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