Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Are Himalayan dog chews safe for your pet? Know this before you buy

Himalayan dog chews are trendy, but are they safe for your pup?

What do blueberries, kale, and broccoli all have in common? In addition to being delicious, all three are superfoods, labeled by the health food world. Unfortunately, there’s no federally regulated definition for the term, but Harvard scientists claim food that “offers high levels of desirable nutrients, is linked to the prevention of a disease, or is believed to offer several simultaneous health benefits beyond its nutritional value” can be labeled superfoods. 

Just like you might add chia seeds to your granola or spirulina powder to your smoothies for additional vitamins and minerals, you also want to make sure your dog’s food and treats pack a beneficial wallop. Made famous on Shark Tank, Himalayan dog chews have become one of the most hotly debated treats in the pet food game, which begs the question, “Are Himalayan dog chews as healthy as some people think?”

Related Videos

Here’s what you need to know about one of the trendiest treats on the market. 

A closeup shot of a pug standing in the grass with a bone-shaped treat in his mouth

What are Himalayan dog chews?

Dubbed “the best-kept secret of the Himalayans,” Himalayan dog chews sometimes referred to as Himalayan yak chews are a preservative-free dog treat made from a combination of yak milk and cow milk. Depending on the brand, some chews may contain added salt or lime juice for a pop of extra flavor. Once the ingredients are blended together and allowed to solidify (a process that takes roughly three months), the end result is a hard, cheesy treat that dogs love to chew on. But are these dog treats actually good for your precious pooch? Let’s find out. 

Are Himalayan dog chews safe for my dog to eat?

The history of dog treats is a little muddied. Some say they were accidentally created by a London-based butcher in the 1800s, but others say the first dog biscuits were invented by James Spratt, an electrician from Ohio who came up with the idea while working in London and witnessing boatmen feed their dogs scraps. But there is one fact that isn’t up for debate: in 1907, inventor Carleton Ellis first developed the now-ubiquitous bone-shaped dog treats. 

But dog biscuits aren’t the most nutrient-dense treats, so pet parents began to search elsewhere. For a time, rawhide treats and animal bones were considered the best option, but as health problems — intestinal blockages, broken teeth, and even incidents of choking — became more widespread, many pet parents turned to more easily digestible solutions. At first glance, Himalayan dog chews seem like the perfect option. But are they? We’ve consulted the experts, and here’s what they have to say. 

A German Shepherd lies in the grass with a chewy treat

The pros of Himalayan dog chews

Like all tasty treats, Himalayan dog chews have positives and negatives you should know about. On the plus side, you have the following benefits:


These densely cheesy chews last longer than dog biscuits, allowing your chow hound to enjoy his treat for long periods of time. As an added bonus, spending more time on a single treat means that your pooch may beg for fewer treats in general, which can help him maintain a healthier weight

Allergen-free (for most dogs)

Some store-bought treats use preservatives and fillers to bulk up their size and longevity. Unfortunately, some dogs are gluten-intolerant, removing many name-brand treats from your list of possible doggy rewards. However, some dogs are allergic to the lactose in milk, so we recommend starting off with a small treat until you know how well your pooch tolerates Himalayan chews. (Or opt for a lactose-free version!)

Limited ingredient list

Himalayan dog chews contain only four ingredients: yak’s milk, cow’s milk, lime juice, and salt. Because milk is rich in protein – and jam-packed with essential amino acids you can feel good about giving your dog a treat that will benefit his skin, coat, teeth, muscles, and more.  

The cons of Himalayan dog chews

On the flip side, Himalayan dog chews might not be the best option for all dogs. Here are a few of the downsides:


While salt is essential for your dog’s cells to function, too much of a good thing can lead to health problems. If your vet has recommended a low-salt diet for your pooch, you’ll probably want to steer clear of these chews, which contain salt as one of four ingredients. Additionally, hefty pups don’t need extra fat in their diet, so stick to low-fat treats like carrots or blueberries instead.

Dental problems

Himalayan dog chews are much easier on your dog’s chompers than, say, rawhide or bones, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause damage. These dense treats are still difficult to chew, and some dogs may crack a tooth or two if you feed these treats on a regular basis. 

Potential choking hazard

Like all chew treats, it’s possible that your pup will bite off a large chunk and choke on it. For this reason, we recommend keeping an eye on your dog at all times if you give him a chewy treat. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

A close-up shot of a German boxer gnawing on a dog chew in the grass

Final verdict

Himalayan dog chews are a safer alternative to bones and rawhide chews, but only in moderation. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with rewarding your pup with the occasional cheesy treat… as long as those aren’t the only treats you give. Raw vegetables like green beans, broccoli, cucumber, and butternut squash are all relatively low in fat and calories. If your pooch has a sweet tooth, give him a few chunks of pumpkin, berries, apples, or banana slices in between his cheesy snacks

Editors' Recommendations

Video: Husky wants a dog treat (and just won’t be deterred)
Watch this husky throw a tantrum after he can't get a treat from the closed pet store
A team of huskies stand in the snow while the leader makes a fuss

At some point in our lives, we've all thrown a tantrum after not getting our favorite snack. While in humans this becomes unflattering once we reach a certain age, in dogs it never ceases to be a little funny, no matter how frustrated we might feel in the moment. In fact, we can't help but laugh out loud when a pup increasingly gets himself into a fit, over a seemingly small matter. Enter Archer the Husky. While we might sometimes think that little dogs should be more inclined to pout when they don't get their way, huskies are known for being big drama queens, and these two could win the best acting award in this funny husky video shared by u/trashpix.

Read more
Mental health service dogs 101: What you need to know about alert dogs, emotional support animals, and others
Find out about the different types of mental health service dogs
A therapy dog wearing their harness sits and looks to the side

For many pet owners and animal lovers, simply having a four-legged friend around can make the worst days a little better. They can single-handedly coax you out of bed in the morning, and they're the perfect outlet to talk or cry to when things are too much to take on alone. That's the power of unconditional love!
Of course, animals like dogs can do so much more for their owners' mental health. That's why some pups make the perfect candidates as mental health services dogs, such as emotional support animals (ESAs), psychiatric service dogs (PSDs), or even therapy dogs. Before you get lost in all the fancy terms, though, let's run through what these service animals do, and how they differ from one another. The details might surprise you!
Here's everything you need to know about the different kinds of service dogs for mental health.

Emotional support animals aren't trained for specific tasks, but they provide lots of love and comfort
Despite being wonderfully helpful to those who need them, emotional support animals can also be controversial because of the lack of regulation in the industry. There are countless online organizations that claim to offer ESA certification (for a large amount of money, too), but the only true way to have your pet licensed is to get a "prescription" from your psychologist or psychiatrist.

Read more
5 most common Bernese mountain dog health issues and what to do about them
What you should know about health issues before bringing home a Bernese mountain dog
Man holds his Bernese mountain dog outside

Choosing the perfect breed of dog for your family is nearly as hard as choosing to get a pet in the first place. When weighing the options, the health of the animal and its pedigree should enter into your decision. You want your new furry friend to stick around for a good long time!
While one of the most lovable breeds out there, Bernese mountain dogs also have one of the shortest life spans of only about 8 to 10 years. These gentle giants come with a few issues that can be managed with proper care and a little bit of genetic testing. Here are five of the most common Bernese mountain dog health issues.

Hip and elbow dysplasia
These dreaded conditions are particularly prevalent in large breeds like Berners and can contribute to stark reductions in the quality of life for pups. The good news is that there are a number of breeding programs that attempt to correct for both with careful study to pick the perfect pups for continuing the line.

Read more