Benefits of Chew Toys For Dogs
Chewing is often a sign of negative behaviour, especially when your dog ends up munching on your shoe. But if you have owned a pet for a long time, you’re probably used to this. Puppies chew; adult and senior dogs chew; no one is immune to such behaviour.
If not managed on time, chewing can become destructive. It’s important to let your furry companion chew whenever they need to. In fact you should provide them with safe and suitable items that will soothe their need for chewing. There is no better way than getting specifically designed toys.
Now let’s check how these products can benefit your pooch.
Do you ever come back home to find your pillows all over the place? Obviously your pet has been enjoying some time alone. So what’s the cause? Either they are stressed or bored.
Highly active dogs tend to chew almost anything to minimise stress, including your home décor. However, you can help them lessen their anxiety by offering them appropriate toys and giving your pups something else to focus on.
You can either choose scented toys or those that can incorporate chews and treats.
Besides brushing, the scraping action is equally important. As your dog chews, they clean their teeth and help to get rid of plaque. A buildup of plaque can lead to gum inflammation and eventually allow tartar to grow.
Over time, your canine may develop a dental condition that will affect their overall performance and health.
Burn excess energy
Long walks, playing catch or taking your pet jogging are only some of the activities that can help your dog burn excess energy. But chewing remains the easiest activity because it doesn’t involve you leaving the house, especially when the weather is bad.
A good chew toy can calm your restless pet in no time and put their mind to ease.
They will start exploring the world
If you introduce pups to particular chewing toys, they will start exploring the world through their mouth.
It’s important that their teeth feel different textures and shapes, especially during the teething process. Directing their attention to chew toys instead of your couch corner or TV cords is an excellent way to keep them under control.
Prevents health issues
If your pup enjoys chewing their favourite toy and loses interest in that activity one day, it might indicate a potential oral issue. You won’t always notice whether your dog is in pain or feels uncomfortable.
Their behaviour tells us when something is wrong. If your pup has stopped chewing or has lost interest in dry food and crunchy treats, maybe it’s time to visit the vet.
What are the best digestible chew toys for dogs?
Nowadays you can find a lot of chew toys on the market which are considered safe, digestible and not hard for teeth. It’s important to note that even large chunks of digestible toys can cause GI blockage and upset their stomach. Always monitor your pup as they are chewing on their toys.
Some of the safest digestible toys are bully sticks. They are dense, come in various sizes and you can buy them in different flavours. ABully sticks are among the longest lasting, especially if dealing with an aggressive chewer. The downside of these is that they tend to be expensive and can stink pretty badly.
Next are beef trachea, mostly made of cartilage and feature glucosamine and chondroitin. These have a beneficial effect on the dog’s joints. They can be pretty long, so you will choose the size according to your canine’s size. Beef trachea are often more expensive than bully sticks but they don’t stink as much.
Other animal parts include tripe, gullet, tendon or aortas. You should check whether they are safe to use with your vet. Some dogs are more sensitive than others so it could lead to GI issues.
You could also try N-bones, which are made of digestible ingredients like meat or poultry, corn starch and wheat gluten. Even though they are completely edible, these ingredients aren’t suitable for canines on a grain-free diet due to allergies.
What dog chew toys to avoid?
Don’t get your pup chews that are too hard. For example, if you believe chews are too hard for your pet to bite off and swallow, then they are probably too hard to chew as well. Very hard toys can cause oral injuries or even fractured teeth.
Generally, pet parents test chews by banging them on their knees. If it’s too hard for your knee, it’s too hard for your pup.
Some owners tend to give their canines hard animal parts like bones, antlers and hooves. Cooked bones pose a significant risk to your dog’s GI tract and teeth because they are indigestible and hard.
Some animal horns tend to soften as your dog chews on them and they might be less dangerous to teeth and GI tracts.
Rawhide is a somewhat controversial toy. While many canines find it perfectly fine, it’s crucial to know that large pieces of rawhide can cause GI irritation and blockage. Dogs can’t digest it that easily.
Rawhide is usually treated with harmful chemicals; of course, there are a couple of exceptions. In some cases, vets design rawhide with digestibility and safety in mind. You should consult your vet about rawhide and which type will keep their teeth clean.
KONGs are one of many stuffable toys with a hollow centre that you can use to put food inside. They have been around for a long time thanks to their durability. You can find different KONGs designed for canines with strong jaws or determined chewers.
KONGs encourage safe chewing, especially if you own a puppy. You can stuff a KONG toy with food every time you leave for work. This is a great way to make a positive association with you leaving the house. Canines don’t like being left alone for a long time and a Kong toy can be a perfect tool to soothe their anxiety.
KONG toys help your pup express their natural behaviour like working and scavenging for food. Eating food as part of a game is more fun than serving it in a bowl. If you are at work or have guests visiting, KONG toys can serve as a perfect distraction.
What can you stuff KONG dog toys with?
Any toys with a hollow centre can be stuffed with various things. It all depends on your pet’s preferences. If you want your dog to lose weight or they are prone to allergies, you can put the pumpkin or sweet potato inside.
Sweet potatoes are great because they are low in calories yet taste sweet. It also makes it hard for your dog to lick it out; therefore it will last for a while.
Another option is dry dog food. Most pups aren’t that picky, so you can experiment with food options. Stuff KONG with dry or canned food or soak some biscuits and put them inside. You can use peanut butter to seal the hole - dogs love it. Make sure to use peanut butter that doesn’t contain xylitol.
Do you know how to make KONG ice blocks? Use peanut butter to seal the bottom and fill the KONG with some salt residue; you can put onion-free stock inside and freeze it overnight. And there you have it, a perfect frozen treat for your pooch.
Some pet parents put the bread inside, which could be another option for you to try.
How to clean puppy chew toys?
The safest and best way to clean KONG toys is using a baby bottle brush and plenty of hot water. You may have to soak it for a couple of hours if there is a residue buildup. In some cases, you can put hollow toys in a dishwasher.
Different use of Kong toys
Pups needing to lose weight, dogs with separation anxiety or even professionally trained dogs need to be kept occupied from time to time. Therefore, KONG toys can be an excellent distraction.
You can give your pup a KONG when you have guests to encourage them to stay put or simply crate train them. Another way to use this toy is when you want your canine to chase scent. Hide the KONG and ask your dog to find it.
When it comes to chew toys, there is no one size fits all solution. It is all about experimenting and trying different things. Overly healthy and active dogs will probably enjoy a little bit of everything. But if you are dealing with overweight pups or those with a sensitive stomach, it’s better to stick with non-edible chew toys.