Dogs are naturally inclined to chew on their food. They are very fond of chewing bones and hiding them for later. Domesticated dogs are often found chewing on furniture or soft objects in the house like sofas.
Dogs need to chew to keep themselves healthy. Although the best dog dental chews that you can give your dog is a bone, there are some artificial products that can be used. For example, you can give your dog a soft rope toy that can be chewed, tugged, and thrown. You can also give your dog a firm rubber toy that is virtually indestructible and on which your dog can chew endlessly.
Why are chews necessary?
For improving dental health: Studies have shown that products that increase chewing action in dogs are able to reduce plaque build-up by a significant percentage. Dogs that chew on raw bones develop less tartar on their teeth. Chews that are covered with polyphosphate are even more effective in reducing tartar.
For reducing bad breath: Dog breaths are usually unpleasant. Bad breath is a sign of bacteria build up in the mouth. You can use dog chews that are especially designed to prevent bad breath. However, if it is too stinky, it might be because of some underlying problem which needs medical attention.
For reducing boredom: A dog can get easily bored and irritated if it does not have company. A dental chew is a good way to keep it engaged and it also keeps boredom away.
What to avoid in dog chews
There are various products in the market that unsuspecting pet owners buy for their dogs, little aware of what they might be doing to their pets. Some ingredients of the otherwise natural products may be harmful enough to cause cancer.
Here is a list of ingredients that you must avoid:
Glycerol: It is a sweetener that is also used in laxatives, hair-care products, and soaps.
Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate: It is also a sweetener that has to be avoided because it is a sugar alcohol that can cause diarrhea and bloating.
Animal fats: It is made of treated animal tissue procured from slaughterhouses and other places, to which BHA and BHT are added. BHA and BHT are fat preserving chemicals that are known to cause cancer.
Artificial color: Your dog is not going to benefit from eating a particularly colored chew in any way. Artificial yellow color causes hyperactivity and other behavioral changes.
The best chew that you can give your dog is a raw bone. Cooking deprives the bone of the fat content in the bone marrow and makes it less desirable. Cooked bones are prone to break easily and the sharp splinters can injure your pet easily. Dogs enjoy grounding down the raw bone to dust. In the process, they also fulfill their calcium requirements.
What does your dog like? Share with us through the comments section.