Choosing the right chew for your dog ultimately comes down to 5 main factors: quality, age, chew strength, size, and diet. Finding one that works best for your pup can take some trial and error, but doing your research and observing your dog’s chewing habits can ensure that you find one that is best for them!
As with any product, it is not in your dog’s best interest to give them a chew that is made of unnatural or harmful ingredients. This applies to all shapes, sizes, breeds, and ages. It can be very intimidating and overwhelming to be in the dog chew aisle at your local pet store, trying to find one that will best fit the needs of your dog.
A general rule that may help: the less ingredients, the better! Locally sourced products are more likely to avoid those harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients. It is important for every pet parent to know exactly what their dog is consuming. All natural, locally sourced animal products are both easier to digest and are less likely to become a choking hazard. Luckily for you, our products are alllocally and organically sourced and contain no extra ingredients. Check them out!
Your dog’s age is an essential factor to consider when deciding what type of chew would be best for them. Puppies need chews that help ease the discomfort of teething, so super hard chews probably aren’t best for them. On the other hand, the older a dog gets, the more you have to worry about dental hygiene. Older dogs benefit most from heavy chewing as they are more prone to incur dental issues. But no matter the age, chewing can help strengthen teeth and gums, scrape off plaque, and promote fresher breath. If your dog is not a puppy or an older dog, they will likely be able to benefit from any dog specific dog chew.
Your dog’s chew strength is one of the most important factors to take into account. It is not necessarily based on size either, as some small dogs have mouths that are just as strong as some of the bigger breeds. The best way to discover your pup’s chew strength is through research and observation. Do some digging around the internet about their breed to find out what their typical teeth, mouth, and chew strength is. Then, watch them before, during, and after they chew to see if they fall under those same general standards. This will help you decide what level of durability you should look for in chews. You’re going to want to find one that is not too hard and not too soft for their level of chew strength. Even some of the stronger chewers can have a hard time with super hard chews like antlers and could risk breaking their teeth on them if they chew too hard. On the other hand, they could go through soft chews so fast that they’re not getting all of the benefits that come with chewing. Keep in mind that it may take a few tries to find the chew that best matches with your dog’s chew strength, but once you find it, they’ll love you even more than they already do (if that’s even possible).
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but we still thought it was worth mentioning. The size of your dog’s mouth should definitely play a factor in your decision on what chew to buy for them. If their mouth is on the smaller side, they’re probably not going to be able to fully enjoy bigger chews like big turkey wings or tripes. However, if your dog can handle it, try getting them one of the bigger sized chews that will take them some time to get through, rather than the smaller ones meant for petite mouths.
Our final tip is to find a chew that complements your dog’s diet. Some chews are too easy for them to get through, which will have your dog begging and begging for more of them because they’re just that good. However, too many treats and chews can be harmful to your dog’s overall health as some of them can already contain a substantial amount of fat or other nutrients that can be harmful if they are consumed in high quantities. It is best to find treats that don’t conflict with your pup’s diet, being careful not to overfeed them. This is especially important for smaller or lighter dogs whose weight is more easily affected by changes in diet, overeating, or overtreating. Finding a chew that will keep your dog both healthy and happy is essential!
Chews vs. Chew Toys
Now that we have talked about how to choose the right chew, let’s touch quickly on the subject of the benefits of chews (edible) compared to chew toys (inedible).
Chews, like the ones we sell here atFarm Hounds, are great because they not only provide your dog with something to chew on, but they also provide them with essential nutrients that they could be lacking elsewhere in their diet. Your dog will also be able to chew through them a little more quickly and eventually finish them, meaning that you won’t have various decimated, slobbery, 5 year-old chew toys hiding all over the house. Inedible chew toys also can pose a threat if small pieces of them break off and your dog ingests them, so you have to pay close attention to make sure this doesn’t happen. Also, your dog will love you extra for giving them something delicious to chew on instead of something made out of rubber or plastic!
Don’t get us wrong though, chew toys are great! Don’t feel like you’re only allowed to buy one or the other. Our suggestion is to have toys to use for playing fetch or tug-of-war with your dog, and to have edible and nutritious chews on hand for when they need to satisfy their need to chew!
Understanding why dogs need to chew and why chewing is good for their overall health is crucial for any dog owner. Check out our other blog post,Why Should I Encourage My Dog to Chew?, to find out why!
Remember that finding the best chew for your dog requires research and observation. Apply our suggestions, do some digging, and try out some different types of chews to see what they (and you!) like best.
Summer is the season for fun activities and adventures with family and friends. During this season, there are many activities that you can participate in that will help you bond with your dog outdoors.