A new puppy brings joy, love, and bliss into a home. What is forgotten is the wave of destruction that can sweep through the house due to chewing. From dirty laundry to slippers, door frames and even furniture, it can become frustrating and expensive.
According to the ASPCA, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it is normal for puppies and dogs to chew on objects as they explore their world. For puppies, it relieves the pain associated with teething. For older dogs, it is a way of strengthening jaws and keeping teeth clean. Chewing also alleviates boredom and can ease separation anxiety and frustration. The best option to prevent your puppy from chewing on furniture, and to save your articles from destruction, is to give them safe dog toys to chew on and to make sure that the dog knows it belongs to him.
Safe Dog Toys to Prevent Chewing
Plush toys are ordinarily soft and cuddly and, like your favorite pair of slippers, do not usually last long due to the soft stuffing. You can get the squeaky ones, but it is only a matter of time before the toy is ripped open and the squeaker revealed which eventually will get mutilated. Then the dog is likely to lose interest and return to the furniture.
The most common interactive safe dog toys are a snowman-like shape resembling three balls stuck together and a hollow middle for treats. One variety has a wobble to it that makes for great excitement. The puppy varieties are specially made for teething puppies’ gums with all-natural soft rubber, whereas the larger variety for larger dogs is made of FDA food-approved, high strength, plastic polymer. These are mainly used to dispense food and treats, are dishwasher-proof and come in different colors and sizes.
The tug-o-war toy is very popular. Although sold in many pet stores as a dog chew, it is more of an interactive play toy. Covered in durable ballistic nylon for added toughness, the tails on each end make it fun for the dog to shake. It is designed to be used for tug-of-war with your dog or to throw and teach the dog to fetch and return. If you have two dogs, it is fun to teach them to play tug-of-war with each other.
There are some interactive treat toys, puzzle toys, and games available for dogs but be warned; these toys should only be used under supervision.
The non-edible dog chew is made of sturdy plastic, rubber or nylon with tiny bristle-like projections that raise during chewing to help with cleaning and freshening teeth. It has a distinct bone shape and due to the large size, lasts a reasonably long time, keeping your dog out of mischief and saving your slippers and furniture. You can get smaller non-edible dog chews which usually have a flavor added to them which are better to keep as a good-boy snack. There are also chews with real bacon flavor which dogs love, but they tend to be a bit softer and can be chewed up in a few days which will not conquer the boredom problem.
It is important to note that no non-edible dog chew is completely indestructible and the components of these bones are difficult to digest and cause many problems. Keep an eye out for your dog and regularly check that the chew is intact with no missing pieces. Replace each chew toy once the knuckle ends are worn down and it is too small to chew safely.
You can also offer your dog yummy things to chew like marrow bones, pig ears or rawhide bones, but do it under supervision in case he breaks a tooth or chokes. Do not give him cooked bones, such as leftover t-bones or chicken wings, as these can splinter and seriously injure your dog. If you are in doubt as to what toys are safe for your puppy, speak to your veterinarian for some peace of mind.
Guest Author: Jane Sandwood
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