Safe Puppy Chews

Puppy chews come in various forms such as toys that can be stuffed with food which the puppy can consume gradually, or as completely edible chews.

Chewing is one of the first problems you will encounter when getting a new puppy. It's a natural behavior. Puppies chew on objects around them as a means of exploring or of soothing their gums. When chewing, the puppies may also release stress and anxiety. It is impossible to train a puppy to not chew at all. What you can expect is to train your puppy to only chew on certain objects and toys and not on your furniture, shoes or house plants. The first issue to address when it comes to puppy chews is whether they are safe.

Types of Puppy Chews

There are various types of chews you can find for your puppy:

  • Kongs are considered by most dog owners as a must. Kongs are very resistant rubber toys that come in different sizes and can be stuffed with treats. The puppy will have to learn how to get his treats out using his tongue and paws. While some dogs will adore this toy and be busy with it for hours, others give up easily and then completely ignore the toy, turning to something else to chew on.
  • Rawhide chews are a common choice for both dogs and puppies, they are affordable, safe and enjoyable. Puppies should only chew on softer rawhide products. Try to find regulated products, with no additives. When the rawhide has become small enough to swallow, remove it.  Puppies should not have rawhide in excess, as their digestive system is not prepared for a large amount of protein. For maximum safety, it is best to keep an eye on your puppy while he is chewing on a rawhide toy. Puppies should not drink too much water after chewing rawhide, because it can cause bloating of the stomach and discomfort.
  • Bully sticks (also known as pizzles or bull wrinkles) are made of 100 percent bull penises, cleaned, stretched, twisted and then dried. As they only consist of fibrous muscle, they are easy to digest and do not present the choking hazard of rawhide.

Safe Puppy Chews

Even though there is a lot of debate on the safety of various chews, many people will agree that there is no such thing as a 100 percent safe puppy chew. Anything that can be torn to pieces and then swallowed by your puppy is potentially dangerous. Some chews are less risky than others, or present different kinds of dangers.

Ideally, you should choose chews that fulfill the following criteria:

  • Are large enough, so they cannot be swallowed in full
  • Are soft, so they won't cause jaw fractures

Read the labels of the chews you buy. Some will mention that the chews are not recommended for dogs under a certain age.