Chewing: It’s a Good Thing
You may have heard the line, “Nothing of the pig goes waste. We even use the oink.” Well, that’s what a dog thinks, too. Although bones, ears, and hooves are used as treat items for dogs, we have to remember that dogs are meat–eaters by nature, and they don’t really care about what part of the animal it came from.
Benefits of Chewing
Chewing is a very natural behavior for puppies and dogs, and there are a number of benefits that chewing offers:
Good dental hygiene
Chewing is good for keeping tartar from building up on the teeth (which helps prevent that dragon breath). When a dog chews on a hard object, it scrapes away the tartar that can build up and cause bad breath, staining, and periodontal disease.
Satisfy the natural desire to chew
Dogs are animals, and animals use their mouths for many things. It’s natural for dogs to chew, and chewing on hard chew objects provides an appropriate outlet for your dog’s desire to chew.
Chewing is an enjoyable pastime for many dogs, while others may chew to relieve boredom, frustration, or anxiety. If you had to choose between your new couch, your leather wallet, or a bone, which would you rather your dog have?
To Aid in Teething
Puppies chew for several reasons. Puppies like to chew on something hard to relieve the discomfort in their gums as their adult teeth come in. This is called counter pressure. Chewing also helps develop strong jaws, and trains them as youngsters on the items that are acceptable to chew.
Bones are good choices for dogs to chew as long as they are not too small or too brittle. Chicken bones, for example, are small and could splinter easily, getting caught in your dog’s throat or digestive system. The best bones generally come from the femur (leg bone) of a large animal, such as a cow. They are very dense so they don’t splinter, yet are a manageable size for a dog to handle. They even come smoked and basted, so your dog has a variety to choose from.
Handmade bones (such as Booda Velvets and Nylabones), are good choices if you want to keep your dog busy but don’t want to give real animal bones. Or, for pets that prefer a softer chew, or for older pets that struggle with hard chews, try a bone that is less dense. Booda Velvets are made with digestible ingredients (such as corn) that are perfectly safe for your dog. They may come in a variety of flavors, and you can find the size that’s just right for your dog’s preferences. If you offer your dog a bone, and she doesn’t seem to care for it, don’t give up! Some pets are finicky about their chews. Maybe she doesn’t like the consistency of the bone, or perhaps it’s too big or too bland. Whatever her preference, keep trying until you find the right chew item. Just remember those benefits!