December 19, 2017
It’s still not too late to pickup a gift for your best buddy. Just think how excited your best buddy
and companion will be on Christmas morning to receive their very own special gift. But before you go
running out to the pet store to purchase an item, let’s consider safety first.
While dogs are carnivores, they mainly use their teeth for biting, tearing and chewing. Very hard
objects like meat bones, hard plastic, or nylon bone-shaped chews can be very damaging to your pets
teeth. These hard objects can actually break a tooth, and sharp or rough surfaces can scratch or cut the
gum, causing severe pain and trauma. Surgery and sedation to remove a broken tooth is very expensive.
Your best friend will be wondering how he’s going to chew his food. If a broken tooth, or a damaged gum
is left untreated, an infection will develop and can lead to compromised health.
While pet stores offer a choice of tasty flavored meat bones, plastic or nylon bones, it is your
responsibility to keep your best buddy safe. Please go to www.animaldentalspecialist.com for an
insightful article from Mary Beulow, DVM, DAVDC.
Many veterinarians suggest replacing these items with a digestible rawhide bone. However,
rawhides are a by-product from the leather industry, and most are imported from Asian countries where
there is little oversight to the manufacturing of these exported products. Many rawhides contain numerous
toxic chemicals, and have been further bleached for whiteness. For more complete information, please
checkout the article at www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com, or another article at www.thebark.com also
about the dangers of rawhides.
May I suggest a healthy alternative? There are several companies these days which offer natural
products for your pets chewing enjoyment. Look for natural, holistic chews like beef tendons or twists
made from organic, free range beef, or snacks from dried fruits and vegetables. Many of the beef items
are cured much like dried jerky we all enjoy, and they are nutritious. If you like to shop on-line, check out
the website Only Natural Pet at www.onlynaturalpet.com. This website offers grain-free, organic and
natural pet products, and products made in the USA. There are many good pet supply websites which
carry of selection of natural items for both dogs and cats.
Other safe toy choices are items made from solid rubber. A good rule of thumb I use for a toy
selection is to pinch, or press your fingernail into it. If it has a bit of give, it is not too hard for your pet. I
have several Kong toys that our pets have enjoyed for years. These are made from genuine rubber and
will last indefinitely. For a really special treat, fill the Kong with peanut butter and treats, or cheese
spread. You might need a blanket for Fido to lay on while he slobbers to his heart’s content with this treat.
Another safe choice is a rope toy. These are interactive toys for you and your buddy to enjoy
together. Not only are they fun, and long lasting, they floss Fido’s teeth, too. Please checkout
www.leospetcare.com for an informative article with photos for safe toys and chews by Dr. Magnusson of
Leo’s Pet Care Veterinary Clinic. You will find it in the Pet Parent Library.
Since Christmas is only days away, you will still find a great selection of pet toys and treats at any
pet supply store of your choice. I like to shop and support local retailers. Chow Hound Pet Supplies is a
locally owned business with several locations around West Michigan since 1989. Checkout their website
for fun events, coupons and product selection at www.chowhoundpet.com.
by L G Nixon