a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Vise Grip Vices

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Vise Grip Vices

SUMMARY: Saving dogs from choking. Maybe.

I put vise grips on rawhides and bully sticks and other larger chews to keep dogs from choking on the last pieces. [I swear that I have explained this, with photos, multiple times, but it doesn't seem to be in my blog anywhere. And only a couple of quick mentions in Facebook that I can find. So--now here is a post!]

[On FB: Jan 22, 2016, 8:57 AMEllen Levy Finch commented on her own post.
Large bully sticks (long and thick) with a vise grip firmly clamped in the middle is the best bet so far.]
[my FB post Jan 23, 2016, 9:18 AM  Don't you hate it when the dog gets down to the last 3 or 4 inches of a bully or rawhide or whatever and gnaws it until it's softish and then starts to swallow and gags it back up, repeat? Used to worry me. Then I discovered vise grips. (Doesn't this sound like an infomercial?) I believe that Sarah George Johnson (or Holly Newman?) came up with this idea. [[Correction from comment below-- Mike Scannell's idea! (attn: Cheri Scannell )]]  (All of whom are long-time agility friends.)

Three benefits--two to me: Dogs no longer hork on the last bit and also it usually takes them a long time to work on the last bit left in the grip (assuming that you fastened it tightly enough); one benefit to the dogs: They use it as another handle while chewing! Tika and Boost demonstrated back in 2012.

After it has been chewed on for a while

[On FB Jan 23, 2016, 9:15 PMEllen Levy Finch replied to Cheri Scannell's comment.
I wouldn't use clamps that, if the dog gets the bully stick out, would clamp down on the dog's tongue. That's why I like the vise grips. Even if the last bit comes out, they won't close on dog.]

[On FB Jan 23, 2016, 9:18 PMEllen Levy Finch commented on her own post.
I like the vise grips because (a) if the dog does get any part of the bully out, they won't clamp down on the dog's tongue, (b) they're not too heavyweight, (c) the dog can't chew them up (the vise grips), and (d), if you tighten them enough, the dog isn't going to get a big chunk of bully at the end--you just have to really get the screw so tight that you can barely close it using a lot of strength. ]

[FB May 2, 2017, 9:19 AM Ellen Levy Finch commented on Peggy Clark's post.
What has always entertained me is that the dogs then use the vise grip as a second handle on the chew! Here's Tika, for example. 

[FB May 24, 2019, 5:41 PM : Ellen Levy Finch commented on Leslie May's photo.
Yep, that's why my dogs get "clampy things" on their chews. Hope he feels all better.]

[from FB May 24, 2019, 5:52 PM   Ellen Levy Finch replied to her own comment.I thought I had done a Taj MuttHall post on this--but it must've been on Facebook, I guess. I use small vise grips and the dogs have, all of them, used them as a handy handle to help get some good chewin' in! It doesn't solve them somehow chewing off a huge chunk, but it does prevent swallowing the last big chunk.
Boost photo (taken May 25 '12):  

[FB Jan 11, 2020, 11:10 AM : Ellen Levy Finch commented on Ellen Clary's post.
This is why I clamp most chew treats with a vise grip in the middle.  
Glad she's fine.]
[Email w/sis Aug 30, 2020 -- 

From her to me:

    Can you send me a photo of the “clamp on a bully stick” thing.. so I can see where on the stick you clamp it, and why you clamp it? Dog just eats around whatever we clamp on it...

From me to her: Here are images: 

    Yes, they do chew around it— my goal is to avoid them trying to swallow the whole last 3-5” piece when I’m not using the vice grips. My pups have always chewed down from each end to the clamp, and then there’s a small bit left in the clamp that I can just toss or give to them depending on my mood.…and if that’s the only photo that I have of Chip with his clamped bully, I will be sad indeed.

Meanwhile--what if someone [ahem, TIKA!] leaves one out on the lawn and Human Mom can't find it?
Read https://dogblog.finchester.org/2020/12/vise-grips-past-imperfect-and-future-to.html

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