Chewing has many benefits for your dog. Obviously, you don’t want them to chew and destroy things they shouldn’t such as your shoes or furniture. This is why it is important to provide your dog with a selection on appropriate chew toys.
Why do dogs chew toys
Dogs chew for a number of reasons including;
- – aids puppies with teething and helps soothe discomfort.
- – helps to relieve boredom
- – aids in the release of pent-up energy
- – relieves anxiety by releasing feel-good endorphins. This has a calming effect on them.
- – keeps them busy when home alone (for more information on leaving a dog home alone click here)
- – it is a natural instinct for dogs to chew
Benefits of dog chew toys
Dental health – Chewing on dog chew bones or hard toys helps scrape away plaque, which can cause bad breath and a number of potentially serious dental problems. The action of the bone against the teeth scrapes away plaque and controls tartar buildup – helping prevent periodontal disease and yellowing of teeth.
Relieves Boredom – dogs that don’t have anything to do get bored, especially when home alone. A chew toy will entertain them for hours and keep their mind stimulated. A bored dog will look for things to occupy themselves. This can lead to unwanted behavior problems such as destructive chewing, barking or even escaping.
Mental Stimulation – the act of chewing itself takes a lot of concentration and brain power. It’s better to have your dog work hard on a toy than it is your furniture or shoes. To learn about the six categories of mental enrichment read “Mental stimulation and mind enrichment for dogs”
Saves your household items – By giving your dog appropriate chew toys you can prevent them from using your furniture or shoes to relieve their natural desire to chew.
Teething puppies – For teething puppies, chewing on a chew bone or chew toy helps stimulate the growth of adult teeth. Like human infants, the pressure on a dog’s teeth and gums from chewing on something hard helps relieve any discomfort from the new teeth pushing through the gums.
Stress relief – Dogs hold tension in their jaws. Chewing helps release this tension and floods the brain with endorphins giving them that feel good vibe.
The three chewing styles of dogs
Gentle chewers – These dogs are easy on toys and usually prefer plush or soft toys. They will rarely destroy their toys
Average chewers – These dogs love to play with all types of toys. they will often carry them around with them. They can be destructive with soft or plush toys. However, they rarely destroy rubber toys
Power chewers – These dogs are strong determined chewers. Toys that are durable such as the Kong Extreme are best for them. It is often a good idea to size up when selecting toys for these dogs. Remember, there is no such thing as an indestructible dog toy, especially for power chewers.
Many people will say that their dog is simply not into chewing. It is important to chew toy train your dog as the many benefits are well worth it. Watch this video to learn more about how and why to chew toy train your dog.
What chew toy is best for your dog
The types of chew toys you select will depend on your dog’s specific requirements. This may include their size, age, and chewing habits. A small dog or puppy that chews lightly won’t need something as strong and hard as an adult that chews very heavily. Chewing is a natural behavior that needs to be accepted by all dog owners. It relieves boredom and destructive behavior and even helps nervous dogs cope with separation anxiety
Best dog chew toys for aggressive chewers
When it comes to getting the right chew dog toys for your aggressive chewer, it’s important to keep size in mind. Toys that are too small can easily be choked on by larger dogs.
The most ideal material for chew toys designed for aggressive chewers is rubber. Rubber is durable and virtually indestructible, so this material should be your first pick in a dog toy. Look for soft, malleable edges that are smooth and not sharp.
Rope toys are another popular dog toy for aggressive chewers. Rope toys are durable, easy to wash and relatively safe. Even if your dog ends up eating a few strands of cotton rope it should just pass through them. Avoid squeaky toys (they can choke on the squeaker), plush toys (they are easy to destroy) and latex rubber which is also easy for a tough chewer to destroy.
My top picks for chew toys for aggressive chewers are;
Kong Extreme range
KONG Extreme represents the most durable version of the KONG toys. The ultra-strong, ultra-durable, black rubber compound is recommended for the most powerful chewers. These are the black Kong toy for dogs. The other advantage of the Kong toys is that they can be stuffed with treats or filled with a flavored paste to provide additional mental enrichment. To learn more about how to use a Kong for dogs click here. Every dog should have at least one Kong toy.
There are a number of different types of Kong Extreme toy for dogs in a variety of sizes to suit your dog including;
For dogs that love plush toys but tend to destroy them, there is a range of super tough plush dog toys from goDog. Thanks to their Chew Guard technology these plush toys are far more durable than any others I have come across. Double-stitched seams add to the strength which will definitely outlast your standard plush toy. goDog creates a wide variety of stuffed animals of varying shapes and sizes.
For the ball crazy dogs that tend to destroy most balls. Snug rubber balls are a virtually indestructible solid rubber ball and are the same size as tennis balls that dogs know and love and also come in a fun array of colors. Snug will replace your balls absolutely free if your dog is tough enough to destroy them. Sounds like a challenge.
If you are wanting a more edible dog chew, deer antlers are one of the toughest and longest lasting. These are available in a range of different sizes to suit your dog. Antlers are a source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. And many dogs seem to really like the taste.
Best dog chew toys for puppies
For puppies that are teething, the urge to chew comes from the fact that the very act of chewing relieves the pressure of all these new teeth breaking out through and hurting their gums.
Also remember, that if your puppy doesn’t even like the toy, they will look for something else to enjoy instead. There are a couple of things to consider when selecting chew toys for puppies.
Firstly, they should not be too hard and should have some give. This prevents damage to the jaw and the new teeth. It is also important that they do not shatter or break into small pieces. This is to prevent the risk of your puppy choking on any fragments that come off the toy.
My top picks for chew toys for puppies are;
Kong puppy toys
The Kong range of puppy toys is made from a durable rubber that will not break into pieces. They are also soft enough with a little give to avoid any damage to the jaw or teeth. The other bonus with the Kong toys for dogs is that they can be stuffed with treats or filled with paste. This makes them more attractive to your puppy and provides mental enrichment. See “How to use a Kong for dogs” for more tips. They come in a range of different sizes to suit your puppy and type including
For puppies that love plush toys but tend to pull apart normal plush toys, The Tuffy Junior range is ideal. They are more durable than other plush toys and are machine washable. These are for puppies mainly as an adult dog would be more than likely to be able to destroy them. They are available in a range of sizes to suit your puppy.
The Nylabone puppy teething key ring is a classic. These have been available for teething puppies ever since I can remember. These are soft enough for enjoyable chewing, yet strong enough to withstand it.
They have lots of moving parts that make a sound when shaken. Toys that make a sound are always more preferable and fun for a puppy. The irregular shape and texture provide choices of different surfaces and feelings while chewing and after some chewing, raised bristles are released that clean the teeth to help dental health.
Best dog chew toys for teeth
All chew toys will have dental benefits for your dog. This is simply because they scape the teeth removing plague and promote saliva production. However, there is available dog chew toys that are specifically designed to maximize the teeth cleaning action of the toy with ridges, knobs, and edges.
A good tip to help freshen your dog’s breath while giving them a good clean at the same time is to rub some dog toothpaste onto the toy. It is important not to use human toothpaste for cleaning dog teeth as they can’t rinse. Swallowing human toothpaste can be harmful to dogs. It is probably not the best for people either.
My top picks for Dental chew toys for dogs are;
Kong Dental toys
The Kong Dental toys are excellent not only for cleaning your dog’s teeth. As they can be stuffed with treats or filled with paste they are more enticing to your dog and provide mental enrichment at the same time. Included in this range are The Kong Dental stick and The Kong Jump N Jack. As they have channels on them they are ideal for putting a little-flavored dog toothpaste on.
The Hartz dental toys for dogs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit any dog. The big bonus is that they are bacon flavored making them attractive for your dog to chew. What dog doesn’t like the taste of bacon
Chewing is important for dogs for many reasons not only to occupy them but also release pent-up energy and provide mental enrichment. Chewing releases endorphins into your dog brain providing stress relief and helps reduce anxiety. On top of that chewing is highly beneficial to your dog dental health and keeping their breath fresher.
By providing your dog with appropriate chew toys you can avoid them chewing on things you don’t want them to such as furniture and shoes while providing them with all the benefits mentioned above.