Store Bought Chewies and Treats
Everyone knows puppies LOVE to chew, but even adult dogs need some chewing to keep their teeth healthy. The main thing when choosing a chew toy for your puppy is safety. I prefer not to buy chewies or toys from countries like China since their standard of safety is lower than in the USA. They can be sneaky about this, saying treats are "Made in the USA" even when the meat and product is sourced from China. You always have the option of fresh bones, from your butcher, but of course, those are a bit more messy and less convenient. I have very good luck with Peppy Pooch products, and have never received an "off" product from them. I use several of their products, purchased from Amazon.
Some favorites are Pizzle Stix or Bully sticks, most dogs LOVE these, but they can get pricey to have around all the time depending on how fast your dog can chew them up. If your pup is a heavy chewer, sometimes a thicker pizzle will be the answer to slowing them down a bit. Another option is to buy them in bulk to cut costs. They come in Beef or Bison.
I also LOVE the Himalayan Yak Cheese Chews. These are made with a special, ancient process and are very hard, durable chews. The dogs LOVE them, and I hear them grinding away, chewing on them for hours. This is excellent for their teeth, not only the tartar scraping and cleaning it provides, but that it's with a high calcium product. I think these are an excellent option for indoor chewies, as there is no discernible smell and the dogs absolutely love them. Add to that they take FOREVER to chew one up, especially if it's a large size one. Buying poor quality Yak Chews can mean you basically get a bag of moldy, hard cheese. This means they didn't follow the process correctly, and of course moldy chews should not be fed to your dog.
I tried a few other Peppy Pooch options, after having good luck with them, and can also recommend the sweet potato chips/sticks as a great Veggie option for your dog. They are more of a soft chew. To be honest though, these are REALLY easy to make yourself with a sweet potato and your oven.
Sweet Potato Treats: Simply slice a sweet potato uniformly 1/4" thick, put on parchment paper in the oven at 250 degrees, and bake for 3 hours. You can turn them over once during baking. Some use a bit of olive oil to make them crunchier, or a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavor. They do need refrigeration, but they last for a month. You can also freeze them for 6 months. If you'd still rather buy them, I'll add the link to the right.
The last awesome soft chews and crunchy, baked treats I'll add to the page frankly scared me a little. I was picturing a pretty nasty deal with fish flavored treats, but perhaps owing to the Cotons past island life, they just LOVE fish flavors. They actually go a little bit crazy for them. The ones that freaked me out the most were the salmon skin bites with pork... because they look like... well.. fish skin, which of course, they are. Of all treats, those may be the soft chewy treat my dogs liked the most. If you're queasy about handling fish skin, these might not be for you. 250° F
You will also want to find a very small sized, healthy treat to feed for training your puppy. Sometimes you can find healthy treats in the store, and cut them into smaller pieces, or I often buy a “sausage tube style” of dog food, and cut that up into bits, and put a small amount in baggies in the freezer to use as training treats when needed. It’s really a healthy dog food, but the dogs think it’s wonderful!
Another great training treat is bits of fresh green beans. Of course most fresh fruits and veggies are excellent snacks for your dog, but green beans help keep your dog from getting tear stains, and with Cotons, that can be important. No one wants a dog with a yucky face! I do my best to breed healthy dogs that do not tend to have a heavy tear staining problem, but like humans, any dog can get a food or environmental allergy. There are some products on the market, like Angel Eyes (an antibiotic powder) which claim to help with the problem, but I haven’t found them to be effective. If you end up with the problem, ask your groomer or vet what the best options are for your specific dog, or do some research online. (And there is always your helpful breeder, Gallant Cotons, to ask questions of!)