Why is Chewing Important and Beneficial for Dogs?
We all know that chewing is a completely natural activity of dogs throughout their lives. Most of us can relate to those little land-sharks (aka puppies) trying to ease their teething pain by chomping on our furniture, leather shoes or our hands. Most dog-owners buy several toys and chews to help their fur-babies through this less than pleasant stage, which lasts a couple of months. However, encouraging your dog to chew shouldn’t be limited to the teething phase only as regular chewing has plenty of benefits.
Health Benefits of Regular Dog Chewing
- Relieves teething pain
- Reduces boredom
- Reduces anxiety & frustration
- Provides mental stimulation
- Prevents destructive behaviour
- Removes plaques and tartar from the teeth
- Keeps jaws strong & healthy preventing gum disease
- Keeps away bad breath
- Burns excess energy
- Helps puppies explore the world
Chewing is often regarded as a negative behaviour due to its potentially destructive nature. However, as the list above shows it’s everything but negative! The important thing to bear in mind is to re-direct that behaviour to safe and enjoyable chews.
Select your chews wisely
Before purchasing any chews (be it natural edible chews or toys), it is important that you consider the size of your dog, his chewing habits, bite strength and of course what he/she likes to chomp on. You want to get something safe and enjoyable for your dog.
Please also bear in mind the points below:
- Any chews or even toys can cause choking or blockages, therefore it is essential to always supervise your dog, whilst she/he is having a good old chomp
- Don’t give fresh bones too often as they can cause constipation (in some dogs it can cause diarrhoea too)
- When it comes to bones, choose raw or air-dried and not cooked or roasted as those can splinter puncturing the oesophagus, stomach or intestines. Beef knuckle or shin bones are often roasted!
Safe dog chews
- Chomper boxes – choose from Puppy; Power; Adult; Mighty; Easy; Sensitive; Chubby and Ultimate
- Buffalo skin – long lasting and low-odour chew, full of natural protein, with no preservatives (suitable from 12 weeks+)
- Pizzles – long-lasting, excellent dental chews which are loved by even the fussiest dogs (suitable from 12 weeks+)
- Buffalo horn – Long-lasting chews which can be used as natural KONGs. Ours have an open end at both end preventing potential suffocation and keeping it more hygienic (suitable from 12 weeks+)
- Ostrich bones – highly nutritious and a super safe delicacy. A gently air dried, non-splintering bone, providing a single source of protein. It is the perfect way to entertain your dog in the house or garden whilst also keeping your dog’s chompers clean. A fantastic, less messy alternative to raw bone options.
- Beef tails – we have the whole range (normal, Jumbo; Supersized; Meaty) and all of them are excellent dental chews
- Antlers and split antlers – Naturally shed antlers make fantastic dog chews because they are totally natural, sustainable, long lasting, provide good minerals and are odourless to humans (suitable from 8 weeks+)
- XL pig ears – All dogs love pig ears and these big boys will keep your dog entertained for a while. The Porky Delights is a good alternative if you want smaller ears and your dog is a fan of pork snouts and pork bites (show me a dog who isn’t)
- No-hide chews – The long-lasting, heavenly & healthy alternative to rawhide; available in 4 flavours (beef, chicken, salmon and peanut butter) (suitable from 16 weeks+)
Toys for chewing
There are many toys on the market claiming to be indestructible but there is no such thing! There are many, which are made to last and withstand powerful chomping but if you do have a dog that destroys all toys, I’d advise you to save your money and focus on the edible chews instead. However, if your dog loves toys and can be trusted with them, the toys below are firm favourites:
Any dogs should be encouraged to chew on a regular basis for all the health benefits discussed above. Once dental health problems start, it is very pricey and intrusive for your dog; so prevention is much better. When it comes to edible chews, your best friends are raw bones and 100% air-dried natural chews and treats.
Finally, don’t forget to supervise your dog and always provide them with fresh water.