READER’S QUESTION – We have two German Shepherds. Mikey and Misha love toys but seem to destroy them very quickly, and I’m worried about choking. We were told by our vet to never give dogs rawhide products, which we do from time to time as they really enjoy them. We do also stuff toys with peanut butter and bread, which they enjoy, and get the large femur bones from our pet store, but they’re quite costly. Can you give us a few hints and tips on chewable treats, which are safe, and how and when to give them to dogs? Also, we need to separate them when they have chew treats so they don’t fight – is this the correct thing to do? – BERNICE BROKKENHOVEN
JULIE SAYS – Dogs should be provided with edible chews to chew as this expends energy in a positive way. Toys are something to play with, not to eat, and the difference between chewing and playing needs to be learnt by the dog.
Chewing stimulates saliva enzymes and helps prevent plaque buildup on teeth and gum disease. And a dog chewing is less inclined to excessively scratch or lick his paws. However, many veterinarians believe it just isn’t worth the risk of serious injuries to give your dog a bone. Here are some rules to follow for your dog’s safety:
• Dogs should be taught how to play with a new toy, to avoid it being chewed.
• All dogs should be allowed chew and play times on a regular basis.
• There are hundreds of varieties of chews on the market, and most owners learn what their dogs like and absolutely love to chew.
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