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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Avoid the Edible Chew Toys

A woman in Virginia sent out an email this week about her dog who died a couple days ago after chewing up a dog bone she got at Walmart. She thought she was being careful; the packaging said "Food Grade" and it wasn't made in China. Nonetheless, her dog happily ate the bone and then suffered a blockage that eventually killed her.

For many years I've been preaching to people: "Don't give your dog edible chewies!" It's for this very reason, among others. "Edible chewies" would be those chew toys they can totally consume, like pig's ears, cow's feet, rawhide strips, bully sticks, Greenies, and edible Nylabone products. If you want your dog to chew on something safe, give hard Nylabone products, rubber Kongs, and rope toys. These will provide the texture variety your dog craves.

The only type of rawhide I've ever favored is the C.E.T. Chew, which is a dental product that promotes cleaner teeth. Even these should be given under close supervision, and should be taken away from the dog if he appears to be having trouble swallowing it, or if he tries to gulp it down too fast. One nice thing about the C.E.T. Chew: it dissolves once it's swallowed, so it can't cause blockages.

Dogs love those forbidden chewies, of course, but kids love junk food too. Some junk food is just too dangerous or unhealthful to give your kids, and the same is true with nearly any edible chew toy for your dog. It's just not worth taking chances.

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