Chewing is a natural dog behavior. Nevertheless many dog owners will often be challenged when it comes to solving their dogs’ chewing preferences. The minute your first pair of favorite shoes or leg of the dining room table is destroyed, you panic and run to your local pet store or dog trainer for help. Your trainer will most likely advise you to find an alternate item like a Kong or Nylabone meant specifically for the dog to chew on. Redirecting a dog’s attention is essential and requires careful consideration and educated decisions.
On the other hand, there are many types of chew toys available on the market today. One type of dog chew often considered by owners is compressed rawhide; and no doubt dogs generally enjoy them. Compressed rawhides are made of bovine (cow, swine, and buffalo) hides which have been chopped and ground into a granulated substance; then moistened and dried into shapes. They sometimes have added flavoring like beef, or cheese. Compressed rawhides last longer than split rawhide, however, some dogs, especially aggressive chewers, may suffer from broken teeth or slab fractures of molars.
Another type of rawhide is called split or shredded. The hides are cut and sometimes formed into shapes. A well-made rawhide should have some flexibility when twisted and should have been made in North America to reduce the amounts of added chemicals. Rawhides are frequently washed in formaldehyde or bleached with titanium oxide (which makes them white), so use caution when selecting. Always choose a bone that is too large for the dog to fit into his mouth. Take it away, and throw it away when it gets soft can fit into the dog’s mouth. Some dogs manage to shred and swallow large pieces which may cause the dog to choke or result in an intestinal blockage.
If you’re going to give your dog rawhide choose a premium quality and always supervise him. If your dog is suffering from gastrointestinal disease or is on a special diet consult your veterinarian.
An excellent alternative to rawhide is a Kong, or Nylabone. These are indestructible toys that can be stuffed or soaked with your dogs favorite treats to satisfy his natural instinct to chew. They are also an excellent choice to help relieve boredom. More importantly you can feel comfortable leaving your dog unsupervised with either of these choices. Don’t forget to exercise your dog daily; a tired dog is less likely to chew inappropriate items.
All these products can be found in your local pet store, make an educated selection and keep your dog happy and safe.