For dogs, chewing toys are not a luxury, but a necessity. Especially for puppies, who need to gnaw to help their adult teeth break through. For adult dogs, chewing is a way to deal with stress, fight boredom, provide comfort and of course to exercise the jawbones. Toys can even help prevent dog from developing certain problem behaviors. Additionally, when dogs settle down with a chew toy, they are getting a mental workout too. They explore the world with their mouths – like when a person gets into a good book. For most dogs, though, chewing is simply just a satisfying behavior: It makes them happy! These dog chew toys tips will make chewing a lot safer for your pup.
Choosing the right dog chew toys
With dozens of options in every toy aisle, picking the best and safest chew toy can be overwhelming. There are many things to consider and it’s up to you to make the best choice (of course, your vet can give you some advice if needed). So what makes a good chewing toy?
- Made of safe material (be aware of toxic chemicals)
- Size – large enough that your dog can’t “swallow” it
- Without small parts, buttons, strings – that can be swallowed (similar to children’s toys)
- Easy to wash
- Flexibility (is it any surprise that chews that are hard as rocks can break a dog’s tooth?)
- No sharp edges which can tear at the internal lining of the stomach
- Show no signs of deterioration
There are a range of very durable rubber toys that are funny and safe for your pup. For example the super-bouncy, food dispensing toy, KONG. This natural rubber toy is the perfect chew toy for dogs and is recommended worldwide by veterinarians and dog trainers. However, even the safest chewing toy should be evaluated regularly for deterioration and replaced when necessary.
Dangerous chew toys
Many pet parents are unaware of the dangers of some chew toys. These chews often contains chemicals such as glue, bleach, food coloring and other toxic preservatives. Therefore, always check the labels! Look for toys that are labeled as safe for children under three years of age and that don’t contain any dangerous fillings. Be aware of any chew toy that contains a “squeaker” buried in its center. Your dog may feel that he must find and destroy the source of the squeaking, and he could ingest it. Supervise your dog’s play with squeaky toys. There are also many hard chew toys on the market, for instance hard plastic. Chewing on hard objects can be dangerous for your dog as it may result in a fractured tooth. If you choose to get your pup soft chew toys in stead, make sure that it is machine washable.
Have you ever given your dog something to chew on that seemed innocent but turned out to be unhealthy? Share your experience in the comments below.
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