Chewing is a natural behavior for most dogs. Whether they are annoyed, restless, or simply hungry, it's an enjoyable way to pass the time and beneficial for the health of their teeth and gums. The key is to provide a safe, non-toxic product that will not break off in large chunks, splinter, or wear down too quickly.

In order to avoid choking, gastrointestinal obstruction, or other digestive disturbances, human companions need to closely monitor consumption and select products that are both safe and appealing. The following products are considered good choices but should be purchased based on the age, size, and chewing capacity of your dog:

Chew toys are especially suited for teething puppies and very strong chewers who could ingest a softer product in a single sitting. The plastic is infused with chicken, beef, or other natural tasting flavors and wears down at the corners. Tiny, non-toxic shreds are ingested and well-tolerated, but the toy should be tossed, once it shows significant wear. It is important that you choose the right dog chew toys keeping in mind the size and age of your dog. The chew toy must be of the right size to avoid choking.

 

Compressed rawhide bones come in several sizes and flavors. The advantage of shaped, compressed rawhide is that it gradually becomes soft and gummy and will not splinter off into small chunks or sharp slivers. It simply unravels from its original shape and very small, digestible shreds are slowly ingested. Even voracious chewers might take days to demolish a whole bone.

Knotted rawhide bones are somewhat harder in texture and appeal to dogs who are teething or enjoy gnawing on the tightly wound ends until they break off. Once the ends separate, human companions, need to carefully monitor chewing activity, since some dogs may swallow a portion of the knot after it softens.