Ok friends, today I’m throwing you all a bone! If there’s one thing we dogs, cats and otherwise can agree on, it’s that we like to get down with a good gnaw. It satisfies a primal urge within us, helps keep our teeth clean and breath fresh, and is just paws down good fun!
Sadly, many of my friends in the past have been injured during chew time. Large amounts of rawhide can cause bloating and obstructions, cooked bones are brittle and can tend to splinter into nasty pieces. And one of my fabulous feline ladies once spent a night in the bathtub, after attacking her owner’s Manolo that looked identical to her satiny plaything. Poor pussy.
It seems pretty clear to me that our humans would love to help us satisfy our natural instinct to chew, but not all nibbles are created equal! First of all, a few things must be considered:
- What kind of a chewer are you? Are you the circling, pouncing, mow-down-in-2-minutes type? A longer lasting rubber toy might be your best bet, like the Kong
(my personal fave). Perhaps you like to savor every tiny bit and piece, in which case a more natural selection would be best – pig’s ears, anyone?
- How big are you? Your chops should be able to get that toy right to the back of your molars, but not all the way in your mouth. ACK! No choking hazards, please!
- Know yourself: if you like to break off pieces to eat, that toy better be ingestible. And make sure when to dig and bury – anything small enough to fit into your mouth is a choking hazard.
- Are you a messy eater? No pet wants to be reprimanded for going to town on his or her toy, Where’s the fun in that? Make sure that toy won’t leave stains anywhere.
- If you love the real thing, make eyes at an uncut beef bone. They can be found at butcher shops, and are ruffing awesome. And again, yea Dogs forgo the cooked bones! Unless you want a ride to the hospital, which I know you most certainly do not.
Chewsing a chew toy means knowing yourself, and how to stay safe. There’s more to getting boned (or ragged, or balled, or konged) than chomping down. Take care, and to thine pet selves, be chew!
Love, Buster (aka Chew-bakka)