Dogs love chewing. What is better for them than chewing on a bone? Having them gnaw on safe and healthy dog chew toys, that’s what! Gone are the days of giving your pet an old beef bone. We have learned that these can not only be dangerous (splintering, choking, etc.) but they are also not exactly healthy. 

The good news is that there are several safer chews out there on the pet supply market, so the team at Union Lake Pet Services is here to tell you all about them. 

Why Do Dogs Love to Chew?

Dogs have a natural capacity for chewing because it helps keep their teeth and gums clean and jaws strong. It also helps alleviate boredom in domestic canines by providing physical and mental enrichment. Chewing aids in digestion and helps the stomach to produce more digestive enzymes. Plus, dogs just really seem to enjoy the act of chewing on something that tastes great to them.

Why Some Dog Chew Toys Are Dangerous

If you have ever had a broken tooth, you can understand that it is both painful and expensive to repair. This is also true of dogs, and one of the primary reasons for broken teeth is chewing on something that is too hard for the dog’s teeth. 

Use any chew toys in moderation and watch for GI upset. Certain dog chews that can be potentially dangerous or unhealthy for your Fido friend include:

Bones, hooves, and antlers – These popular choices in dog chews may seem reasonable, seeing as wild dogs chew on them. Unfortunately, these natural choices in dog chews are the source of many gastrointestinal punctures (from splintering) or blockages, choking, oral abrasions, and broken teeth. Make sure that your dog isn’t chewing off large pieces that can create an issue. Many dogs chew them appropriately and do fine with any or all of these. Other dogs break off large pieces that can be dangerous.

Chews that are too hard – Dog chews that are long-lasting are often designed to be too hard for a dog to bite a piece off of. This means that the material can present a risk of broken teeth. 

Indigestible chews made of plastic – These seem like a good choice for your pocketbook, since you will never buy another dog chew, right? Unfortunately, these nylon or plastic chews are too hard for safe chewing. If they are flavored, your pet will continue to chew and wear the “bone” down so that the plastic becomes irregular and frayed. This can also injure the gums and mouth. 

Rawhide – Rawhides are debated. Some schools of thought believe they are fine. Others note that they are hard to digest and can be the reason for obstruction or gastrointestinal upset. Rawhides come in various sizes and can cause choking. Others complain about chemicals used in making rawhides. Still, rawhide is preferable to the options listed here. For more info, read Are Rawhide Chews Dangerous for Your Dog?

Safe and Healthy Dog Chew Toys

You should supervise your pet even with safe and healthy dog chew toys. The following, though, are some of the better options in safe and healthy chew toys:

  • Bully sticks 
  • Beef tracheas
  • Assorted animal parts like aortas, tripe, and tendon
  • Flavored dental chews
  • Animal horns that soften when chewed

Remember that your choice in dog chews depends on your dog and their size. Limit the number of chew toys you give, as some of these contain extra calories that add up

We hope you find the perfect safe and healthy dog chew toys for your pooch. If we can answer any questions about safe dog treats, please do not hesitate to call us