Dogs have a natural instinct to chew. It’s important for their mental and physical health, so providing them with safe and healthy chews is vital.
SAFETY FIRST – let’s talk about chew safety!
⁃ Identify what kind of chewer your dog is.
If you have a “chomper” stay away from antlers or small chews.
⁃ Always supervise. No matter how durable or long-lasting a chew is, anything can be a potential choking hazard.
⁃ For new chews, start with short sessions to be sure it agrees with your dog.
⁃ If you are unsure of the correct size, remember that bigger is always better.
Next: The good, the bad, and the artificial.
⁃ Always be sure your chews are not made in China.
⁃ Stay away from artificial colors & flavors. That red stripe that says “bacon flavor” may look appealing, but there’s nothing tasty about red 40.
⁃ Avoid rawhide altogether. No matter where it is made, it is not digestible.
⁃ Steer clear of Nylabones. They are made of hard plastic, so as your dog chews they are consuming tiny sharp plastic pieces.
Last: What CAN my dog chew on?
⁃ Frozen raw marrow bones – Our personal favorite. This is the most natural way for a dog to brush and floss their teeth!
⁃ Bully sticks
⁃ Fish Skin
⁃ Yak chews
⁃ Buffalo horns
⁃ Antlers (if your dog is not a chomper.)
⁃ No-Hide chews (rawhide replacement)
⁃ Ears (pig, lamb, etc.)
⁃ Essentially any identifiable body part. Whether it’s frozen, freeze-dried, dehydrated, or smoked, if you know exactly what it is by looking at it, it’s much safer and more natural for your dog to digest!
Remember, dogs NEED to chew. So if Fido eats your furniture, it’s not his fault! Relieve his biological need to chew and be sure to make healthy choices while doing so!
Guest Columnist: Alli Glüecklich