I’d consider my dog J.B. (short for Joan of Bark) a moderate chewer.
Her toys tend to hold up pretty well (she has two 4-year-old KONG toys that are still going strong), and she’s a pretty good pooch, who doesn’t engage in much destructive chewing.
But she’s still a typical canine, who loves gnawing on things from time to time. So, I try to give her something fun, tasty, and mouth-pleasing to chew a couple of times each week.
Pig ears are her favorite, with gigantic carrots coming in second.
Unfortunately, pig ears have been implicated in a fairly widespread outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections. I’m generally not interested in bringing drug-resistant microbes into our home, so I haven’t bought a pig ear in a few months.
But that’s left my poor pupper without her favorite chew treats.
So, when treat-making company Frankly reached out and offered us the chance to test out their chews, I jumped at the opportunity.
Below, I summarize our experiences with the chews they sent us – both the good and the bad (Spoiler alert: They were mostly awesome.)
But let’s start by examining two types of similar chews, which aren’t quite as safe as many owners believe.
The Problem with Rawhides
Rawhides are pretty popular among pooches and there are a bunch on the market. But rawhides present some safety issues, which cause many owners (including yours truly) to avoid them.
Typical rawhides are made from the skin of cows, pigs, or other animals. These skins are not subjected to the tanning process, hence their name — they’re raw hides. But the manufacturing process often involves the use of lime solution, bleach, and antibacterial washes too.
Most US-made rawhides are probably treated in relatively safe ways, but a significant portion of the rawhides on the market are made oversees, in countries that do not impose similar safety standards.
But even if the rawhides are processed with nothing but the purest mountain spring water in eco-friendly, human-grade facilities, they can still cause issues.
Specifically, rawhides can cause your dog to choke or suffer an intestinal obstruction – and that’s a serious problem.
Rawhide is not particularly digestible, and you’ll often see direct evidence of this when your dog poops. Some dogs tend to chew rawhides into small pieces, which probably won’t cause a problem, but others seem to love choking down huge chunks of hide.
The Problem with Pig Ears
As mentioned earlier, I’ve often given my pooch pig ears in the past. Pig ears are probably not quite as dangerous as rawhides, but they still present issues.
Unlike rawhides, pig ears are pretty digestible for most dogs. They’re softer than rawhides are too (and pig snouts are even softer).
When a dog chomps down on a pig ear, the treat crunches and breaks pretty easily, whereas rawhides often stay intact for a while, and require your dog to really work on them.
I tend to think of pig ears and cow ears as edible chews, while rawhides are more like a chew toy that your dog will slowly consume.
I don’t worry very much about my dog choking on a pig ear or suffering an obstruction, but YMMV and caution is always warranted.
However, like rawhides, foreign-processed pig ears may be treated with dangerous chemicals or become contaminated with bacteria, as has happened recently.
Frankly All-Natural Beef Chews: The Basics
Frankly All-Natural Beef Chews are a bit different than many other chews on the market. They’re essentially rawhide or pig ear alternatives, but they’re made from a different key ingredient: Frankly’s All-Natural Chews are made from beef collagen.
And that’s a pretty big deal that deserves further discussion.
Collagen College: What You Need to Know
Collagen is a protein that’s present in the bodies of most animals. It’s a constituent of everything from bones to tendons to some insect silks, and it represents about one-quarter to one-third of the protein in a typical mammal’s body.
Unlike rawhide, which isn’t easy for your dog’s body to digest, collagen is rapidly turned into peptides and amino acids in the stomach.
These components are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream, where they can travel throughout the body and be used where needed. This means that unlike rawhides, collagen-based chews shouldn’t be as likely to cause obstructions.
However, choking is still a possibility, as a big hunk of collagen could get stuck in your dog’s throat. So, it is still wise to supervise your dog when she’s enjoying a collagen-based chew.
Collagen may provide important health benefits too. Many people take collagen supplements for joint issues, and there is some evidence that collagen supplementation can help reduce the effects of canine osteoarthritis.
Sizes, Shapes, and Flavors
All of Frankly’s chews are made from collagen, but they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you can even choose between two different flavors.
Their product lineup consists of the following:
- Natural-Flavored Beef Wraps (for small dogs)
- Chicken-Flavored Beef Wraps (for small dogs)
- Four-Pack of Natural-Flavored Rolls (7 inches long)
- Four-Pack of Chicken-Flavored Rolls (7 inches long)
- Natural-Flavored Variety Pack for Small Dogs (24 ounces)
- Chicken-Flavored Variety Pack for Small Dogs (24 ounces)
- Natural-Flavored Beef Chew Rolls (7 to 8 inches long, 2 count)
- Chicken-Flavored Beef Chew Rolls (7 to 8 inches long, 2 count)
- Natural-Flavored Mega Rolls (11 inches long, 2 inches thick)
- Chicken-Flavored Mega Rolls (11 inches long, 2 inches thick)
- Natural-Flavored XL Rolls (10 inches long, 1 inch thick)
- Chicken-Flavored XL Rolls (10 inches long, 1 inch thick)
- Natural-Flavored Beef Chew Chips (12 Count)
- Chicken-Flavored Beef Chew Chips (12 Count)
- Natural-Flavored Beef Chew Chips (1 pound)
- Chicken-Flavored Beef Chew Chips (1 pound)
- Natural-Flavored Ear (1 count)
- Natural-Flavored Small Bone (1 count)
- Natural-Flavored Switch Beef Chews (3 count)
- Natural-Flavored Mini Beef Dog Bones (4 to 5 inches long, 2 count)
- Chicken-Flavored Mini Beef Dog Bones (4 to 5 inches long, 2 count)
- Natural-Flavored Beef Chew Bones Medium (7 to 8 inches long, 2 count)
- Chicken-Flavored Beef Chew Bones Medium (7 to 8 inches long, 2 count)
- Natural-Flavored Large Beef Chew Bone (10 to 11 inches long, 1 count)
- Chicken-Flavored Large Beef Chew Bone (10 to 11 inches long, 1 count)
- Natural-Flavored Beef Ear Chews (10 count)
- Natural-Flavored Beef Moozle
The nutritional values for each product vary slightly, but they’re all made from 100% beef collagen and contain 85% to 90% protein and 6% to 7% fat.
Frankly Chews are made in Frankly’s own US-based factory, and they use only USDA, American-born cattle to source their collagen. Frankly also conducts sanitation checks every single day, and they’re certified by BRC Global and the Global Food Safety Initiative.
Arrival and Packaging
A few days after speaking with Frankly’s representative Elizabeth, the package of chews arrived.
They sent over quite a nice selection of chews, a bit of information about the treats, and a note to my pooch!
They even included the periods in her abbreviated name, which demonstrates an attention to detail I really appreciated.
In total, the package contained the following:
- 1 Natural-Flavored Mega Roll (10 to 11 inches long)
- 1 Chicken-Flavored Mega Roll (10 to 11 inches long)
- 1 Two-Pack Chicken-Flavored Beef Chew Rolls (7 inches long)
- 3 Natural-Flavored Ears
- 1 informational flyer
- 1 personalized note to my pooch
Everything was nicely packaged and arrived in a box decorated with Frankly’s logo.
Initial Critical Reception
My dog was immediately interested in the box and its contents, but that’s not really unusual – she always wants to check out any type of delivery or box I bring home.
However, she’d clearly determined that this cool new stuff smelled tasty and was anxious to get them in her mouth.
So, I unwrapped the Chicken-Flavored XL Roll and offered it to her. She wasted no time snatching it from my hand and making off with the goods.
She settled in and went to work. She probably spent about 15 minutes enjoying it before she moved on to other things, but that’s typical for her.
J.B. clearly enjoyed the first chew I gave her.
She has a pretty consistent approach to most chews: She gnaws for a while, and then “buries” it somewhere in the house. Later, she’ll go back and retrieve it for some more chompin’ fun.
And that’s exactly what she did with this roll.
She’d chew for a while, hide it, chew some more, hide it again, and so on. Slowly but surely, the roll shrunk in size and she consumed small bits of it.
It lasted for about two weeks before disappearing completely, but I’m sure that power-chewing canines could probably polish one off in a day or so – potentially in a single sitting.
I was anxious to try out some of the other goodies we received, so I opened one of the Natural-Flavored Ears. J.B. immediately snatched it, took it to her favorite chewing spot and got busy. I went back to work, pleased that she seemed to enjoy it so much.
Five minutes later, she emerged from the bedroom, having completely devoured it.
I was a bit surprised she’d managed to finish it so quickly, so I checked her hiding spots, but there was no chew to be found. She really had eaten it completely.
Over the next few weeks, I ended up giving her all of the other treats.
Generally speaking, she consumed the ears in the same way she’d devour typical pig ears. But the rolls all lasted several days at a time.
They unwrapped a bit as my dog munched on them, which seemed to make them easier for her to consume.
One Potential Problem: Size Selection May Be Important
Although J.B. worked through most of the chews without issue, we did have one brief moment of chaos.
As mentioned earlier, J.B. consumed the first few chews by tearing off really small pieces. This was great, as it allowed me to feel pretty comfortable giving them to her.
However, the first few chews I gave her were either the Mega Rolls or the Pig Ears.
When I gave her the second 7-inch-long roll, she managed to unroll it pretty significantly. This allowed her to free a relatively large piece of collagen, which she promptly tried to swallow.
I immediately wrestled open her mouth and retrieved the big piece (I gave her a few treats for her trouble). I don’t know whether the piece was big enough to cause her to choke or not, but I wasn’t interested in finding out.
Also, it bears mentioning that the piece was stuck to the roof of her mouth a little. If she’d managed to swallow it, it could have stuck to her esophagus in the same manner, which would have been pretty frightening.
I think that the reason the 7-inch-long roll gave her a problem is that the collagen sheet felt thinner to me than the ones used in the larger rolls.
In other words, she had to work the larger rolls apart in very small pieces, and they never unwrapped as significantly as the smaller rolls did. Conversely, the smaller rolls were easy to unwrap, and then she could bite off huge pieces of the material.
I think that by simply sticking to the larger sizes, I’ll be able to sidestep this issue moving forward.
Personally, I’d recommend other owners take the same approach, but ultimately, you’ll just have to do what you think is best (and safest) for your pet.
Ultimately, I’ve been pretty pleased with the Frankly All-Natural Beef Chews, and my pooch has seemed quite happy with them too.
I will be ordering more and consider these my pup’s go-to chews for the foreseeable future.
I’ll list the relative pros and cons of the chews below, but if you’d like to pick up your own, you can just use the Amazon links below.
Note that Frankly does offer a few more products on their website, so be sure to check it out if Amazon doesn’t have what you need.
- My dog loved them. J.B. did not lose her mind over the Frankly Ears like she does traditional pig ears, but she still gobbled them down quickly. If I allowed her to choose between the two, she’d still probably prefer the traditional pig ears. But she still seemed to enjoy these, and given that they’re safer, I’m happy making that trade-off.
- They are made of completely digestible collagen. Unlike rawhide, your pupper’s body should digest collagen without issue. I never saw any identifiable portions of these chews in my dog’s poop over the course of several weeks.
- They’re tough enough to provide fun chewing time without being too tough (for my pooch). Chews have to walk a fine line between being tough enough to be enjoyable, without being so tough that they’re dangerous. Different dogs will require different levels of toughness in their chews, but for my pooch, these were ideal.
- They’re available in a range of sizes. The “Mega” sized chews were perfect for J.B. (she’s about 95 pounds), but Frankly also makes other sizes for smaller dogs.
- They come in several different forms to suit your pup’s preferences. My pupper loved Frankly Rolls and Ears, but your dog may prefer the Chips or Moozles — there’s something for everyone!
- I did not like that my dog tore off big pieces of some of the chews. However, this only seemed to be a problem with the smaller rolls. I never saw her try to consume a big piece of the Mega-sized rolls.
- The names applied to some of their products seem a bit confusing to me. For example, I’m not entirely sure what the difference between their “wraps” and “rolls” are. But that’s not really a big deal.
- Like most other chews, these get a bit gross after a while (see photo below). In J.B.’s case, she’d slobber all over the chew and then drop it on the carpet, which would cause it to become coated in dog hair. This isn’t a huge issue, and J.B. didn’t seem to mind, but you may want to wash these chews off with a bit of water after each chewing session.
- Small pieces may stick to your carpet. I discovered one small piece of a wrap had become more-or-less cemented to my carpet. It wasn’t a huge issue (a little warm water freed it), but owners with expensive or new carpets may want to restrict their pup’s chewing adventures to more durable floor coverings.
- They’re a bit more expensive than typical rawhides or pig ears. However, given the fact that they’re undoubtedly safer than rawhides and likely safer than pig ears, it seems like an acceptable trade-off.
Quick Safety Note: Supervise When Offering Your Dog Chew Treats
Let’s take a brief moment to mention an important safety consideration regarding chews: It’s usually wise to exercise caution when allowing your dog to enjoy chews in unsupervised fashion – at least until you’ve determined that it’s safe to do so. You don’t want your dog choking while you’re away at work or school.
Even if you select a chew that appears to be safe to most other dogs, your particular pupper may try to swallow extra-large pieces, which could cause a problem.
As mentioned earlier, my pooch tried to swallow one big piece that I ended up wrestling away from her. So, be sure to watch your dog closely and I’d recommend picking the largest possible size that’ll work for your pooch.
This sums up our experiences with Frankly All-Natural Beef Chews. They’ve worked well for my pooch and I’ve come away with a positive overall impression of the chews.
But what about you? Have you ever tried these chews? Did your dog like them? Did you notice anything about them that you didn’t like? Let us know in the comments below!