Friday, October 9, 2009

Appropriate Chewing

In our puppy classes and my private lessons we always cover the topic of appropriate chew toys. Dogs need to chew and if you don't give them something they can chew then they will find something and it may not be a very good choice. The following is from Dr. Jon's daily newsletter ( that I get and I think he does a great job of categorizing items that we sometimes thing are ok but maybe we should think again…

Chewing is often a perfectly normal behavior among our beloved canine friends, but there are certain items that just aren't made for chewing ... some are off limits because they are our personal belongings and we don't want them to be destroyed, but some items are off limits because they can be harmful to the dog.

Protect your dog from chewing dangers both outside and inside the home.    Here's a list of things you should prevent your dog from chewing on:

Items that can grind away his teeth

  • Rocks
  • Wires
  • Recreational balls meant for people
  • Any chew item that cannot bend

Items that can cause splinters

  • Wooden sticks & toys
  • Cooked & uncooked bones

Items that can easily be swallowed whole and block the intestinal tract

  • Clothing, socks, gloves
  • Washcloths
  • String and ribbon
  • Rubber bands
  • Children's toys (Legos, dolls, etc.)
  • Toys meant for other pets (Cats, hamsters, etc.)
  • Toys that are too small or toys that are inappropriate for the dog's size

Items with small/dangerous pieces that can be chewed off & ingested

  • Shoes
  • Slippers
  • Handbags

Items that can release toxins or items preserved with poisonous arsenic

Cheap plastic toys


At Side Kick we recommend durable toys like Kongs or Nylabones for unsupervised play. Most other toys need to be played with while you are engaged with your dog. Give your dog a variety of items to chew on and rotate them out so they don't get bored with the same things. Putting a toy away for a couple of days then getting it out again and making a big deal out of it is a great way to keep the toys interesting. You would be surprised how novel that toy will be-it's like it is brand new. If you have multiple dogs be sure to have at least two of the same toy to avoid resource guarding.


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