Chew on This: Pet Wants’ Practical Guide to Natural Chews
- 17 July 2018
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- Josh Hurley
Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. It can help naturally clean teeth, and provide an outlet for boredom or unwanted chewing. Many natural chews can also help support cleaner teeth and fresher breath. They are a natural source of Omega-3 and omega -6 fatty acids to help support a healthy skin and coat.
How to Choose
With so many options, myths, and horror stories, it can be overwhelming and scary to select the chew right for your dog. Every product at Pet Wants has been carefully selected to provide healthy natural options at all chewing levels. Here at Pet Wants we follow the three S’s: Supervision, Size, and Strength
Watch your dog or puppy when they receive any kind of new chew. If he or she can cause it to crack, crumble, or bite off chunks quickly, it may not be the best option for your pet. Only you can know how your dog is going to react to a chew. If you are unsure keep a close eye on them until you know it is a good fit.
Select a chew that is wider than the dog’s mouth. They should be able to get their teeth around it comfortably. Once a chew has been worn down, it is important to take the chew away once it becomes small enough to swallow.
Every dog has their own jaw strength and chewing habits. Select treats that match up best for your dog. If you have an aggressive chewer, select treats that are more digestible and have less risk of fracturing or splintering.
This guide will help you select the right chew for your pet based on their individual needs and chewing preferences. Whether you have an aggressive chewer to a light chewer, Pet Wants can help you select the best fit for your pet.
• Aggressive Chewers– Finding the right treat for heavy chewers can be challenging. Choose an option too soft and the dog could potentially bite off more than we want. Here are several options to consider when selecting a treat for an aggressive chewer.
• Moderate Chewers– Some dogs like to chew, but are a little gentler on their treats. This type of chewer takes longer to break things down and does not aggressively chew for long periods of time. Here are several options to consider for moderate chewers.
• Light Chewers– These are pets that like to chew but do not exert a lot of force or chew for hours on end. A bone or chew toy may last for months, when with another dog they may last a matter of hours.
• Sensitive Stomach Chewers– Some dogs love to chew but cannot handle many of the chews out there. This type of chewer is independent of strength and should be considered in conjunction with the chewing level.
Here are some great natural chews that we carefully picked out for this chew guide.
Raw Bones- (Aggressive, Moderate, Sensitive Stomach)
These bones are not processed. They are completely digestible and have many health benefits. Raw bones can help naturally clean teeth and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. These can be a great chew for dogs with sensitive stomachs and help add bulk to the digestive tract.
100% natural and a great long-lasting chew. Depending on the voracity of your dog, an antler can last several months. Antlers are very durable and are a great source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B -12. These are extremely tough and rarely splinter or crack. Proper supervision is recommended.
Milk Chews- (Aggressive, Moderate, Sensitive Stomach)
These unique chews are a form of hard cheese. They are made from boiling yak’s milk and cow’s milk and then dried for several weeks. It is softer than an antler but still a long-lasting chew. It is high in protein, low odor, and non-staining. When your dog gets to the end, it can be popped in the microwave to make a puffy treat!
Beef Knuckle/Femur Bones- (Aggressive)
These long bones are great for aggressive chewers. These bones are tougher than pork or lamb and recommended for those dogs that like a little flavor in their chew.
Java Wood- (Aggressive, Sensitive Stomach)
Unlike other forms of wood, java wood is dense and long lasting. This is a great alternative for a dog that may have a sensitive stomach or allergies as it is vegetarian and does not contain any animal protein.
Buffalo/Goat Horns- (Aggressive, Sensitive Stomach)
Horns are made of keratin. This is the same material as our hair and nails. They help remove tarter and are high in protein. Water Buffalo are an exotic alternative to a bone.
Beef Bully Chews- (Moderate)
These treats are the skin or pizzle of the bull. They are highly digestible and all natural. They come in many sizes and shapes from straight to braided and even pretzeled. The thicker the bully, the longer it will typically last. Given the softer nature of these treats, do not expect an aggressive chewer to last long with these delicious snacks.
No Hides- (Moderate, Light)
These are not rawhide. No-Hides are a natural alternative, and are just meat, brown rice and other natural ingredients rolled up and coated with pineapple and bananas. These are an addicting treat for any dog.
Pork Bones -Femur and Shin- (Moderate)
These bones are full of nutrition packed with marrow. Being slightly softer than beef, we recommend these for pets that love the feel of a bone, but do not require the hardiness of beef.
Lamb Bones- (Light)
These bones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These are typically one of the softer types of bone due to the age of the animal. Lamb bones are full of calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
Pig Ears- (Light)
These natural chew toys are usually a quick snack for most dogs. Lighter chewers can get several hours out of one. Pig ears are a great source of omega 6 fatty acids which can help support a healthy skin and coat.
Beef and lamb tracheas are an excellent natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. One 3” trachea can contain over 1,400 mg of glucosamine. These are rigid and are a great snack / chew to support joint health.
Duck/Chicken Feet- (Light)
These are the feet of the animal. They are slowly dried and a natural source of glucosamine, chondroitin, and essential fatty acids.
Things to Keep in Mind
Depending on the dog, any chew can lead to problems. No chew is the perfect chew, and it is not uncommon for dogs to eat the thing they are chewing on. Here at Pet Wants we offer the best we can find, but not every chew is best for every dog.
Bones are a common chew and are typically bought without considering if it is the best fit for your pet. Choose bones that are appropriate for your pet’s chew level. Beef femur and knuckle bones are some of the strongest, while pork and lamb are typically softer and better for moderate to light chewers.
If your dog can consume a bone quickly, it may not be the right option. Bones are meant to be gnawed slowly over time, and provide healthy fat to support cleaner teeth and healthier skin and coats. If your dog can remove large chucks or pieces of bone it should be taken away.
At Pet Wants, we are committed to finding the best treat and chew for your pet. Many competitors have so many options it can be overwhelming to select the right one. Pet Wants has pet nutrition specialists on staff to answer any question you may have as it pertains to your pet. We select only the best natural chews for your dog or cat and give recommendations based on their individual needs. We never source any of our chews from China, and provide only USA made chews and treats.