Hanford Veterinary Hospital Blog
Chew on This! Selecting Safe Chews for Dogs
Chew treats for our canine companions can fill many roles: special treat, boredom buster, dental health booster…but how to choose? Are they all safe for your beloved pet? Are some better than other? Before you ask the pet store employee about selecting safe chews for dogs, ask your pet professionals at Hanford Veterinary Hospital.
Food For Thought
When perusing the aisles looking for pet treats, there is a lot to consider. You will need to pick up the packages and do a little investigating in order to find the best option for your pet family. Think about:
- Calorie content, especially for pets who have trouble maintaining a healthy weight.
- Whether or not your pet has a sensitive stomach
- If you are looking for a long-lasting treat or a quick indulgence
- Whether you will be supervising your pet during chewing
- How often you want to offer the chews to your pet
- If you wish to gain dental health benefits (look for the stamp of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council)
By thinking about some of these factors, you can successfully start narrowing the field a bit.
Safe Chews for Dogs
When it comes to selecting safe chews for dogs, there are many things to take into consideration, and safety is paramount.
Try to make sure that your dog chew of choice meets the following criteria:
- Digestible- if your pooch is swallowing it, you need to be sure that it isn’t something that can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction
- Easy on teeth- anything too hard to chew apart (deer antler, marrow bones, etc.) are highly likely to cause wear of the teeth and even a painful tooth fracture
- Appropriately sized- take your dog’s size into consideration to prevent a treat from becoming a choking hazard
- Made in the U.S.A.– for the best chance of quality ingredients without contamination, it is best to choose a product made under American regulations
- Pathogen free- be sure that any natural material has been processed effectively to avoid exposure to things like E.coli
In general animal bones of any kind are best avoided due to risk of tooth fracture, trauma to the gastrointestinal tract if swallowed, and the high potential of carrying pathogens. Always remember that any treat can potentially cause digestive upset. If you notice any trouble, it’s best to back off on the treats a bit until you can determine the cause.
Choosing safe chews for dogs can be a little overwhelming, but we are always happy to help our clients through the process. If you have questions, please call us. We are proud to be your source for pet information and advice.