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I still remember the day my dog, Ragz, tried to swallow the last four inches of her bully stick whole. There was a moment—maybe thirty seconds, though it felt like thirty minutes—when I was certain she was going to choke to death.
Luckily, she was able, somehow, to swallow that hunk of bully stick and breathe again. But it scared me enough that I didn’t give either of my dogs another bully stick for years. In fact, not until I bought my first Bow Wow Buddy.
Now, Bow Wow Labs has come out with their new and improved Bow Wow Buddy. This updated version has more contact points for a more secure hold, a redesigned insertion hole that can fit a wider variety of chews, and is dishwasher safe. It’s also now made in the USA.
While my original Bow Wow Buddy let me feel more secure in letting my dogs have bully sticks again, there were some limitations to its use. These limitations meant Ragz didn’t get to enjoy chew time as often as she would have liked to.
That’s why I was so excited to try out this new version of the Bow Wow Buddy. It is much improved over the original and has worked wonders to keep my determined chewer safer.
Keep reading to find out what makes this bully stick holder better than the previous one and to see my full Bow Wow Labs Bow Wow Buddy review.
About Bow Wow Labs
Bow Wow Labs got its start with a dog named Finn and a devoted pet owner named Scott Woolwine. Their story is very similar to the one I lived with Ragz. Finn tried to swallow the last inch of his bully stick and choked.
Luckily, Scott was able to save his dog. He then used his impressive innovation skills to create a device that would prevent this from happening ever again.
From this idea, the Bow Wow Buddy was born.
Today Bow Wow Labs sells not only their flagship Bow Wow Buddy, but a long list of chews, treats, oral care products, and safety products.
Where Are Bow Wow Labs Products Manufactured?
The new Bow Wow Buddy is manufactured right here in the USA. The company operates out of Austin, Texas.
Many of their chews and other products are also made in the US. However, due to a better, more consistent supply, their bully sticks are sourced from South America.
Which Type of Pet Is the Bow Wow Buddy Best Suited For?
The Bow Wow Buddy is a must for any dog who enjoys long-term chews like bully sticks, split antlers, and collagen sticks. This ingenious device prevents your dog from swallowing that last little bit of the chew, which can be dangerous.
Since small pieces pose a choking hazard as well as an intestinal blockage hazard, it is absolutely worth using the Bow Wow Buddy every time your dog enjoys a chew.
The Bow Wow Buddy comes in five sizes so dogs of all breeds and builds can use it.
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Here is an overview of Bow Wow Labs’ flagship product, the Bow Wow Buddy. We’ll look at how it works and what it holds, as well as some precautions you should take and other key information you should know before buying one.
How It Works
The Bow Wow Buddy is a fairly simple product to use.
The center hole features an adjustable pin that is screwed down to hold the chew stick in place. This screw is controlled by the wide knob hidden in one end of the device. The pin presses the chew against the angled bottom of the center hole, providing three effective points of contact to keep the chew from moving.
With the Bow Wow Buddy, your dog can chew the treat down to the last nub. But, thanks to the holder, they cannot swallow that last hazardous piece.
Once your dog gets to this point, you can remove the remaining chew, toss it out, and reload the Bow Wow Buddy with another.
What It Holds
The old Bow Wow Buddy was specifically designed to hold bully sticks. By flattening the pin end, widening the center hole, and changing the shape of the bottom of the hole, the redesigned Bow Wow Buddy can accommodate many different types of chews.
Bow Wow Labs recommends the Bow Wow Buddy for:
- Bully sticks
- Collagen sticks
- Cheese chews
- Split antlers
- and more!
While I did find the new and improved Bow Wow Buddy to be more effective than the original, it isn’t without some faults that users need to be aware of.
For one, know that determined dogs will try to find a way to get the Bow Wow Buddy off their chew. My dog spends the first ten minutes with her chew trying to yank it free by putting her paws on the Bow Wow Buddy and pulling on the chew with her mouth as hard as she can.
I have to twist the pin down very, very tight to prevent her from getting the chew free. Once my dog has had her chew for a while, I always try tightening it again to account for any changes in position.
I’ve also found it helps to position the Bow Wow Buddy in the center of the chew, rather than on the end.
In any case, it is always a good idea to supervise your pet when they are eating their chew. This is true whether you are using a Bow Wow Buddy or not.
The Bow Wow Buddy comes in five sizes:
- X-Small – for dogs under 15 lbs
- Small – for dogs between 15 to 30 lbs
- Medium – for dogs between 30 to 50 lbs
- Large – for dogs between 50 to 75 lbs
- X-Large – for dogs over 75 lbs
All Bow Wow Buddies come in orange with a different colored screw knob determined by the size. All options are dishwasher safe and made from heavy-duty, BPA-free nylon.
Warranty and Bundle Options
Bow Wow Labs offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on most of their non-edible products, including the Bow Wow Buddy. They are very responsive to questions and concerns and seem happy to work with customers if there are any concerns.
Bow Wow Labs also offers discounted subscription options for their treats and chews to help save you money.
Additionally, they have some great “kits” that include bundled products at a discount.
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Flat Adjustable Pin
There are many bully stick holder products out there. But only the redesigned Bow Wow Buddy features a flat pin combined with an adjustable screw.
This adjustability is key for securely holding chews of various sizes. And it is absolutely necessary if you have a dog that tries to pull their chew free.
Many other products feature a pointed pin that is meant to pierce and hold the bully stick in place. But this shape actually creates less contact area with the chew and is only effective for pliable chews. The flat pin on the new Bow Wow Buddy is more effective for more chews and provides a better hold due to increased surface contact.
Hidden Screw Knob
Another key to the Bow Wow Buddy’s effectiveness is the hidden screw knob.
Other products twist together with one whole side of the device turning. While this is easier on the hands, it is also easier for your dog to accidentally loosen.
The Bow Wow Buddy features a wide screw knob that is fairly easy to grip, especially on the larger models. But more importantly, this knob is hidden in the end of the device so your dog won’t accidentally turn it while chewing. This makes the Bow Wow Buddy safer than most other options.
There is nothing more impressive and simultaneously repulsive than the amount of slobber a dog can produce while chewing. This is why Bow Wow Labs made sure their new and improved Bow Wow Buddy is dishwasher safe.
When your pup is done salivating over their favorite chew, simply take the remaining chew out and toss the device in the dishwasher.
The durable vinyl is safe in hot water and much easier to keep clean this way. Plus, you don’t have to worry about stinky bacteria building up in the cracks.
Is the Bow Wow Buddy a Good Value?
You will pay a decent amount more for this bully stick holder than you will for many similar products on the market. But the reason for this is obvious when you start digging into customer reviews.
Overall, the Bow Wow Buddy has more consistent five-star reviews than most competitors. This is especially true for larger sizes used by large dogs who tend to destroy and remove many bully stick holders with ease.
The difference in construction is also pretty obvious. The Bow Wow Buddy is solid and durable, while many other products are malleable and easier to damage with sharp teeth. This does mean the Bow Wow Buddy is heavier than most, but that heft adds to its durability.
Overall, I think this product is worth the price, especially if your dog is likely to try hard to remove it from their favorite chew.
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How is the redesigned Bow Wow Buddy different from the original?
The biggest difference between the new Bow Wow Buddy and the previous version is the shape of the hole and pin. Both have been redesigned for a better grip and to fit a wider variety of chews. The new Buddy is also dishwasher safe, made in the USA, and orange instead of blue.
What size should I get for my dog?
Use the weight guide to find the right-sized Bow Wow Buddy for your dog. Dogs on the cusp are better off with the larger size.
Can my dog chew on the Bow Wow Buddy?
You shouldn’t let your dog chew on the Bow Wow Buddy. While it is made of safe vinyl, chewing can wreck its performance. Luckily, most dogs are more interested in the chew inside it, just make sure to pick up the Bow Wow Buddy once the chew has been eaten down.
Our Experience With Bow Wow Lab’s Bow Wow Buddy
Despite almost choking to death on a bully stick years ago, my Dalmatian mix, Ragz, still loves these chews. When I found the older version of the Bow Wow Buddy, I thought I had a safe solution that would allow her to still have bully sticks.
While it worked fairly well, it didn’t always hold chews securely. This was especially true of odd-shaped or odd-sized bullies. That’s why I was so excited to give this new and improved Bow Wow Buddy a try.
I was lucky enough to get a bag of collagen chews from Bow Wow Labs, as well. These chews look a lot like bully sticks but are a little softer and a better match for my now twelve-year-old dog.
Did It Work?
The updates that had been made to the insertion hole were obvious. The flattened pin didn’t puncture the skin of the chew like the old one did but rather pressed it into place.
And the angled bottom edges of the hole pushed not just up on the chew, but also sideways, which seemed to keep it from moving around better.
But Ragz was not to be deterred. She spent the first ten minutes with the chew trying to yank it out of the holder, eventually succeeding. This did not surprise me at all given that Ragz has defeated all other chew holders I have tried in the past.
But the Bow Wow Buddy seemed more promising.
So, I flexed my fingers and tightened the pin even more the second time. It held against her initial attempts, but after about an hour of chewing, she went back to pulling and was able to get her chew out. While the pin doesn’t move during the chewing process, the chew does move a tiny bit, which can cause it to become looser.
That’s when I figured out the trick.
Now when I give Ragz her chew, I position the holder in the middle of the chew, not the end. And I tighten the screw as hard as I can. After she’s chewed for about fifteen minutes, I tighten it again.
She hasn’t gotten the Bow Wow Buddy off once since using this new approach.
Equally as important, the Bow Wow Buddy has held up amazingly well over the last couple of weeks. It looks as good as new despite Ragz’s many attempts to liberate her favorite chew treats.
As a side note, I really love the collagen sticks from Bow Wow Labs. They soften up nicely with chewing but don’t get as gooey as bully sticks. Plus, they don’t stink at all!
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If you’ve ever worried about your dog choking on their favorite chew, do not wait for it to happen before buying a Bow Wow Buddy. Not only does this ingenious device help keep your dog safer, but it works better than any other bully stick holder I’ve tried.
The unique flat pin and angled holding hole hold chews tighter so even the most determined dogs can’t get them out. It is also incredibly durable, dishwasher safe, and available in five sizes. Best of all, it can hold a wide variety of chews so you can keep your pet stimulated while also keeping them safe.