Shopping for Your Pet? Best Toys for Tough Chewers
Are you looking for Christmas or Hannukah gifts for your dog? Eighty percent of Americans admit to buying presents for their pets this holiday season. If your dogs are like mine, they destroy most toys in a matter of minutes. So, what can we get our tough chewers that will last at least into the new year? Below are some options for treating your pet.
Hard rubber toys such as Kong and Orbee-Tuff are usually good options. The dense rubber holds up well to strong jaws and sharp teeth but still has a little “give” so it won’t harm your dog’s teeth. While relatively indestructible, there are dogs that can chew these up so inspect toys for cracks or large pieces that might break off. Also, be sure to choose the appropriate size toy for your dog—go too big rather than too small. We don’t want large dogs accidentally swallowing toys!
Unstuffed plush toys can be a good option for some dogs. These soft toys satisfy dogs’ desires to chew and shake them like prey, but, since there is no fiberfill inside, if they do rip open a seam, there’s less mess and less chance of your pup trying to eat the stuffing. If your dog has a tendency to eat socks, fabric, or other things, these may not be for her. Warning: some also contain squeakers, so, supervise pets to make sure they don’t remove and ingest the squeaker. Plush toys most likely will be destroyed, but my dogs have had the unstuffed versions (or parts of them!) for a much longer time than a regular plush toy. There are some plushies that are covered with Kevlar or fire hose material that are more durable than regular plush toys and may be worth a look for a strong chewer, but, from personal experience, they’re not totally indestructible.
Heavy rope toys are also fairly durable. While small strings may break off, most are well made and do not unravel. If long bits of string are coming loose, it may be time to trash the rope. No one wants a string foreign body!
A word about rawhide—I think it’s ok but with a few caveats. Make sure the product is made in the USA. There have been issues with foreign rawhide containing formaldehyde and other undesirable preservatives. Do not use if your dog is a gulper. Some dogs will try to chomp down large pieces of rawhide which may get stuck in their throats or may not digest as well. Avoid use as well if your pet has beef allergies or has had vomiting or diarrhea associated with rawhide in the past. Make sure to choose a rawhide that is large enough that your dog can’t fit it in his mouth and swallow it whole. And, finally, ALWAYS supervise your pet when chewing rawhide. Take rawhide away when it becomes too small to safely chew.
Patton Veterinary Hospital does NOT recommend hard items like real bones, antlers or hooves for dogs to chew. These items are so hard that dogs can break their teeth while chewing and can sometimes splinter posing a hazard.
Remember to check your pets’ toys and toss them if there are a lot of loose pieces or the toy has worn down and is too small for safe play. Always supervise pets when they are chewing, especially edible products like rawhides and don’t use toys that are too hard.
We hope this gives you some ideas for your Christmas or Hannukah list to make your dogs merry this holiday!
This blog brought to you by the Patton Veterinary Hospital serving Red Lion, York and the surrounding communities.