If you’ve owned your dog for awhile, you know she likes to chew—most likely on anything she can get her teeth on. If you just adopted a new puppy, you’ll learn this fact of canine ownership very quickly. Your goal as a responsible pet owner is to find safe chew toys for your dog. Here are the products we recommend and a few we discourage.
Safe Chew Toys for Dogs
The following chew toys are safer for your dog’s teeth in our opinion. However, we ALWAYS encourage supervision while your pet plays—even the toughest toys can’t withstand prolonged and vigorous chewing!
- Kongs: The thick, durable nature of Kongs and similar rubber toys are practically indestructible. Fill the cavity with peanut butter, canned dog food, or another favorite gooey snack and let your pooch go to town without fear of hurting her teeth or swallowing something she shouldn’t.
- Interactive treat toys: Similar to Kongs, some chew toys are specifically designed to tuck treats inside and occupy your dog in a healthy way. These are usually made of high-impact plastic, making them puncture-resistant, but be sure to supervise your dog to make sure they don’t manage to bite off any pieces of plastic.
- Nylabones: Dogs love the shape and taste of meat-infused Nylabones, and the textured surface of some Nylabones even massages the gums and prevents plaque buildup, all while relieving boredom. Note: some varieties of Nylabones are actually quite hard and could hurt your dog’s teeth, so be sure to feel the specific toy you’re looking at before you purchase to ensure it’s safe! Ask your veterinarian if you’re unsure.
- Benebones: Shaped like a wishbone and made of heavy-duty nylon, benebones come in tempting peanut butter, rotisserie chicken, and bacon flavors. You can find them in mini, regular, and jumbo size to fit your dog’s needs. Benebones last for weeks—just but remember to replace them when they start to wear out.
- Bully sticks: Chewy bully sticks are intended to be eaten. If your dog goes through them too quickly, try a braided version that lasts longer. The safest versions are free of hormones, preservatives, and other additives, so read the label carefully.
- Dental treats: Some chew toys are infused with medication to help keep your dog’s teeth clean. Try a few different kinds to find a style your pet can’t resist.
Toys to Avoid or Use with Caution
Some toys are best kept out of your home or used only with supervision. These include:
- Rope toys: If your dog swallows a long rope strand, it could become lodged in her digestive tract and cause painful intestinal damage. For this reason, you should never leave your dog alone with a rope toy.
- Bones, hooves, and rawhides: These animal-based chews are very rigid and can cause tooth fractures. They are also liable to splinter and create choking hazards. The chemical process used to make rawhide toys may endanger your pup as well.
- Stuffed squeaky toys: A few too many tugs could cause a stuffed toy to break open, revealing the squeaker inside, which then becomes a choking hazard.
Contact Germantown Vet for More Dog Care Tips
Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner who needs a few reminders or you have a new puppy and could use all the help you can get, Germantown Vet is here for you. We provide pet nutrition and diet advice, behavior management for dogs who love to chew, and wellness visits to set your dog up for success.
For answers to your remaining questions, or to schedule a vet visit, please contact us online or call 240-252-7467 today.