Oops, Fido did it again. He decided your brand new leather loafer was the most appetizing chew toy ever. Chewing is a common problem that many pet owners face with their canine companions, especially with puppies and younger adults. Dogs do not chew out of anger or spite. They have a natural desire to chew out of instinct. It helps relieve stress and boredom as well as reduces teething in young puppies. Most of all, dogs find it lots of fun.
Here are some tips on safe chewing and other alternatives for your pooch:
• An appropriate chew toy should be something that is not consumable in 10 – 15 minutes. For example, dog biscuits and rawhide are not the best solution for chew toys, but rather a special treat.
• Choose a toy that can be chewed until the dog is tired. Something that is made out of hard rubber or plastic works best. There are special indestructible toys made for hard chewers.
• Try toys with a hollow middle that can be stuffed with peanut butter, dog treats or spray cheese. Your pup will stay busy for long periods of time trying to lick out the yummy middle.
• There are creative products like activity cubes and balls made of hard plastic that can be filled with treats or kibble. Your dog has to work at getting the treats out by pushing it around for the goodies to be disbursed. This exercises your dog’s mind and alleviates boredom.
Information provided by Carrie Bonnett, owner, Downtown Doggy Daycare, 724 Scott St, Des Moines, 288-0957.