The carpet, your dress shoes, the arm of the couch; your dog loves to chew. Chewing is a natural habit that some dogs have whether it’s because of boredom, teething, or investigating. Going to the pet store can be challenging sometimes because of all the options of different toys and chews claiming “long lasting”, “Cleans off tartar”, “Great Tasting!” As a pet owner with a dog who loves chewing, any product claiming these things is tempting to reach for. We want to touch base with owners on some of the products that are becoming more popular, and the warnings that we have against them.
Animals Bones, Deer/Elk Antlers, hooves, and nylon bones taste great, but these products BREAK TEETH.
If you have ever broken your tooth, we don’t need to tell you that it hurts. We humans can vocalize when our teeth hurt, where our pets trudge through the pain and keep eating. Breaking that hard enamel can expose the sensitive pulp which can allow bacteria into the tooth and create an abscess. If the pulp is not exposed, the rough surface of the fractured tooth allows tartar to build up much easier, which then accelerates the rate at which dental disease affects the tooth.
Yes, the argument we hear is that wolves eat bones in the wild. But let’s be honest…our dogs that we have at home who love belly rubs and doing tricks for treats are not wolves. Wolves can break into a moose femur with its powerful jaw in seconds. They are wild animals who are in survival mode when they eat, and have much more powerful jaws and teeth compared to our Fido.
These hard products can break when being chewed and become very sharp which can damage our pet’s gums and palate. Not to mention that the broken shards can create a blockage in the intestines which is then an emergency surgery.
One rule of thumb when choosing a chew toy/treat, if it is flexible and not rock hard/rigid it should be good or at least a better choice. If you can’t hit it over your knee without pain, it probably will cause pain in your pet’s mouth!
If you do want to continue giving your pet the hard chew products, please monitor them closely while chewing and continually check those teeth for breakages. If you hear that *Crack* while they are chewing that tasty bone, good chance it was a piece of tooth and not the chew. We love seeing your pet, but would like to see them under better circumstances rather than an emergency exploratory or for a painful tooth 🙂
As always, give our team a call if you are unsure about a treat or toy you just bought or are thinking of getting, or if you notice something suspicious or painful in your pet’s mouth. We are always here and want what is best for your pet!