No matter the breed, size or age, dogs need to chew. Puppies use their mouths to explore the world around them. Young dogs with incoming chompers bite to relieve pain. Older dogs gnaw to keep their teeth clean. So what chew toy will work best for your dog? While it ultimately depends on your pet's habits, there are basic guidelines to help you select the right chew toy to help relieve your pooch and keep a picture-perfect smile.
Go Big and Strong
Since small chew toys are potential choking hazards, select a large and sturdy toy your dog can chew on without breaking apart and swallowing it.
Follow the Bouncing Ball
Tennis balls are perennial play favorites, but their abrasive fuzz can wear down teeth and cause digestive obstruction. The safest best is a plastic, nylon or rubber ball. Just make sure the ball passes the fingernail test: if you can't indent it with your nail, it's not safe for your pet.
Right on Rubber
A rubber chew toy provides one of the safest and most durable choices available. Rubber bones massage your dog's teeth and gums while he chews and are a good value because they last.
Rope Chew Toys
Besides being ready-made for tug of war or fetch, rope toys can also satisfy your pup's chewing habit. Remember to check periodically for fraying, so you can replace it before he accidentally eats any strands.
Ditch Skin and Bone Chews
Don't be tempted by rawhide, pig ears or deer antlers, as they're often chemically treated, and their hard quality can fracture your dog's teeth. Worse still, they may break apart and be ingested, causing infection or illness.
No matter which chewing toy you buy, take time to watch your furry pal try it out. In time, you'll see what he likes best. The right chew toy is a satisfying and fun addition to your dog's life.