Chews: Saving Your Furniture & Sanity & Keeping Your Dog Occupied

Jul 22, 2021

Do you give your dog chews? Chews can be so helpful when you have a newborn or a young child. 

Many dogs are bred for a purpose: herding livestock, hunting and killing vermin, retrieving, guarding property, pulling sleds, or for search and rescue work, for example. Most of us don’t have a flock of sheep in our backyards (if we are lucky to have a yard at all), nor do we hunt with our dogs to provide food for dinner. Dogs can become bored and destructive without their purpose-filled jobs. Chews can save your furniture and your sanity.

There isn't one 'always-safe' chew for every dog.⁠ Possible concerns: broken or cracked teeth, choking, gastro-intestinal irritation, or digestive obstruction, should a dog bite off more than they can chew or decide to swallow something whole.⁠

General rules:⁠

  • Always consult your veterinarian before offering your dog a chew.⁠
  • Supervise your dog and remove small or broken pieces to prevent a choking hazard.⁠
  • Ideally, a chew should pass the “thumbnail test": ⁠️soft enough that it will “give” if you press it with your thumbnail.⁠⁠
  • Some chews are very high in calories, some stink, some stain carpets.⁠
  • The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) does not recommend bones (cooked or uncooked), cow hooves, pig ears, hard & thick rawhides, plastic or nylon bones, or large ice cubes.⁠

Here are some options:⁠

⁠Duck Heads

I have to admit, they look a bit freaky but many dog parents rave about them.

If you are in Canada, click here

Gorilla Chew

Per the manufacturer, it is made from softwood (Hymalian Root) and therefore won't splinter. Not for dogs who will consume it. Not every dog likes it but if they do, hours of entertainment are guaranteed!         

Chicken or Duck Feet 

They help manage joint conditions and maintain dental hygiene. The bones are crunchy and crumbly and don’t splinter. The only part which may cause a problem is the nails. They can be sharp and harder to digest.

Beef Back Straps

It is a medium-strength chew and is recommended for small to medium-sized dogs.    

Greenies

Very popular dental chew beloved by dogs that could be a choking hazard. Best to consult your veterinarian first.    

 

Safety first:⁠

  • Give your dog a chew only in a baby-free zone, or when the baby is asleep or not home.
  • Make sure to check for any leftovers and put them away before the baby is present.
  • Many dogs will protect and guard their resources from children, even if they have not guarded them from adults.

 

Check out the Dog Meets Baby Amazon Store for more products.

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