When you head out the door, you want to ensure your furry pal is entertained and happy while you’re gone, so you toss them a chew toy. But, some of those tasty chews can wreak havoc on your pet’s teeth and gastrointestinal tract, and may also be a choking hazard. Our team at HIGHlands Veterinary Hospital deciphers what’s safe for your pet, and what should be left on the store shelves.
Safe chew toys for pets
While many great chew toys for pets are available, these two are good, safe options for your four-legged friend:
- Kong toys — Rubber Kong toys are made of a durable material that is geared toward different chewing levels, making this the perfect toy for all pets. Kongs can be filled with peanut butter, spray cheese, canned food, yogurt, tuna, and other tasty ingredients, and your furry pal will love their toy.
- VOHC-approved chews — The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) grants their seal of approval to chews, treats, and other products that have demonstrated the ability to slow plaque and tartar accumulation. Look for the VOHC seal to find a chew that not only entertains your pet but also provides dental health benefits.
Unsafe chew toys for pets
Many chew toys lining pet store shelves claim to be safe for pets, but not all products are hazard-free. Avoid the following chews when purchasing treats for your pet:
- Antlers, hooves, and bones — These extremely hard items are often given to “power chewers” to provide long-lasting enjoyment, but they can easily fracture teeth. Also, splinters and fragments can be swallowed, piercing or lodging in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract.
- Rawhides — Rawhides are a popular chew toy for pets because they can last for hours. However, some pets try to ingest these items as soon as they become slightly soft, and the slimy chew can become a choking hazard or gastrointestinal obstruction. They are also often highly processed since they’re made from chemically treated animal hide.
Unsure if a particular chew toy is safe for your four-legged friend? Contact our team for advice.