If you’ve caught Fido chewing on your favorite slippers, you’re not alone: chewing is one of the most common “bad dog” behaviors. Chewing is natural for dogs, but problems arise when your furry friend chews on inappropriate things. Give your dog his own chews to keep busy and protect your home.
Heavy-duty chew toys are one of the best things to occupy a heavy chewer. Most durable chew toys are made from hard rubber or polymers that resist even the strongest teeth. Rubber springs back as your dog chews, giving him an interactive chewing experience for even more fun. Sturdy chew toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes to keep your dog occupied and prevent boredom.
If your dog chews through rubber toys, toss him a braided rope chew. Rope chews are made from heavy, dense strips of rope woven into a tight braid to provide a durable, long-lasting outlet for determined chewers. Watch your dog carefully as he chews on his rope, and replace it as soon as he starts picking strings off the chew. A ball of chewed rope in his belly could result in an unwanted trip to the vet.
Antlers have been used for years by hunters with mouthy dogs, and they’re making their way to the top of the toy charts. Antler chews are denser than bone, giving your dog a solid chewing surface without the high risk of splinters. Many pet stores sell antler chews, but you may be able to pick up a few shed antlers from local hunters for just a few dollars. If you buy antlers from a hunter, wash them in hot water, scrubbing away grime and leftover velvet before giving them to your pooch.
If your dog chews out of boredom, try giving him a puzzle toy to keep him occupied. Puzzle toys are filled with little holes that allow treats or kibble to fall out as the dog chases the toy, encouraging him to run and play to get a reward. If your dog doesn’t like dry treats, stuff a little peanut butter in the toy and freeze until solid for a cool, mess-free chewing session.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.