By Dr. Al Townshend
Dogs love to chew, and it’s their instinct to spend time doing just that. The impulse to chew begins early, and it is crucial to direct the chewing away from the furniture and other inappropriate items.
Like human infants with teething toys, puppies frequently chew as their baby teeth fall out, and their adult teeth come in. Providing a safe and suitable chew object early in life will save the frustrations of repairing or replacing furniture.
Domesticated dogs have that innate urge to chew to keep their jaw muscles active and their teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Unfortunately, many domestic dogs chew to combat boredom and relieve anxiety or frustration. This chewing can be unsafe and destructive for pets and the household. Every effort should be directed at understanding the cause to prevent this negative behavior.
It is essential for Guardians to provide the right objects for their canine companions to chew. Making sure they don’t choose the wrong items in the home is necessary.
Selecting the Right Chew for Your Pet
Rawhide is one of the most common chews given to dogs, but it is also potentially one of the most dangerous products you can give your pet.
- They contain chemicals used in the tanning process.
- Rawhide is poorly digested and provides little nutritional value
- If larger chunks are chewed off and swallowed, they can cause significant irritation, which can result in vomiting. Large pieces are notorious for getting caught in the throat and creating breathing issues, which is especially dangerous for the flat-nosed breeds (Pugs, Bull Dogs, Pekingese, etc…) Stomach or intestinal blockages can occur if the pet swallows too large a piece creating a life-threatening situation.
There are Better Choices
There are a variety of options other than rawhide and without the potential risk. They range from different body parts to toys and products specifically designed to chew.
Large, meaty, uncooked bones from the butcher or in the freezes at Pet Planet are great choices. They are very dense and unlikely to break into larger pieces which can be swallowed. It is essential to avoid cooked bones as they have been weakened by the cooking and can be chewed into pieces. Chicken bones, whether cooked or not, should always be avoided.
Smoking provides an added flavor and aroma.
Other Body Parts
There is a multitude of different body parts that are available for dogs. From raw frozen body parts to dry body parts.
Yak Milk Chews
Himalayan dog treats are a treat made from hard, natural cheese.
The Yak Cheese Sticks are made from an ancient drying process and are all natural. There are no added chemicals or preservatives.
Nylabones are a synthetic material that is almost indestructible.
There are a variety of KONG toys that are designed for chewing.
Other Toys Specifically Designed for Chewing
There are a large variety of toys designed to encourage chewing but are designed to be safe and resistant to breaking apart.
Always remember the rules of feeding chew treats.
- Match the size of the chew with the size of the pet. Chews that are too small can increase the risk of the pet swallowing it or chewing off too big a piece.
- It is essential to pay close attention to how fast your pet chews and how the pet chews to avoid any risk.
- Fresh water should always be available for your pet.
The proper chew item can be a safe and natural way for your pet to fulfill its instinct to chew safely and healthily.
Be sure and discuss the ideal chew items for your pet with any of the Ambassadors at your Pet Planet store.