For Part 2 of National Pet Dental Month, let’s talk about the Mental Benefits of chewing!
Dogs have an instinctual need to chew. This drive is woven into their DNA and never goes away, so giving your dog an outlet to chew is very important to help mitigate stress and anxiety. As you’ve probably experienced as a pet parent, if you don’t give them something to chew, they will find something around the house to get that drive satisfied.
When giving your dog access to a hearty chew, you will often see them position the chew towards the back of the jaw, and even close their eyes as they fall into a chewing trance.
This mode of chewing is a tell that they’ve reached the level of chewing intensity needed for the brain to release endorphins (“feel good” hormones). These natural hormones help enhance your pup's sense of well-being, improve their mood, and relieve stress, anxiety, boredom, and even loneliness!
Another consideration towards chew time is to observe the shape of the chew. Some shapes (like our Beef Hide Chips) will increase the chewing difficulty by forcing the pup to actively process how to hold and work a chew down. This small change can force a dog to use much more mental energy, which for some breeds, is a very needed outcome to help them feel satiated.
Remember that every dog is different and while some dogs just want to turn their mind off and chew, others need more engagement to meet their chewing needs. As you keep testing out chews, observe how your pup behaves after a chewing session. If they go drink water and lay down a good snooze, GOOD JOB, you’ve checked those instinctual boxes! If they hover around looking for something else to do, you might have a dog that needs more time or a tougher chew to meet their mental needs!
Next week we will jump into the Physical Benefits of chewing!
Missed Part 1? Click here to read about the health benefits of chewing!