Monday, November 30, 2009
By Suzanne Alicie
We have all heard horror stories about dogs who chew. I have lived through this terrible event and after losing several pairs of leather shoes and one really great leather jacket, I learned some hard lessons. The first is that no matter how well behaved your dog is being, you can’t trust them. Don’t leave your valuable chewable items in a dog’s reach, because that is just too much temptation.
The second lesson is that if you provide your dog with good chew toys they may learn to leave your stuff alone. Spending a few bucks on chew toys is preferable to replacing your entire shoe collection. I don’t know why my dogs only chewed on leather and completely ignored my dollar store flip flops. I suppose they have expensive tastes, but the non leather chew toys I found seem to intrigue them just as well.
There are chew toys of all shapes and sizes; some even hold treats which will keep your dog occupied for a long time. Because each dog will have a preference, you may have to try several chew toys before you find the ideal one for your canine friend. When you are choosing a chew toy for your dog, the most important thing to look for is that the chew toy is the right size. If you have a small puppy, a large hard chew toy won’t interest them because they won’t be able to chew on it well, and if you have a large dog a small chew toy can be a choking hazard.
Safety must come first when it comes to entertaining your dog. Chew toys that are flimsy and will get torn into pieces easily are not recommended. You can find chew toys everywhere, from your grocery store pet aisle to pet specialty stores and websites.
Squeaky chew toys are a personal annoyance of mine simply because my dogs can squeak them a hundred times in just a few minutes and drive me crazy. For that reason alone I don’t give my dogs squeaky toys. If the noise doesn't bother you, be sure to select toys that are well made so the 'squeaky' part does not become dislodged and present a choking hazard.
When it comes to choosing a dog chew toy you should follow these suggestions for your dog’s safety and happiness.
• Look for chew toys that are made of durable rubber.
• Avoid strings, buttons and other pieces that can come off and be swallowed by your dog.
• Choose chew toys in an appropriate size for your dog - replace puppy chew toys as the dog grows.
• Purchase more than one shape of chew toy. Dogs prefer having a choice and will use the chew toy that is comfortable for their mouth and teeth.
Keep in mind that chewing is a natural dog activity. By choosing smart chew toys, you can help maintain your dogs dental health and even improve their breath, while preserving your home, furniture and footwear.
Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie