The most important thing is to pick a chew your pet can handle. A small dog needs a small chew and a large one a big one. Ideally, your pet should be able to hold one end of the chew comfortably in its mouth and use a paw on the other end to hold it.
The second issue is to recognise that chews come in two basic varieties: the ones you’re supposed to eat and the ones you try to destroy.
The best edible chews entertain while also massaging gums, cleaning teeth and freshening breath. Some are loaded with extra vitamins. They should also taste good.
Edible chews are often made from rawhide, compacted starch, and antlers. These give your pet real chewing experience and when tiny bits break off, they’re designed to pass safely through your pet, just like in the wild where canines chew on bones. However, do be careful not to keep them around too long as they pick up bacteria.
The best other chews are made from tough materials that are designed not to split or break down. They have a really long life, and they can be spread or filled with treat paste. Some are puzzle chews with hidden bells or treats.
These chews are primarily for entertainment, and you can also wash these, which is useful if your pet loves to chew outside.
With all chews do be careful to buy a quality product. A toy made from ordinary plastic and just formed into a bone shape will break down and could harm your pet. If in doubt, talk to your vet – or ask us!
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