If you’ve had dogs long enough, you know that they chew. Puppies chew, adult dogs chew, even senior dogs chew. Each dog varies in how much they chew and how heavy of chewers they are, but most people will see their dog gnawing on something at least every so often. Although chewing can become destructive if not managed well, it’s important to let our dogs chew on things when they need to. Provided we supply safe and appropriate items for them to chew on, the behavior itself is very beneficial. In fact, dogs should often be encouraged to chew.
Chewing is a natural instinct for all canids, whether it’s the wolf outside or the dog in your living room. In the wild or if you provide your dog with natural raw bones to chew on, they will be provided with necessary nutrients. Most notable is the calcium boost, something that is much needed in a growing puppy. Perhaps this is why the natural instinct to chew is often higher in puppies than adult dogs. Whatever the reason, it’s a natural behavior that should be appropriately channeled rather than punished or discouraged.
Chewing is an excellent way to keep your dog’s oral health in top shape. The act itself exercises the jaw muscles, scrapes plaque and tartar off of the teeth and soothes the discomfort of a teething puppy. Further, raw bones provide enzymes that help break down the tartar in your dog’s teeth, leaving them cleaner and their breath fresher. Chewing also smooths the teeth and makes it more difficult for periodontal disease to move in. Tooth and gum disease is an ever-growing problem in our dogs today, so keeping their teeth clean and healthy is important.
Dogs need mental exercise as much, if not more, than they need physical exercise. Chewing is a great way to keep your dog’s body and mind occupied. Treats and chew toys are very exciting and the act of chewing itself takes a lot of concentration and brain power. It’s better to have your dog work hard on a toy or bone than it is your dining table legs or shoes. Providing appropriate outlets for chewing will benefit everyone, most importantly your pup!
Chewing is highly beneficial to puppies and dogs of all ages. It allows them to exercise their natural instincts, provides them proper mental stimulation and keep their mouths clean and healthy. The types of chews you buy will depend on your dog’s specific requirements, such as his size, age and chewing habits. A small dog or puppy that chews lightly won’t need something as strong and hard as an adult that chews very heavily. Chewing is a natural behavior that needs to be accepted by all dog owners. It relieves boredom and destructive behavior and even helps nervous dogs cope with separation anxiety. The right chews will go a long way for your and your dog, so choose wisely and enjoy some relaxing snack time!