The Truth about Long-Lasting Chew Treats for Dogs

The Truth about Long-Lasting Chew Treats for Dogs

Dogs need more than just exercise to stay healthy and content. Providing them with safe items to chew on not only keeps them occupied but also satisfies their natural urge to chew. While high-quality dry dog food meets their nutritional needs, it often leaves mealtimes short and unexciting. This is why many dog owners turn to long-lasting chew treats.

The market is flooded with various “natural” style treats that dogs love, such as rawhide, tough jerky-style treats, pig’s ears, deer antlers, and cow hooves. These treats offer numerous benefits:

Keeping Teeth Clean and Occupying the Mind and Body

Long-lasting food treats, puzzle toys, and chew toys can help maintain your pet’s dental hygiene and keep them mentally and physically engaged. Additionally, they satisfy their natural urge to chew, preventing damage to household items—especially crucial for puppies. These treats can also act as distractions when you need to leave the house, reducing the development of separation anxiety.

The Safety Concerns

However, it’s important to consider the safety of these chew treats. Deer antlers and cow hooves, preferred by “tough chewers,” can lead to broken teeth and painful abscesses. Rawhide and tough jerky-style treats, like any raw meat product, can be contaminated with harmful bacteria, posing a risk to your pet’s health and even to the humans handling them. Furthermore, if not chewed thoroughly before being swallowed, large jerky or rawhide treats can get stuck in the oesophagus, causing pain and requiring intervention to remove them.

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To avoid potential tooth damage, it is advisable to avoid treats that are too hard and don’t easily bend. Very tough and chewy treats like rawhide, jerky, or pig’s ears should be avoided, especially if your pet tends to gulp food without chewing. These treats can also be problematic for pets with sensitive stomachs or in households with individuals or pets with compromised immunity. Handling these treats should be followed by thorough handwashing.

Opting for Safe and Effective Alternatives

For dental health, veterinarians recommend long-lasting dental chews that have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council for proven dental benefits. These treats are generally safe as long as your pet is supervised to ensure they are chewing them into small pieces before swallowing. Moreover, to keep your pet entertained for longer periods, high-quality and durable toys that can be stuffed with food, such as Kongs filled with peanut butter, frozen tinned pet food, or cream cheese, are the safest choice. Just make sure to select a toy that is appropriate for your pet’s size based on the label guidelines.

If you’re unsure about which chew treats are best for your pet, consult your veterinarian for recommendations. Remember, maintaining your pet’s dental health is vital, so make it a priority. For more information on dental health maintenance, visit Karen’s Kollars.