Of course, any voracious chewer should probably be given the largest available and definitely be observed at all times after the dog is introduced to the new product. If it appears as though the dog is going to inhale the entire product at any time, then it should be taken away and reintroduced at a later time. In fact we would recommend that ALL dogs be watched at all times after being given ANY new product, not just our chews.
All this being said, we do understand that there will always be some dogs that will be unable to tolerate our product. In many cases where stomachs sensitive to lactose or change have been discovered in the past, owners are very aware of their own dog's limitations around different types of food and will decline to give it to their dogs. Other hazards include but not limited to choking, indigestion and breaking teeth.