Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. All dogs investigate the world with their mouths, especially during puppy
hood. Teething, unease, monotony and inadequate exercise can be contributing factors. However, chewing behaviors can be directed toward inappropriate items, such as furniture, pillows and shoes. It is up to you to teach your dog what is appropriate to chew on. One way to do this is to offer your dog a variety of chew toys.
When choosing toys for your dog, you should always consider what would be safe for your dog. Chew toys should always be size-appropriate for your particular dog. For example, a Great Dane could easily strangle on a small rawhide chew. Any strings, buttons or loose fabric should be cut off the chew toy. There are some toys that should only be given to your dog when supervised. Some examples are cow hooves, rope toys and stuffed toys. Cow hooves can splinter and cause choking, while rope and stuffed toys can fray or become unstuffed and cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed. Any toy with a squeaker should be closely supervised, as most dogs find it necessary to destroy the squeaker, which may then be consumed.
It is a good idea to rotate your dog's toys periodically. If your dog stops playing with a toy, put it away. In a few weeks reintroduce the toy. Your dog will think it's new. This will break the monotony, and save you money. Keep a variety of types available for your dog.
All chew toys have a certain element of risk involved. Extra strong chewers can tear apart just about anything, even so called indestructible rubber. Some toys can cause chipped teeth, while others can cause gastrointestinal problems. But with forethought and supervision, you can make your dogs toys as safe as possible.
Here is a list of some safer chew toys for your dog: Rawhide chews – various sizes and prices
Sterilized natural bones
Nylabone® – these bones are consumable but last a while. They come in a variety of flavors such as carrot, cheese and spearmint
Roarhide® bones by Nylabone® – these bones are actually reformed rawhide particles that are safe to consume.
Booda® bones – made of consumable cornstarch, they come in lots of flavors
Super Tuff Rhino® series by Nylabone® – these are made of super durable rubber
Kong® – these have the reputation of being the toughest chew toy on the market. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can also be loaded with peanut butter for added entertainment
Sustained release balls – these products allow you to load them up with treats and leave it up to your dog to figure out how to get the treat out
Cow hooves – with supervision
Pig ears – your dog will eat these in seconds.
Stuffed toys – always be on the lookout for holes and frayed edges.