What Should Your Dog Be Chewing?

There are many things to consider when getting your dog a chew toy as buying the wrong one could be potentially harmful...

While your pooch may think anything is a chew toy (sticks, your favourite pair of runners or your dining chair leg), some things are definitely more suitable than others! It’s highly recommended that you get appropriate toys for your dog, to help keep them stimulated and occupied, while also keeping them safe.

5 things to look out for when getting your dog a new chew toy:

1. What is it made out of?

Chew toys are often made out of nylon or rubber and are made to last a long time. Make sure the toy’s materials don’t contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride), or vinyl, as this could release harmful phthalates when chewed. Look for toys made from natural rubber, or have a ‘phthalate-free’ label.

2. How hard is the toy?

It’s important to check the toughness of the toy. You don’t want your dog to break their teeth while chewing, but you want the toy to be durable enough that they won’t chew through it quickly. A good way to test whether the toy is appropriate, and not likely to shatter, is to see if you can create an indent on the surface of the toy with your nail.

3. What size is the toy?

The size of your dog and, therefore, the size of its jaw, will determine the best size of chew toy. Too small and it could become a choking hazard, or it might not be strong enough for your dog. Too big and it may strain their jaw or even cause muscle damage when they try to chew on it.

4. Is it environmentally friendly?

If available and within your budget, environmentally friendly chew toys can be a good choice. Often, recycled materials, or more sustainable materials like hemp, are better for the planet and can be just as durable as their regular counterparts. Just remember to take the same care when selecting an eco-friendly chew toy.

5. Can it provide extra enrichment?

For extra fun and mental stimulation, find a toy that also acts as a treat dispenser. Toys like those in the Kong range are great durable chew toys in their own right, but add an element of problem-solving and extra rewards for your pooch by adding in some treats.

No matter what type or brand of chew toy you get, it can provide hours of joy for your pooch and it can be a lot of fun for you watching them as well!

Keep an eye on your dog while they’re playing with their toys, give chew toys a clean from time to time and check for damage. If the toy is damaged, it’s best to replace it with a new one.. and this is a perfect opportunity to try something new!

Remember too, that some of the best toys are those you make yourself... if this sounds like you, check out this PawPrintz article from Jan 2018 for some ideas... https://www.petnsur.co.nz/homemade-dog-toys