One of the best and common ways to entertain your furry pal and to keep them happy when you’re not home is to offer them a chew toy. But, some of those tasty chews you’ve picked up at the pet store can potentially wreak havoc on your pet’s teeth and gastrointestinal tract and may also be a choking hazard if you’re not careful with what you’ve picked out. Our team at truBOND 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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. 

We want your furry friend to be safe while also entertained and happy when it comes to what chew toys they can have. Unsure if a particular chew toy is safe for your four-legged friend? Contact our team for advice; we’re happy to help.


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