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Welcome To The Pawsitive Thinking Blog

Pawsitive Thinking, canine enrichment, dog enrichment, dog enrichment ideas, ethical dog treats, long lasting dog chews, dog chews not rawhide, dog dental chews


Thank you for popping by. This is the place to discover information, ideas and inspiration for you to help your pets lead their best lives. 

I love happy animals and happy people! Throughout my whole career I have strived to positively enhance welfare and promote mutually beneficial relationships between people and their pets. Please scroll down to find interesting and useful editorial on enrichment, training and care.

I originally started writing for newspapers and magazines, something which I continue to do 25 years later. Now with Pawsitive Thinking, a new home has been found for my writing. Informative guides, news, articles and thoughts will be added here, to share with you.

 Happy Reading!


February 2, 2022

What is enrichment and how can we provide it? In our guide to animal enrichment, we present enrichment ideas for dogs, cats, chickens and other animals. With access to a FREE downloadable resource.

January 31, 2022

This fun and tasty West Paw Toppl recipe is sure to get tails wagging! Show your dog some extra love this Valentine’s day.

January 25, 2022

Many dog owners are familiar with Kongs, the stuffable dog toy. West Paw Toppls are a different version of this canine enrichment classic. Toppls have many benefits over Kongs and have rightly gained a huge fan base. So what’s the buzz all about? Here are the top 5 reasons why people prefer West Paw Toppls over the Kong.

October 6, 2021

Ditching the bowl can be fantastic enrichment and really useful for training success. Done badly it can create negative emotions, frustration and stress. Natalie highlights the importance of ethical consideration when ditching the bowl.

September 21, 2021

The complete lowdown on natural dog chews! Chewing time, key benefits, typical nutritional analysis, age guide and safety tips.
A whole host of ideas for training and enrichment.

September 13, 2021

Pawsitive Thinking is pleased to be working with Canine Arthritis Management (CAM) to help improve and extend the lives of dogs suffering with arthritis.

November 26, 2020

When is a natural chew not natural? Natalie identifies why some chews commonly sold as natural, could actually be detrimental to your dog. The hideous chemical processing of dog chews is revealed.

June 17, 2020

Unwanted behaviour in dogs is a major cause of rehoming and even euthanasia. An American vet specialising in animal behaviour, stress evaluation and canine aggression has reported some interesting findings.

June 12, 2020

Chickens don’t have any teeth, you’ve probably heard of the expression ‘as rare as hen’s teeth’. Without teeth, they have a different way of grinding food and that’s where grit comes in.
Here’s the information you need to understand all things grit!

May 24, 2020

Dogs are making choices all the time, so we need to train our dogs to make the right choices. This is where reinforcement comes in. If you add the right reinforcer at the right time, it will encourage more of the behaviour you want.

May 19, 2020

What does ditching the bowl mean? Why bother? How often? What about Raw?

Your questions on ditching the bowl answered plus ideas to get you started.

May 16, 2020

Mighty middle is a really useful game that you can play with your dog to help with recall, proximity to you, confidence and focus in distracting environments.

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Your Ultimate Guide To Natural Dog Chews

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With a huge choice of dog chews out there, it can be confusing to select what is best for your individual dog. So we’ve produced the ultimate guide to natural dog chews to help you choose what is right for you and your four legged friend. We will give you the lowdown on a wide variety of chews, including-

  • Chewing time
  • Typical nutritional analysis
  • Key benefits
  • Suggestions for age suitability
  • Safety tips

The guide covers only natural dog chews- no raw hide or nylon chews. We believe natural dog chews are healthier and safer for dogs. We also avoid chemically processed, bleached or artificially puffed chews and you can find out the reasons why HERE.

Star Rating- Chewing Time

Short Chewing Time

Medium Chewing Time

The Longest Lasting Chews

Chewing time will vary hugely between individual dogs and breeds, so please note this is just a guide. Our star rating acts as a suggestion to be able to compare chews with each other, to help you choose suitability for your individual needs and situation.

We have a border collie and a lurcher, they are both strong chewers. The ratings are also based on how long each chew would last them. Your own dog may take a longer or shorter time than ours but we hope you will find the guide useful for ideas.

In general, harder chews are mainly for gnawing at, rather than eating or chewing. Natural dog chews that can be eaten most quickly have a lower star rating and those that are a combination of eating and chewing sit in the middle. Select a chew for your individual dog and situation; natural chews can be used for-

  • Training
  • Calming
  • Engagement without exercise
  • Fulfilling your dog’s natural desire to chew
  • Foraging
  • Enrichment
  • Positively occupying your dog
  • Promoting positive behaviour
  • Adding variety and different nutrients to your dog’s diet 

Natural Dog Chews With A Shorter Chewing Time


Key Benefits: Omega oils, antioxidants and low in saturated fat.

Age Guide: From 10 weeks of age.

Notes: As shown in the bottom left of the picture, these are little cubes of fishy goodness made in Cornwall. Totally natural, made with 100% white fish skins from sustainably sourced fish. Contains fatty acids to help support itchy skin and fish is also rich in Omega oils which can support joints and mobility. Great for use as a meal topper, for training or canine enrichment. Perfect for foraging mats too.

Protein 84%, Ash 17%, Fibre 9%, Moisture 8%, Fat 0.3%

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Key Benefits: Hugely versatile and highly palatable.

Age Guide: From 4 weeks of age.

Notes: Available in 4 varieties- sea bass, venison, ostrich and kangaroo. A great first chew for puppies or a tasty snack for older dogs. Can also be broken into smaller pieces for training, ACE freework, enrichment activities and foraging mats. Combined with chews such as the tendon ostrich braid or fish twists, engagement can be extended with our best selling chew guardian the Qwizl.

Nutritional analysis dependent on the individual protein.

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Key Benefits: Highly desirable, crunchy enrichment chews.

Age Guide: From 8 weeks of age.

Notes: Made from just 4 natural ingredients, including milk from free ranging yaks and cows. Cheese Puffs are the end pieces of yak milk chews, which puff up like popcorn when microwaved. Great for canine enrichment, dogs love the taste and crunch. Can also be used for training situations where you need to throw or roll a reward and they are perfect for a jackpot reward too. Suitable for small and large breeds.

Protein 52.6%, Ash 6%, Fibre 9%, Moisture 10.2%, Fat 0.9%

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Key Benefits: 100% natural dental chew.

Age Guide: From 12 weeks of age.

Notes: Pawsitive Thinking sources only higher welfare free range rabbit ears and does not support caged farming. Our free range rabbit ears for dogs are complete with hair, which is thought to help with cleansing the digestive tract and natural de-worming. Fur is also a great source of manganese, needed for strong tendons and ligaments. Can be fed as part of a meal or used as a snack.

Protein 46.6%, Fat 33.1%, Ash 2.0%

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Key Benefits: Different textures for enrichment, meaty and tasty.

Age Guide: From 12 weeks of age.

Notes: Firm, dried ostrich meat, skewered onto an ostrich tendon to give the ultimate chewy enrichment. Naturally low in fat and hypoallergenic, ostrich kebabs are a great choice suitable for all breeds. An enjoyable and healthy dog chew made from 100% ostrich meat and tendon. 

Protein 98.93% Fat 0.46% Ash 0.61% 

Natural Dog Chews With a Medium Chewing Time

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Key Benefits: 100% natural dental chew. Supports skin & joints.

Age Guide: From 10 weeks of age.

Notes: Naturally dried, 100% fish skin twisted into a tasty long lasting dog chew. Fish is full of omega oils, fatty acids and antioxidants. Highly digestible and low in saturated fat. 

Moisture: 7.13% Protein: 87.8% Fat: 2.56% Fibre: 1.0% Ash: 11.7%

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Key Benefits: Low in fat, hypoallergenic long lasting chews.

Age Guide: From 12 weeks of age.

Notes: Easy to digest, this chew is made from 100% ostrich tendon. Very low in fat, so a great choice for dogs needing help with weight control. Ostrich tendon braids are engaging, satisfying and chewy.

Protein 98.78%, Natural oils & fats 0.46%, Ash 0.61%

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Key Benefits: Omega oils, antioxidants and low in saturated fat.

Age Guide: From 16 weeks of age.

Notes: Air dried and 100% natural chew made from fish skin. A great dental chew for dogs and highly digestible. Contains fatty acids to help reduce itchy skin.

Moisture: 4.76% Protein: 90.9% Fat: 8.66% Fibre: 0.1% Ash: 3.06%

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Key Benefits: 100% natural, long lasting chews.

Age Guide: From 12 weeks of age.

Notes: Our jumbo sticks are available in goat, lamb, deer and camel varieties. Approximately 45-50cm long per chew, some dogs may need more than one sitting. The camel chews are the thickest and harder of the 4 choices.

Analytical constituents vary depending on protein.

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Key Benefits: Engaging, satisfying and tasty long lasting chew.

Age Guide: From 8 weeks of age.

Notes: Our yakers are handmade in the Himalayas from just 4 natural ingredients- yak milk, cow milk and a small amount of salt and lime juice. Lower in salt and fat than some brands, these are a hard chew designed to be gnawed. The extended chewing needed to consume the chew helps remove dental plaque. It also provides a calming activity to provide mental engagement and fulfil natural instincts. 

Protein 52.8%, Fat 0.9%, Moisture 10.2%, Ash 6.0%

Natural Dog Chews With The Longest Chewing Time

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Key Benefits: Hypoallergenic and very low fat.

Age Guide: From 12 weeks of age.

Notes: Ostrich bones have a unique structure, where the outer layer peels away to a honeycomb texture underneath. Air dried, low smell and non greasy. A novel protein, a good choice for allergy sufferers.

Protein 80.04%, Natural Fats & Oils 3.52%, Ash 6.26%

Solid antler dog chews. Natural long lasting dog chews

Key Benefits: Very long lasting chew.

Age Guide: From 12 weeks of age for a split antler, 6 months for fallow and solid antlers.

Notes: Antlers are the hardest of our long lasting chews. Split antlers are more suitable for younger dogs and less vigorous chewers. Solid antlers are for strong chewers and adult dogs. Fallow antlers are softer than solid antlers.

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Key Benefits: Very long lasting natural dog chew.

Age Guide: From 8 weeks.

Notes: We have olive wood sticks in 3 sizes, plus chew roots in 2 sizes. Non splinter and long lasting, wood chews are suitable for all ages, including puppies from 8 weeks. 100% natural and ideal for fulfilling your dog's natural desire to chew.

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Key Benefits: Long lasting. Can be stuffed with food.

Age Guide: From 16 weeks.

Notes: Lamb and buffalo horns are hollow, so they can be stuffed with raw or other wet food to extend the engagement. Dogs love that horns are stronger smelling than some other chews. Horns are a harder but totally natural long lasting chew that can keep some dogs quietly occupied for long periods. Popular with medium and larger breeds.

Other Options

Variety adds enrichment and enjoyment to your dog’s life. Other natural dog chews offered by Pawsitive Thinking include jumbo fish chewy bars, venison tendons, beef cartilage (moon bones), goat tripe, camel tripe, hairy rabbit rolls and hairy deer ears. None of our chews are chemically processed and all are ethically sourced. You can view our complete Doggy Deli selection HERE.

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Safety Of Natural Dog Chews


Whilst we believe natural dog chews are far safer and healthier than their processed or synthetic counterparts, all chews hold an element of risk. Potential problems include tooth damage, digestive upset and choking. To reduce the risks it is strongly recommended that all dogs are supervised when they have access to chews and that they are also introduced gradually. Some dogs may need help or training to improve safety and minimise the possible pitfalls.


Clean, fresh water should be readily available at all times. It is common for dogs to have a drink following a chewing session. 


When hard chews are small enough to swallow, they should be removed and replaced. For yakers, the leftover small bits can be placed in the microwave to puff up. Once cooled, these can be given to the dog as a crunchy treat.


Removing Chews From Your Dog


If you need to remove a chew for any reason, a good tip to minimise resource guarding is to offer something in return that is of equal or higher value to the dog. Dogs are less likely to demonstrate unwanted behaviour if removing something from their possession is a positive, enjoyable experience. This can take practice and is best done by an adult. It is also worth remembering that it is the dog’s opinion of value that counts, no-one wants to give up a chocolate bar in favour of a lettuce leaf! So being generous and training chew removal with high value rewards is safer and more likely to be successful.


Snatching, forcibly opening the dog’s mouth or trying to dominate the dog into giving up their chew is not recommended. Methods like these are more likely to result in a negative emotional state for both of you, which can lead to unwanted behaviour from your dog. It is much safer and more sustainable to train your dog that chew removal isn’t a bad thing. It is also advisable to train positive chew removal right from the start, just in case of an emergency and to optimise safety.


If despite your best efforts you find your dog choking, it’s worth knowing in advance what to do to help. Here’s a short video that is well worth watching-

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Thank you for reading.

Natalie Bucklar, BSc (Hons), MSc is the owner of Pawsitive Thinking. We offer a tried and tested portfolio of products to help you with the training, care and enrichment of your much loved dogs, cats and chickens. SHOP HERE 

Thank you to Paws and Tors for many of the images produced for Pawsitive Thinking.

More blogs available to read here-

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Canine Arthritis Management- Improving & Extending Lives

Canine Arthritis Management

Pawsitive Thinking is pleased to be working with Canine Arthritis Management to help improve and
extend the lives of dogs suffering with arthritis.

About CAM

Canine Arthritis Management (CAM) was developed by Hannah Capon, a veterinary surgeon with wide-ranging experience of working with arthritic dogs, their owners and fellow professionals to create effective long-term management plans. CAM is committed to promoting better care of our ageing canine friends. They believe that through education, the disease can be better tackled to give our dogs longer, healthier lives free from pain. CAM aims to challenge arthritis as the major cause of elective euthanasia in the UK.

Resources & Information On Canine Arthritis

The CAM website is a great place to start. It provides a wealth of information for dog owners, vets, trainers, groomers, walkers, physiotherapists and other pet professionals who would like to learn more about arthritis management.

Owners and pet professionals can read about the signs, causes and diagnosis of arthritis. Further information is available on management, things to avoid and possible treatment options. Useful case studies are also presented for a range of dogs, from 4 to 17 years of age. These help to show how varied and unique management plans can be for different dogs.

The CAM education centre runs courses for both owners and professionals. For vets, CAM offers interactive lectures and other support to help set up specialist arthritis clinics.

A whole host of free downloadable resources are available to help you manage arthritis effectively. There is a library of articles, checklists, charts, booklets and tools.

Interactive Lifestyle Tool

CAM also has a useful interactive lifestyle tool that gives further information about the hazards in the home and outside. It provides advice on how to manage these hazards for the benefit of your dog and their condition. You can access the tool HERE.

Practical Tools To Help With Canine Arthritis Management

Pawsitive Thinking offers a huge range of practical tools that can help people with canine arthritis management. We have a large choice of slow feeders to help with weight control, a range of snuffle and foraging mats for low impact activity and 100% natural long lasting chews for calm engagament. Other customer favourites are bestselling and clinically proven FidoSpore probiotics and Green Relief– a licensed herbal medicine for the symptomatic relief of arthritis.

We also have a large selection of ideas for canine enrichment, to help promote positive behaviour and provide mental stimulation without high intensity exercise.

Thank you for reading.

Natalie Bucklar, BSc (Hons), MSc is the owner of Pawsitive Thinking. We offer a tried and tested portfolio of products to help you with the training, care and enrichment of your much loved dogs, cats and chickens. SHOP HERE 

More blogs available to read here-