At every stage of life, dogs need to chew. Chewing is a natural, instinctive behavior that your dog comes by honestly, from puppyhood onwards.
As a responsible and loving dog parent, it is in your best interest to support your dog’s need to chew something. Not only can it improve dental health, but it can also improve your dog’s mental health. Chewing alleviates boredom and gives your dog a boost of dopamine and serotonin to keep them happy and calm.
The only problem with chewing is, if you don’t find them a quality dog chew toy from a pet supply store in Cleveland, your pup is likely to find something to chew on their own – and it probably won’t be something you (or their stomach) like.
But you probably knew all this. There are about a zillion dog chew toys, sticks, bones, and treats out there on the market, so the question is, which ones are actually healthy for your dog? Every dog is different, but our natural pet supply store has a few guidelines to recommend.
Bully Sticks and Natural Meat Dog Chews
Bully sticks, or bull pizzles, are an excellent choice for a dog chew, as they’re all-natural, very healthy, and tough enough to be long-lasting for even the most aggressive chewers.
These are digestible dog chews, meaning your dog can (and most likely will) safely eat them, but the toughness should give them plenty of time to work them down before they’re done with it.
Natural Dog Company, Earth Animal, Honey I’m Home, Barkworthies, and more make great chews, but remember that the concept of a meat dog chew isn’t limited to beef! We also love Icelandic’s cod skin chews, made from a single ingredient (cod) and naturally air-dried just like the Vikings did it in 900 A.D.
Bones, Antlers, and Other Natural Chews
Bully sticks are great long-term digestible dog chews, but what if you want something that lasts even longer?
Dogs have a natural scavenging instinct, so at their core, they’re comfortable with chewing on discarded parts of “prey” animals. That means things like antlers, bones, and hooves can be a good option, depending on what kind of chewer your dog is. These are also natural and healthy chew toys that most dogs can enjoy for months or more.
Primal makes great dog chews from natural, raw ingredients like these, as do many other companies carried at our natural pet supply store in Cleveland. If you need something softer, we also carry nylon bones, rubber chew toys, and other safe chew toys for the hardcore chewer in your home.
It’s important to remember that harder dog chews, especially aggressive chewers can potentially damage their teeth, so be mindful of your dog’s size and chewing style before making your choice.
Dog Chews to Avoid
Rawhide is one of the more common dog chews to give out, but in many cases, it’s a poor choice. They often cause stomach problems and are a high-calorie “junk food” for dogs. They COULD be fine for your dog, but it’s something you’ll want to think twice about.
Similarly, rope, fabric, and stuffed chew toys should be avoided if your dog likes to shred their toys, as they could end up swallowing strings or pieces that get stuck in their intestinal tract.
Believe it or not, wood sticks are not safe as a dog chew toy either. Dogs chewing on sticks seems like the most natural thing, but they splinter the stick and can get the wood shards stuck in their mouth or digestive tract, causing lots of damage.
Luca’s Barkery Can Help You Find the Right Dog Chew Toy
There’s a lot more to consider when looking for the right chew toy for your dog. You need to consider price, ingredients, longevity, nutritional value, safety, and of course, whether your dog actually likes it.
If you’re having a hard time making sense of it all, bark at us or swing by Luca’s Barkery, your best pet store in Cleveland, and bring your fur baby with you! Leashed pets are always welcome. We can talk about their chewing style, preferences, and overall health, and help you narrow down some of the options available to you.
We can’t wait to see you!