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Being Chewsy with Chew Toys

March 20th 2020

Author: Sarah Butler

Not every chew toy is going to be suitable for every dog. So, what can your dog have?

While chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs, there are various reasons for it that should be investigated before you decide on a chew toy. Are they bored or anxious? Are they playful and
inquisitive? Are they young, and therefore teething or exploring their new environment? Being aware of why they chew can help you determine whether a chew toy is the right answer.

Every dog is different, which means that chew toys have to be as well. Some dogs take pleasure in destroying their toys quickly, while others enjoy nibbling playfully and keeping their toys intact.

Due to the sheer volume of chew toys available it’s not easy to find the best one, so it helps to factor in a few different considerations.

The toy should have a little bit of ‘give’ when you press it in with your fingernail. If it doesn’t, then it’s too hard and could break your dog’s teeth.

It should provide hours of entertainment, rather than a few minutes, and be of a decent shape and size to suit the size of your dog. It should not be so small that your dog could choke on it, but it also shouldn’t be too big for them, or they could strain or injure their jaw.

Chew toys should also be durable, nontoxic, and not have small parts that pose a choking hazard. Avoid purchasing toys that aren’t intended for dogs as these may contain unsafe materials or components.

It can be tempting to offer your dog a stick as a low-cost form of entertainment, but this is not recommended. Your dog can suffer eye or mouth injuries when running or playing with sticks, or intestinal damage from ingesting wooden fragments.

No chew toy will ever be 100 percent safe; they should be regularly evaluated for deterioration and replaced when necessary. You should not leave your dog unsupervised with any toy.

Chew toys are just one solution for a dog that loves to chew. If you're concerned about the reasons your dog is chewing, talk to your vet. Once you've determined your pet's need, you can then choose vet approved toys that will suit your dog, but will also be safe.