Do you have a dog or puppy that can destroy any bone in a matter of minutes? It can be frustrating; after all, they are not always cheap! Having had large breed dogs (Rottweilers & Mastiffs) my whole life, and a one year old Mastiff currently, I feel I have a bit of experience in this department. However, heavy chewing isn’t limited to the big breeds; I’ve seen a Chihuahua destroy a flip flop in a flash! After spending a considerable amount of money on toys and bones over the years, perhaps these suggestions from you Chandler dog sitter might help…
First, understanding why dogs chew is important; there are plenty of reasons. Adult dogs chew to relieve boredom; it also serves as a way to help naturally “brush” their teeth. Puppies chew to relieve pain during the teething process. It is also how they discover the world around them, especially finding out just how yummy those new leather shoes are! Some pups will eat anything – when my English Mastiff, Luciano, was a pup, he would eat rocks; not just pea sized gravel, but big, chunky gravel. Finding durable and entertaining toys and chews for him became a priority.
So off I went to a local natural pet food store to seek out suggestions on what would be best for my little chewer. The employee recommended “bully sticks”, also called “pizzle sticks” and apparently a lot of dogs LOVE them, I had never heard of them before, but I was willing to try anything. They are pricy, but safer than rawhide for a puppy who’s digestive system is still developing. Anything is better than rocks, right? Of course Luciano loved it. After about 15 minutes of happy chewing, there was this SMELL…like a 3 day old pee filled diaper left in the desert sun. There are no diaper clad children in my home anymore, so I looked around the living room and as I got closer to the dog, I realized it was the bully stick. Yuck. The nice lady at the pet store forgot to mention the ‘smell’ part. I did some research online, and I guess some can stink like urine worse than others, depending on the size and manufacturer. I let Luciano finish the 2 that I had purchased, and that was the end of that. Even though they provided a lasting chew, I made the executive decision that there would be no more bully sticks for him!
After the bully bone fiasco, I decided to give Luciano rawhide chews, as he was getting older now. I took the internet and did some research, since rawhide has gotten a bad rap in the media over the past few years. I learned that you should only buy rawhide products that are made in the USA, this is very important, so check the labels carefully! I prefer to buy the kind that are least processed as possible, look for thick chews, not small pieces compressed together, and the color should be a nice natural tan, not bleach white. The good ones cost more, but in the long run they are safer for the dog and cheaper than chewed up baseboards, shoes and random pieces of furniture! Some vets warn of digestive issues with rawhide, and I’ve been lucky not to have had any with Luciano, but I only give them to him every couple months. If your dog has a sensitive digestive system, or inhales bones quickly, I’d check with my vet.
Next, there is the good old fashioned marrow or femur bone, they tend to last a long time, and can be filled with pumpkin, peanut butter or whatever your pup loves. I stick it in the freezer all filled up to make it last longer, and it’s a nice treat during our hotter months!
Finally, your dog sitters in Chandler want to give you some pointers for those of you with doggies who love to chew:
* ALWAYS supervise chewing
* NEVER leave a dog alone with a toy that could possibly come apart & present a choking hazard or bowel obstruction, especially rawhide.
* Rotate the toy/bone selection every week or so to prevent boredom.
* Throw out any toys that begin to crumble or fall apart, and discard bones when they become small enough to choke on.
Happy Chewing! 🙂