Did you know that broken teeth are the most common dental issue faced by dogs and cats? These fractures are often caused by unsafe chewing habits, exposing pets to chronic bacteria and inflammation. At Carriage Crossing Animal Hospital, we hope to spread awareness of dental risks before an injury ever happens.

You might argue that no one protects wild animals from chewing on bones, and dogs have always chewed on bones and tennis balls. Our cats and dogs live longer lives than ever and need healthy, pain-free teeth to enjoy their long lives. They also chew differently than wildlife, since they do not have to spend time hunting for their meals.

Not hunting for their meals is a great reason cats and dogs need safe toys to prevent boredom leading to unwanted behaviour. How can you create a well-behaved chew toy lover and protect their sensitive teeth and gums? We want the toy to keep them busy for more than a few seconds, to be kind to their teeth, and to be safe for their insides if they swallow it. Fortunately, there are many affordable and safer options.

Chew Toys to Avoid

  • Strictly avoid bones (cooked or uncooked), cow hooves, pig ears, plastic or nylon bones, antlers, and whole ice cubes due to a risk of tooth damage and contamination.
  • Objects with abrasive surfaces such as tennis balls and frisbees pick up grit that acts like sandpaper on your dog’s teeth.

Guidelines for Safe Chews

  • Know how your pet chews and plays and supervise your pet to make sure that both they and the toy stay safe along with your home.
  • Use the Knee-Cap Rule: if it hurts to hit this object against your knee, do not let your pet chew on it.
  • Choose an appropriate size chew for your pet, too large a chew will be too hard and too many calories, too small and they could swallow it and need surgery.
  • Look for a VOHC symbol, it means the chew has been proven by clinical trials to both help prevent plaque and tartar, and not cause dental damage.

Popular Safer Chews and Toys
Kongs and other hollow rubber toys stuffed with kibbles, soaked in water and frozen. Veggiedent and Grain Free Greenies do not contain common allergens like chicken Think beyond chewing with kibble dispensing balls and Nina Ottosson puzzles Homemade toys are as fun to make as they are to watch your pets play with Use multiple toys, stuff them with all your pet’s daily kibble, and hide toys around your home, to keep the fun long-lasting.