Is Chewing Good For My Dog?
Updated: Sep 7, 2022
We've all seen dogs chew, but if you're wondering whether chewing is right for your dog, read on.
Here are four reasons why you may want to let your dog engage in this natural behaviour every day.
1. Dental health
Most people know that dog chews can help with dental health - thanks to commercial dog chew packaging we often see in stores. Yet, most of us don't actually know exactly how chewing these treats help.
There are two main ways they can help:
With the right chew treat coming into physical contact with your dog's teeth, plaque and even occasionally tartar (the hardened yellow substance you see on both human and dog teeth), can be scraped off teeth. That being said, it does require the right chew texture and a good amount of chew-time for this to take effect.
When your dog chews, the generation of dog saliva is promoted. Dogs' saliva is alkaline (pH 7.5-8.0), and it helps to neutralise cavity-causing acids produced by bacteria, while also washing away food particles in the mouth, preventing plaque from even forming in the first place.
2. Solo mental stimulation
It is quite common to see dogs utterly exhausted after a chew session. That's because chewing is a demanding form of activity for your dog, requiring both mental and physical focus.
Best of all, it's an enrichment activity they can engage with on their own indoors, giving you time to focus on yourself on a busy work day, or as an alternative option to drain their energy on a rainy day.
Studies have found that chewing releases happy hormones in a dog’s brain. So if your dog suffers from mild anxiety and stress, the act of chewing can help them. Do note that if your dog is suffering from severe anxiety and stress, you should seek help from a veterinary specialist.
4. Prevent destructive behaviours
While chewing has been a completely natural and beneficial activity for dogs for thousands of years, there are many things we don't want them chewing on in the modern home.
Providing them with appropriate chews as an outlet can direct that natural need away from undesirable chewing behaviours. And in doing so, you'll be protecting both their safety and your home.
Things to watch out for
Convinced about the benefits of chewing? Before you head off to restock on chew treats, here are some tips to help you and your dog embark on a smoother chew journey.
1. Eliminate safety risks
When swallowed, chews can cause choking and/or obstruction of digestive tract. Observe your dog's chewing behaviour and opt to remove the chew treat when they become small enough to become a choking hazard, especially if you've got an enthusiast.
2. Opt for long-lasting chews
For any of the above benefits to be realised, time is needed. If your dog is chewing for less than a couple of minutes before swallowing the 'chew' whole, it isn't helping. Dog chews can also take a toll on your wallet, so make sure they deliver on their promised benefits before they disappear down your dog's belly!
3. Don't forget hygiene
Natural chews are delicious, long-lasting and often healthy for our dogs. However, they can also spread bacteria around the home through their saliva and paws. This can cause health problems for the household, especially if you have more vulnerable family members like the young or old. Some dogs even carry chews all around the home, or 'bury' them under sheets for later enjoyment. Do what you can to contain the mess to make for an easier clean afterward.
Despite some of the potential problems, chewing presents too many amazing benefits for our dogs to overlook. We designed CHEWDEN to help remove all of these pitfalls, so that the benefits of chewing can truly flourish.