You’ve no doubt noticed that your dog loves to chew. Chewing is natural, normal behavior for dogs of all kinds (including wild ones). They chew for fun, for relaxation and even for attention. Regularly rewarding them with a healthy chew treat or chew toys for dogs, like a bully stick, can make them soooo happy. It’s a good way to show some love and encourage good behavior. Just make sure you get bully sticks that aren’t prone to splintering.
If you’re a new dog owner, or if your dog is chewing things they shouldn’t, it’s worth spending a little time teaching them what’s chewable and what’s not. Not only will this save your couch or other valuables from getting destroyed, it could also save their life.
A variety of edible and inedible chew toys and treats exist for dogs, but many are not safe and can result in choking and other serious injuries. Here’s what you should know about treats and chew toys for dogs.
To Eat or Not to Eat
It’s best to alternate between giving your dog inedible and edible chews on different days so you don’t overfeed them. With inedible chew toys for dogs, you might have to try a few different types before finding the ones your pup likes most. Once you know, keep offering them their favorites.
Occupying your dog for long periods of time with a chew helps their mental stimulation — pooches like to concentrate too! Also, rotating between a couple different toys every few days can keep them from getting bored with one too quickly.
When choosing inedible chew toys for dogs, be sure to pick ones that are appropriate for your pet’s size and chewing strength. Don’t offer toys that are small enough to swallow or could be torn apart easily. Also, avoid toys with parts such as strings, ribbons or plastic eyes.
Edible treats, like non-splintering bully sticks, are great chew options for your dog. Bully sticks are healthy, 100% digestible, baked beef muscle treats that most dogs love. Not only do they mean hours of happy dog time, they also provide many health benefits.
Their hard texture helps scrape off plaque and tartar buildup from your dog’s teeth and gums. Rich in protein and vitamins, they promote healthy coats, strong muscles and good brain function.
Never give your dog a real, cooked, leftover bone to chew, like t-bones or chicken wings, which can splinter and cause serious harm instantly. Look out for pieces of edible treats smaller than an inch. Even if the treat is digestible, a small piece of it can still cause choking or intestinal blockage.
If your dog is an aggressive chewer or new to edible chew treats, supervise them when chewing. If you need to leave them for longer stretches of time, get a safe, non-metal clamp that prevents them from chewing the last bit and protects their teeth at the same time.
Dogs’ teeth are not as sharp as cats’ teeth, but their teeth and jaws are much stronger and made for grabbing larger animals, tearing through hides or stripping bones.
Your dog’s scraping instinct may be why they like to pull the fuzz off of tennis balls, another no-no toy to give your dog for chewing.
If you’re not sure how strong your dog’s jaws are, check with your veterinarian or a veterinary dental specialist who can give you more information on that as well as their overall dental needs.
Happy safe chewing!