Chew Toys for Dogs

Important Facts About Chew Toys For Dogs

Chew toys for dogs

Fractured teeth are one of the more common dental problems encountered by veterinary dentists. Broken teeth, more often than not, have exposed pulp tissues that subsequently become infected.  Just like for humans, apical infection (apical periodontitis, dental “abscesses”) will occur in a matter of time. They are painful and cause exposure of the body to chronic bacteria infusion and inflammation. In most cases, the problem is caused by dogs being allowed to chew on objects that are just too hard for their teeth. These objects may actually be harder than the teeth. Strictly avoid bones (cooked or uncooked), cow hoofs, pig ears, hard & thick rawhides, plastic or nylon bones, and large ice cubes. Tennis balls and other objects with abrasive surfaces should also be avoided as these have a sandpaper-like effect on tooth structure that damages and may expose the pulp. The flatter, softer rawhide chews have been shown to be safe and effective in reducing the rate of plaque accumulation. C.E.T. Hextra rawhide chews contain Chlorhexidine which enhances their effectiveness.

Rules of Thumb:

1. You want to be able to indent the surface with your finger nail.  Surface has some “give” to it.

2. “Knee Cap Rule”: If you hit yourself in the knee with the object and it hurts, it’s probably too hard/heavy for your dog.

3. “Hammer Rule”: If you can drive a nail with the product, don’t allow your dog to chew on it.

4.  Also avoid objects with abrasive surfaces like Tennis Balls and Frisbees.

5.  If you cannot flex or break the product with your bare hands, it’s probably best to avoid it.

6.  Please take note: you should always monitor your pet when they are chewing on anything.  Verify they’re not gagging, trying to ingest too much at one time or attempting to eat an inedible product.

VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) approved products – Although not all safe products have VOHC approval, using products with the VOHC seal of acceptance is recommended as these products have successfully met pre-set requirements for veterinary dental efficacy and safety.  A complete list of VOHC approved products can be accessed at www.vohc.org.

Differences in Dog Chew Types

Chew Type About Chews Time

Estimations

 

Chew Pros Safety Concerns & Cons
Bully Stick Bull penises that have been rinsed and dried. 30 Mins or More

 

Most dogs will take at least 30 minutes to consume a bully stick and some will take days or weeks

.

·         Tasty for dogs

·         Natural

·         Nutritional value

·         Non staining

·         Some are available with low odor.

·         Non greasy

Safety Concerns: Choking on the end piece, possible bacterial contamination, and chemical treatment. We recommend that you take the bully stick away when it gets small enough to choke on. (Or hold it for your dog!)

Cons: Some will have an odor

 

Himalayan Dog Chew A very hard cheese chew 30 Mins or More

 

Most dogs will take at least 30 minutes to consume a Himalayan Chew and some will take days or weeks.

·         Yummy!

·         Natural nutritional value

·         Non staining

·         Non greasy

·         Pleasant smell

·         Unique

 

 

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece.

Antler Chews Deer antlers that are cut up. Weeks or More

 

Most dogs will take weeks to consume an antler and many last indefinitely with the dog chewing on them now and then.

·         Natural

·         Nutritional value

·         Non staining

·         No odor

·         Unique

·         Long lasting

 

 

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece, possible bacterial contamination.

Rubber Chews Rubber dog chews such as the Kong brand Months or More

 

These should last months at least.

·         Natural rubber

·         No odor

·         Not staining (unless you put PB inside!)

·         Durable

·         Long lasting

·         Good variety of sizes and strengths

·         Stuffable

 

Safety Concerns: Choking on a small piece, indigestibility. Pet stores offer different color Kongs and extra durable Kongs to help prevent the dog from eating pieces and if pieces do get “stuck” in the dog, the blue Kong will show up on an X-ray.

Cons: Dogs don’t much care for them unless you put food inside. Don’t really clean teeth much since they are pretty soft and smooth.

 

Yam/ Sweet Potato Chews A dog chew made from a piece of dried yam or sweet potato. Minutes

 

These can last only minutes for some dogs if they are avid chewers.

·         Natural

·         Nutritional value

·         Non staining

·         No odor

·         Non greasy

·         Digestible

 

Safety Concerns: Choking on a small piece.

Cons: Most dogs eat them pretty fast. They are more of a treat than a chew. Has a significant amount of calories

 

Beams Fish Skin Chews Made by Honest Kitchen. Contains dehydrated Icelandic Cod skin only. 3 Mins or More

These are more of a chewy snack or treat than a long-lasting chew. Picky dogs will take longer with them.

·         Natural

·         Tasty

·         Healthy

·         Dental benefits

·         Digestible, edible

·         Sustainable

·         Contains Omega Fatty Acids

·         15 to a package

·         Can be stuffed in a Kong

Safety Concerns: Choking is a concern but it doesn’t seem that likely with these chews. They are also not hard enough to break a tooth.

Cons: Most dogs eat them pretty fast. They are more of a treat than a chew. Has a significant amount of calories. Could possibly stain carpet. These do have a fishy smell but it is not that strong.

 

Rawhide A layer of skin that usually comes from cattle. It takes quite a bit of processing to get it ready for your dog. It can be in sheets, compressed or formed from bits. The sheets are preferred. 30 Mins or More

 

Depends a lot upon the dog chewing habits and how the rawhide is formed and its quality. While compressed will last the longest it is also perhaps more dangerous since the dog will potentially ingest more rawhide. Generally a rolled rawhide chew will last several hours.

·         Not much if any odor

·         Readily available in many forms and flavors.

·         Have been in use for years.

·         Non staining

·         Non greasy

 

 

Safety Concerns: There are many safety concerns about rawhide

. The concerns are about chemical processing, possible bacterial contamination, choking, and indigestibility.

Pig Ears, Pig Skin, Tendons and Other Animal Body Parts A chew made of a dried pig ear or skin, beef tendons, lamb ears, beef trachea and other parts. Minutes or More

 

These can take minutes for some dogs if they are avid chewers. They are best for picky dogs.

·         Readily available Safety Concerns: Choking, possible bacterial contamination.

Cons: Can be greasy and high in calories.

 

Nylon Chews A dog chew made of hard nylon. In different shapes and sometimes flavored. Months or More

 

These generally last indefinitely unless you have a real power chewer on your hands.

·         Non staining

·         Readily available

·         Non greasy

·         No calories

·         No odor

·         Lots of different sizes, flavors and shapes.

·         Long lasting

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece. Indigestibility.

Cons: These are not natural and have no nutritional value. However, the bits should pass right through your dog.

Most dogs don’t much care for them.

 

Gumabone from Nylabone Made by Nylabone, these are a softer “gummy bone”.  Made out of a “thermoplastic polymer” Months or More

 

These generally last indefinitely unless you have a real power chewer on your hands. They will not last as long as nylon bone.

·         Non staining

·         Readily available

·         Non greasy

·         No calories

·         No odor

·         Lots of different sizes, flavors and shapes.

Safety Concerns: choking on a small piece. Indigestibility.

Cons: These are not natural and have no nutritional value. However, the bits should pass right through your dog.

Most dogs don’t much care for them

 

Real Bones Real bones for dogs. These are generally roasted or cooked in some way or sterilized. 30 Mins or More

 

Bones can really vary in how long they last from less than an hour to months. The sterilized marrow bones are almost indestructible.

·         Natural

·         Nutritional value

 

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, bone splintering and cutting the dog, choking on a small piece, possible bacterial contamination, indigestibility, chemical treatment.

Cons: Bones can also stain and be greasy. Sterile empty marrow bones are not very tasty.

Cow Hooves Very hard chew which is a cut piece of a cows hoof. Days or Weeks or More

 

Most dogs will take days or weeks to consume a hoof and many last indefinitely with the dog chewing on them now and then.

·         Natural

·         Nutritional value

·         Non staining

·         Non greasy

·         Readily available

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, Choking (hooves are not very big to begin with), being cut by a sharp piece, possible bacterial contamination.

Cons: They have an unpleasant odor.

Hooves can become sharp and can be a hazard to humans with bare feet!

Corn starch chews A dog chew made of compacted corn starch and flavorings 30 Mins or More

 

Most dogs will take at least 30 minutes to consume a corn starch chew and some will take days or weeks.

·         Non staining

·         Non greasy

·         No odor

·         Lots of different sizes, flavors and shapes.

·         Digestible

·         Bumps to help clean teeth

Safety Concerns: Breaking a tooth, choking on a small piece, allergy to corn.

Cons: Corn is not very nutritious for dogs and can be allergenic. There are also other chemicals in the chew that are not very healthy for dogs.