The founders of Himalayan Dog Chew Company discovered a healthy dog snack in 2003 when they spotted one of their dogs chewing on Himalayan hard cheese. Soon after they tried this cheese on other families' and friends' dogs. The results triggered a 4-year research project on cheese for canines. In 2007 the first production batches began and currently Himalayan Dog Chew products are widely distributed.
With great pride and assurance Himalayan Dog Chew Company offers treats that are hand-made with no preservatives, additives, or binding agents, are 100% natural, and gluten-free. Their vision is to be recognized and respected for producing the healthiest and highest quality pet treats in the world.THE RECIPE:
Himalayan Dog Chews were born from an ancient recipe for a hard cheese snack chewed by the people of the Himalayas. In the mountains surrounding Mt. Everest at more than 15,000 feet elevation, it is made using traditional methods with yak and/or cow milk. Depending on the size and chewing habits of the dog these treats can be a very long-lasting as they are vary hard. Dogs must work the end of the treat for hours to soften it enough before small parts can be slowly chewed off. INGREDIENTS: Yak and Cow Milk, Salt, and Lime Juice.
Himalayan Dog Chew Company has created a consortium of thousands of farmers in the Himalayas, mostly in Nepal. These farmers are trained, given five to six months' lead time and are paid promptly to produce the dog chews.
Each farmer milks about two to five cows and yaks every day using traditional methods without any modern devices. The cattle graze on natural pastures, where present, and are fed all natural leaves from the forest. Farmers collect roughly six gallons of milk to produce two pounds of the hard cheese dog chews. On average, each farmer collects about 20 gallons of milk daily.COOKING METHODS:
After the milk is boiled for an hour, it is poured into a hand-cranked centrifuge device while still hot to remove all the fat. The remaining fat-free milk is used to make the high-protein chews, while the fat is boiled to make ghee, a local butter that is sold as a separate commodity. Once the milk has cooled down, a touch of salt and lime juice is added to coagulate the milk. The solids are then separated using a burlap sack, which is washed several times using warm water to remove the whey and any hints of salt and the lime.
Using burlap sacks, moisture is squeezed out of the milk solids for three weeks. Bricks are used as weights and shapers on top of the sack of moist chew. The cakes are then cut to size and strung to hang under the sun, where they are smoked for about two to three months.QUALITY CONTROL:
The chews are collected from the farmers and brought into the Himalayan Dog Chew warehouse in Kathmandu, where they are sorted for quality. The best seventy-five percent are retained to ship to the US and the remaining twenty-five percent are sold in local Nepali markets as the traditional hard cheese snack. The chews are further cleaned using buffing machines and lime juice, and are cut to size and packaged. Batches are third-party tested at Washington State University, Oklahoma State University, Midwest Laboratories, and Eagle Laboratories.
Q: Is the cheese fattening for dogs?
The fat content in Himalayan chews is less than 1%.
Q: What do you recommend I give my dog?
You can give larger chews to smaller dogs without any problem. Any voracious chewer should probably be given at least one size larger then recommended. It's important to observe your dog at all times after being introduced any new product. Due to the tough nature of the chews it's recommended to give to dogs over 12 weeks.
Q: Where's the expiration date?
Chews are packaged using Desi-Pak to absorb any moisture and oxygen after sealing, preventing any growth of microbes as long as packages are sealed and have no tear. Once open it is safe to say the chews have an expiration of approximately 4 years from the date of opening as long as they are kept in dry conditions.
Q: Is this Fair Trade?
The current Beyond Fair Trade Policy is contributing to the economic development of one of the poorest nations in the world. Product is purchased direct from the farmers and helps them earn in a single year what would otherwise take five years. As of November 2013 there are over 3,000 farmers producing chews.
Q: How do I store the chew after opening?
The best way to store Himalayan chews is in a dry place. If they sit in moisture for more than an hour they will go bad.
Q: 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 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 sacred life-givers and are directly responsible for the improved economic situation of the family.
Q: What if my dog gulps down big or sharp pieces?
In the many years experience the company has with their chews they have seen many different dogs gulp down every size of chew imaginable. Typically, they will pass smaller versions of what they gulped down. Rarely, dogs have had non-surgical medical assistance to expel big parts of the chew. Unlike rawhide, and with the exception of extremely large pieces, these chews are digestible.
Q: Isn't milk supposed to be bad for dogs?
Milk in its raw form is what's difficult for dogs to digest. Once it's made into cheese, the cooking process actually alters the protein, making it more easily digested. Due to the hard nature of the chews they are a long-lasting treat and as a result the amount of dairy at any one time is extremely limited. Generally speaking about 10% of first-time chewers will experience an initial loose stool or gas that always resolves. Most or all of the lactose is removed during the cooking, cleaning, and removal of whey liquid from the solids after the coagulation of the milk.