Dog Treat Reviews

Merrick Sarge Dog Bone Review – Proceed with Caution!

Harley getting started on the Merrick Sarge Dog Bone
Written by Rachael Sando

If you follow us on social media (MyDogLikes Instagram), you probably remember a lot of very sad puppy faces while we worked on our kitchen remodel. The final stretch involved a full day of tiling with Grandpa. I knew the boys would be none too pleased that Grandpa couldn’t give them all the pats, scratches, and paw that they wanted.

Working on our kitchen tile backsplash. We chose a white subway tile and a gray unsanded grout over our butcherblock countertops.

Big Project Calls for Big Reinforcements…

We needed full infantry support; something that would entertain the boys long enough for the humans to get some work done, reduce the amount of golden hair in the tile mastic, and avoid the near constant retrieval of tile bits from a certain puppy mouth!

No chew, rawhide, or tough dog toy was going to keep these golden boys satisfied; it was time to bring in the big guns. After searching the aisles of our favorite natural pet store, we found a strong candidate; Merrick’s “The Sarge” Dog Bone.

Large dog bones from Merrick. This bone is called "the Sarge."

Introducing The Sarge Dog Bone

The Sarge is a smoked beef bone complete with tendons, jerky, and marrow. What else could a dog ask for? This thing is large! It is roughly 8-10” long and weighs nearly 3 lbs! Best of all, it comes from Merrick – a brand we trust.

Charlie giving the Merrick Sarge Bone a sniff! Visit MyDogLikes for our official review!

Following Orders

The Sarge demands (and receives) the full attention of his lieutenants. The boys took their orders seriously…marching themselves right into their own corners to begin ravaging their tasty treats!

Our dogs eating bones from Merrick. They headed into separate corners to get to work!

The 3 Stages of Eating “The Sarge”

Overwhelmed with the delicious treat in front of them, the boys strategy of attack can best be summarized in three steps.

1. No, this couldn’t possibly be mine, I will stare at it and gingerly lick it with my tongue a couple of times.

Harley eager to get started on his Merrick Dog Bone
2. OHHEMMMGGGEEEE! This is good. MIND OVER MATTER. Surely Mom won’t notice me taking these nice long licks (is that smokiness I detect?).

Merrick sells a wide variety of bones for dogs. Here Harley has the "Sarge" Beef bone.
3. FOR-GET-IT! Its mine, its tasty, and I must have it all, now! Operation “eat the whole thing as quickly as possible” commences.

Harley noms the Sarge dog bone from Merrick

Time to Eat! Our Sarge Bone Review

Even though the boys wanted to eat the whole thing up, the Sarge is large and in charge, and demands more of a marathon style of chewing. There were lots of meaty, jerky strips to be torn off and I am happy to report that operation “strip the bone clean of any meat” was accomplished in about 45min.-1hr. Other than the leftover dog bones we have laying around the house at any given time, this was Charlie’s first brand new meaty bone since coming to live with us.  Boy was he in doggy heaven!

Our Dog Eating a Bone from Merrick

Keeping an Eye on Things…

After seeing how quickly the boys tore the meat and jerky off the bone, I decided to keep a close eye on them to see if they would be able to chew off any parts of the bone. I don’t feel the need to watch the boys with bones that they have had for a long time, after all, we have so many in the house, some of which I think came with Harley and others that we have tested along the way…these ones are battle tested!

However, anytime a dog is trying out something new (a bone, chew, toys,etc) it is always a good idea to supervise them and see how the item will hold up to their individual style of chewing. As highly proficient bone chewers, our boys are a tactical unit than can crush almost anything, especially once a weakness has been identified.

Our Golden Retriever eating pieces of the Merrick Sarge Dog Bone

Beware of the Knuckles!

After chewing on the bone for a little over an hour, I noticed what appeared to be two individual pieces that could be chewed off of the larger bone structure. In the pictures, these appear as the two hollowed parallel pieces on one end.

Always supervise your dog while eating dog bones. These end pieces broke off the Merrick Sarge dog bone and could have posed a choking or blockage hazard.

These loose bits looked ripe and ready for digestive problems or trip to the ER, so I swooped in to take a closer look. Personally, I felt uncomfortable and didn’t trust that these wouldn’t end up on an X-Ray board at the Vet’s Office. I decided to just throw them away. Better safe than sorry.

These pieces that broke off the Merrick Sarge dog bone could present a choking or blockage hazard. Always supervise your dogs while eating dog bones!

The Real Sarge  – Mom & Dad

This “Sarge” character may be able to direct his dog armies, hypnotizing them with the delicious, meaty, all-natural, smoky taste of his bones, but here at MyDogLikes, the real sarge in charge is Mom and Dad!

The boys enjoyed the base of the bone intermittently for several weeks afterward. In order to make sure that the boys stayed safe, I only allowed them to have the bone when I was at home with them. The boys were allowed to spread out the fun of “The Sarge” over a few weeks, and I was right there when I heard a “CRACK”, meaning that it was time to take the bone away for good. It had splintered.

Contacting Customer Service

Though the boys had enjoyed “The Sarge” for a long time, I wanted to share my experiences and concerns with Merrick directly. Merrick is very active in their various social media accounts and I knew that my email to their Pet Parent Relations would be met with an immediate response. I was not disappointed and I heard back from them within hours!

Merrick Logo

I shared my concerns about the loose pieces that had come off and ask about splintering. Knowing that we have chewers of all levels as readers, I asked for recommendations about what might be best for all of our aggressive chewers out there!

So what did they say?

As one of the most popular and time-tested bones in their line, The Sarge has a long track record of providing safe and high quality entertainment for dogs. Merrick’s representative shared with me that all bones are subject to splinter, however, they carefully choose bones that are less likely to do so in order to ensure that the product that our pets get is top notch. She also shared, that as the packaging states, supervision is key, particularly when dealing with an aggressive chewer (like our boys).

I’m Impressed

In addition to top notch foods, treats, and bones, Merrick has top notch Pet Parent Relations Representatives that are responsive, easy to work with, and genuinely interested in dog (and cat) health! LOVE IT!

Also, stay tuned because Merrick and MyDogLikes are working together to find a treat that will work better for our boys and your aggressive chewers too!

Our Overall Thoughts on the Sarge Dog Bone

“The Sarge” is a big, meaty, smoky, bone that your dogs will likely go nuts for! We purchased it as a way to keep the boys busy and out of the way of a big home improvement project, and it certainly fit the bill.

Harley chewing a dog bone from Merrick. Make sure to supervise your dog while eating dog bones!

Just as the packaging of the bone, and good common sense says, make sure that you supervise your dog with this bone, as there are small “knuckles” that break off with aggressive chewing. Although Merrick let us know that there have been no reported incidents of health problems associated with these break-offs, we thought it could pose a safety risk for our dogs and decided to throw them away. As for the boys, they didn’t care at all that I took these pieces… they were plenty distracted with chewing the main body of “The Sarge”, which they enjoyed for weeks!

The Sarge Bone from Merrick

Although Merrick takes great care to select bones that reduce the likelihood of splintering (in fact we looked at lots of reviews to confirm this), we did finally hear a crack, after weeks of intermittent chewing. Just a good reminder that supervision and monitoring is always important. No big deal, it just meant that after a long military career, it was time for The Sarge to retire!

While “The Sarge” wasn’t the perfect fit for our aggressive chewers, we continue to love Merrick. Their commitment to high quality, nutritious foods and treats places them among our favorite brands. The Pet Parent Relations team were super responsive and will be working with us to share some treats that may be better for dogs all along the chewing spectrum.

Harley about to get started on his Merrick Sarge dog bone

The boys got hours of entertainment out of The Sarge – They loved stripping the bone of its meaty, smoky, jerky and tendons.

Harley getting started on the Merrick Sarge Dog Bone

The Sarge was also a good reminder to make sure you are supervising your dogs when they are eating or playing with a new treat/toy. Every dog’s chewing habits are unique and its our job to find the things that will be safest for them!

Customer service is key-reach out if you have a question or concern!  And look out for more Merrick treats in the future – We love this brand!

Want to get your paws on one of these tasty treats?   Buy From Amazon

About the author

Rachael Sando

Rachael is a School Psychologist with degrees from the University of Rochester and RIT. Though a lifelong dog lover, this passion has taken on a new direction through the utilization of therapy animals in her day job. Charlie, our Golden Retriever, works with Rachael as a school therapy dog in a local primary school where he brings comfort and support to students and staff on a daily basis.


  • Very thorough review. I especially appreciate you sharing your concerns (would have been mine also) about the smaller pieces, and taking the time to research and share your findings. May just grab one from the store one day for Harley when I’ve got a huge project going on. Thanks so much.

    • It definitely kept them busy. I would recommend keeping a close eye on him, but it would certainly keep his head off the laptop! ha

  • We always get the GI Jone. Supervision is a a MUST … even though the purpose of the treat is to “occupy” some time. 45 to an hour is a bit long for chewing time. One reason I like to get a medium bone, chew time for 20 minutes. All bones have the same problem. Woofs to Merrick, they are always great. Golden Woofs

    • Yeah, I agree its a long time to chew. I let them chew because the 45-1hr was mostly pulling off the jerky not really chewing. That was the best part for them! It at least keeps the head off the laptop for a few minutes while you are in the room!

  • We love Merrick, too! Barley would probably love The Sarge, but she doesn’t usually get hard chews like this because she’ll chew them until her gums bleed–and then still keep chewing until I take it away. We usually stick to their cookie-like snacks 🙂 Thanks for getting such great info from your boys and from Merrick–it’s always nice to find a company that loves our pets like we do!

    • It was refreshing to have such a positive experience reaching out with concerns. I expected it with Merrick, unfortunately, not all brands are looking out for our pets best interest or really want to do that problem solving! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Very nice review ~ the Sarge certainly looks yummy from a canine perspective 😉 I would have thrown out the smaller pieces as well. Our pups are also always supervised when chewing on a bone ~ definitely better safe than sorry! We moved last weekend and kept the pups occupied with their large beef bones they had received from our awesome neighbor for Christmas.

    • Bones can certainly come in handy. It can keep them safe. I know in this case, Charlie would have been trying to eat tile!!!

    • Oh thats too bad, but it sounds like you have some pretty awesome alternative that we love too!