Published in: Jul 23, 2019
The excitement and joy of bringing a little fur ball home is an unparalleled feeling altogether. From their first bark to their first walk, every moment makes for its own set of memories. Just like babies, they need a lot of attention and time. As a pet parent, it is important that we understand their needs and find solutions that can cater to them better.
One such issue that pet parents face is chewing. It is a fact that your little furry ones have teeth that they would want to use on anything and everything. Chewing on things is the natural behaviour of dogs, it allows them to explore the world around them, exercise their jaws and even clean their teeth. Apart from these, it also keeps them mentally engaged. The lack of proper outlets to chew on is what leads to destructive chewing. So, it is up to us to provide them with the proper chews to exercise their teeth on. Not only will this help maintain their dental health, but also will keep them from being destructive.
Chewing comes naturally to dogs. This is a common feature in the canine species itself, from wolves to dogs. In fact, wolves had strong teeth and jaws that aided them to chew their prey. As a member of the wild, chewing was a natural behaviour for them. This natural instinct has remained intact in dogs even after years of being domesticated.
Puppies are especially notorious for their chewing tendencies. Once their razor-sharp puppy teeth grow, they are eager to apply their teeth on whatever they find in front of them. It starts with them still a puppy, continues even when their adult teeth have grown at six or seven months and starts to reduce in intensity only after the first 18-24 months. Even adult and senior dogs have a need to chew, although the frequency and intensity is lesser compared to puppies.
Dogs chew for various reasons. The primary reason that puppies chew is teething. Teething is an umbrella term used for the process of dogs growing another set of teeth. Milk teeth or deciduous teeth start to make an appearance when puppies are around three weeks old, this can cause a lot of distress, irritation and pain. Thus to relieve them of this, puppies chew. Puppies are curious, playful and eager to explore the world, chewing aids in satiating this curiosity. Some dogs start chewing in order to receive attention and others may do this due to stress or anxiety.
As this is natural behaviour for dogs, it should be channelled appropriately through proper means rather than be discouraged. Here are a few things that should be kept in mind while buying chews for dogs:
1- If you are choosing edible chews, then choose the ones that please your dog’s palate without upsetting their tummy. You can also get chews that have additional nutritional benefits. Cheese-based treats cater to the needs of sensitive dogs that are allergic to gluten or grain as they are both gluten-free, grain-free and natural.
2- Read the label and the fine print on the product before you buy it. Read the packaging and search for terms such as natural, grain-free, human grade etc.
3- Look and feel the product yourself before you buy it. Check for the hardness, texture, ingredients and durability of the product.
4- Choose a chew that is appropriate for your dog’s life stage, size and breed. Smaller dogs won’t be able to chew on bigger chews while puppies require different kinds of chews to help them with teething, older dogs tend to have weaker gums. Thus, keep the size, age and breed of your dog in mind when you select a chew.
Whenever you buy a treat or chew for your dog remember to buy one that caters to all your dog’s needs. Their allergies, age, strength, breed, size etc have to be taken into consideration. Chewing is a natural behaviour that needs to be accepted by all dog owners. It is better to have your dog work hard on a toy or chew than it is on your furniture or shoes. Remember to always make an informed choice when it comes to your furry babies, they deserve the best that we can provide them with. The right chews will go a long way for you as well as your dog, so choose wisely.