The Spring Collection from Jimmy Chew’s: A Gnawing Issue

Grady and his carefully curated collection. Photo © 2013 Sloan Seale

Grady and his carefully curated collection. Photo © 2013 Sloan Seale

Bees gotta buzz, birds gotta fly, dogs gotta chew.

According to the American Humane Society, puppies, like infants and toddlers, explore their world by putting objects in their mouths. And, like babies, they teethe for about 6 months, which usually creates some discomfort. Chewing not only facilitates teething, but also makes sore gums feel better.

What to chew? Laurie S.Coger, DVM in Dogs Need to Chew,  recommends choosing from three types of chews:  1) a soft rope toy, available in different styles, for chewing, tugging, and throwing; 2)  a firm rubber toy, great for jaw exercise, available in a number of shapes and sizes, including balls, rings, and kongs; and 3)  a real bone, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and even flavors, fresh, smoked, or boiled. They are one of the very few chew treats that actually can scrape tartar from teeth. I have a revolving parade of favorites including a mini-sock monkey with a squeaker; a tennis ball attached to a strong tugging rope, and generally a bully stick that takes me at least a week to gnaw down to size.

photo by tom Grotta

photo by tom Grotta

Chewing in adult dogs is another story. Destructive chewing may require some detective work on your part. Possible reasons include:
• Poor training, never taught what’s ok to chew and what’s not.
• Boredom.
• Separation anxiety.
• Fear
• Desire for attention
If chewing’s become a problem, the American Humane Society has good tips for nipping problem behavior in the bud, visit: Chewing: The Whys and Hows of Stopping a Gnawing Problem .

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