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    Chew on This: Mind Your Dog’s Teeth

    • 3 min read

    Otis here. It’s time to learn a little more about what dogs should and shouldn’t chew. Some things that may seem like a good idea because they’re natural can really hurt our teeth.

    Teeth are part of our hand-mouths. We use them to solve puzzles, shred toys and enjoy supper time. Because our mouths are multi-functional, a damaged tooth has significant impact on our health and happiness.

    A broken tooth needs to be remedied as soon as possible, but it’s even better to avoid potential dental problems in the first place. Doggy dentistry is not inexpensive. An annual cleaning under sedation costs a few hundred dollars.

    Too Tough for Teeth

    Some of Chopper’s teeth seemed chipped and loose. After a few consultations with pet dentists, we found out he needs some dental work to fix up those teeth. While we can’t change anything that would genetically lead to dental problems, we can look at what dogs may chomp that could damage those teeth.

    Nursery rhymes and pop culture suggest that you can satisfy a dog by giving him a bone. Cooked bones splinter easily, meaning those little shards can damage our tongues and gums or cause trouble in our bellies. Plus, they’re too hard on dog teeth.

    Some companies offer hooves and antlers as alternatives to traditional bones. While your buddy might seem to enjoy gnawing on them, these options are too hard for most dogs’ teeth. Hooves and antlers can lead to chipped rear teeth. In fact, the popularity of antlers has caused enough veterinary and pet dental experts to issue warnings for pet parents to avoid them. (Chopper had to give up antlers to preserve his teeth.)

    Also, some dogs are drawn to sticks. While sticks seem like an obvious and inexpensive chew toy, the injuries they can cause for your pup could be devastating. With so many alternatives available, it’s better to spend a few bucks for a stick toy that can be cleaned and is intended for dog mouths.

    It’s time to skip the bones, hooves and antlers with their promises to occupy your pal’s time and find toys that allow for chomping without potential dental problems later. (Dental work isn’t fun for anyone.)

    Nicer Gnawing

    Chopper & Otis: West Paw Qwizl

    For starters, your dog’s chew toys have to be non-toxic. This means no pig ears unless you’re certain they haven’t been chemically treated. Get toys from ethical companies who have oversight in the manufacturing process, making sure toys don’t contain or come into contact with toxins.

    Secondly, dog chews shouldn’t be too hard on teeth. Chew toys should still be hard enough that your pup can’t easily bite off chunks. Puppies, older dogs, average dogs and mega-chewers all require different strength of chew toys.

    A good chew toy is durable and relatively soft on the surface. It should have some give when you press into it with a fingernail. Even nylon bones can be too tough on teeth, no matter how popular they seem.

    Choice Chomping

    We have some products in the shop that can satisfy that urge to chew without harming hand-mouths.

    SodaPup toys are made from natural rubber and come in multiple strengths to suit your chewer. With plenty of fun shapes, you’re sure to find something your dog will enjoy.

    West Paw toys are great for dogs who enjoy chewing and puzzles. They have some fun fetchers for the outdoor doggo.

    Cycle Dog Ecolast toys are sturdy and most of them are snack dispensers. They’re perfect for playful pups.

    P.L.A.Y. NovaFlex Nova Stick is designed to look and feel a lot like an actual stick. It even makes a crunching sound when chomped!

    If you need help selecting a safe chew toy for your best friend, check out our customer reviews or reach out to us. We’ll work together to keep those hand-mouths happy.

    Until next time--

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