Friday, March 3, 2017

What is your dog chewing on today?

Dogs need to chew – it’s how they clean their teeth and also a way to release stored up energy.

So you can give them stuff to chew on, or they will find it for themselves. If you leave it up to your pooch, he may choose your carpet or your furniture. Having your dog chew up things in your home is frustrating and can get expensive, so it is a lot cheaper to go to the pet-store and find some chew toys and chew foods for him.

I often hear people say that their dog doesn’t like to chew, even though they provide many toys for him to do so. If this is the case with your dog, read on, because every dog needs to chew to keep his teeth and gums healthy. You may just need to find the right thing he likes to chew on.

Also there can be other underlying behavior issues that lead a dog to chew through your door, but in this blog post I want to address the dog’s need to chew – not behavior issues such as separation anxiety or other issues.

Apollo and his toy collection

With this in mind, I’d like to start by reviewing the difference between chew toys and chew food.

Chew toys are toys that encourage to chew, but are made from materials that the dog cannot and should not eat, on the other hand, chew foods are digestible items that are made to last for some time to allow the dog to chew and break off parts. Chew foods are safe to eat and are digestible.

It is important for you to be clear on the difference, as you need to make sure your dog does not ingest parts of his chew toys. As a general rule, if your dog destroys his chew toys quickly, they are either too small for him, or not suitable. It is important that you chose the right kind of chew toy to keep your pet save. Children’s toys are often rated by age, which indicates that certain toys can become a choking hazard for younger children; similarly dog toys are sometimes rated for strong chewers, but unfortunately this is not as widely used as it is with children’s toys. Please be sure to always supervise your dog when you first introduce a new toy or food to him. Once you learn that a particular item is safe, you can leave it out for the dog to go to as he chooses.

Chew foods should last for several days, so if your dog eats up the chew food within a few minutes, it is too small and does not allow for consistent chewing. It may be a great treat for him, but you still need to provide something he can actually chew on for longer periods of time.

We usually recommend that you have several different types of chew toys and food out for your dog. Here are some examples for each category:

Chew toys:

Ropes, hard rubber and nyla bones

Chew food:

Deer antler, natural bones, raw hide, bully sticks and compressed dried bones.

Other considerations:

There are a lot of choices at the pet store when it comes to buying chew toys or chew foods. Beware that many of the flavored items can actually stain your carpets, as the dog chews on them. Dog toys can also be very expensive. If you do not have a lot of money to spend on these items, consider the following. Our dogs love rope toys and you can easily make your own, by buying rope at the home improvement store and tying knots into the ends. We also get natural marrow bones at the grocery or butcher, and they cost only a fraction of what you pay for a manufactured chew bone at the pet store.

Every dog is different. So you may need to try out different types of chew toys or chew foods to find the ones he likes. If your dog does not chew at all, consider having his teeth checked. He could have an infected tooth or gums that hurt him.

You may also like this article about making your own stuffed chew bones.

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Until next time: Keep your Paws on the Road!


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