When we think of a dog that likes to chew, most of us think about inappropriate chewing, such as the chewing of furniture, clothes, children’s toys etc. However, chewing in dogs is a completely natural behaviour! Did you realise that it’s actually really important that a dog is encouraged to chew? The trick is in making sure that they are chewing appropriately! By providing a dog with plenty of appropriate chewing opportunities from a young age, you can help discourage inappropriate chewing and ensure that he or she has the chance to carry-out this vital behaviour.
Biting and chewing helps a dog relieve stress through releasing endorphins. Dogs that chew are exercising both mind and body. Chewing also helps to keep the teeth healthy and clean. Biting and chewing are natural hard-wired behaviours that are an inherent part of being a dog.
Dogs chew to relieve boredom, loneliness, stress, frustration and anxiety.
The act of chewing has a calming and comforting effect on the adrenal-pituitary axis in the brain. It triggers the release of endorphins, and as such is a tool that the dog has at his disposal in order to ‘self-medicate’ for anxiety and stress. As well as the behaviour benefits, chewing appropriate toys and chews can help clean a dog’s teeth, remove plaque or aid a puppy through the difficult teething period. Adolescent dogs are also still teething and chewing often occurs at this time.
So, how can you encourage appropriate chewing? By far the simplest and most convenient way of encouraging appropriate chewing is by purchasing a natural, long-lasting chew. Ensure you purchase one that is a suitable size for your dog, the bigger the better! and contains no artificial ingredients; go natural! Our personal favourites at Drool Pet Co. are pigs ears, Bully Sticks and of course Raw Bones!
Raw Bones Help Clean Teeth
If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth with a toothbrush, you need another way to get the tarter off those chompers (especially the back molars) to keep them pearly white. Excess tartar build-up causes bad breath, cavities, gingivitis, and can lead to expensive teeth scaling and extractions that can only be performed by a vet. When your dog chews on a raw bone, it helps to stimulate saliva enzymes when given after a meal. All he needs is 10 or 15 minutes to help remove trapped food particles from the teeth.
Minerals and Nutrients
Raw bones can be a fantastic source of minerals and other nutrients. Because bones are composed of calcium phosphate, a mineral that aids your dog’s proper growth, a raw bone can help a canine’s skeletal system to regenerate and adapt. In fact, the calcium in raw bones can be up to four times more digestible than most commonly available calcium supplements. Raw bones are especially important for large-breed puppies—these pups tend to grow quickly and need the extra calcium phosphate boost.
Unwanted Chewing Habits
Does your dog excessively self-lick, scratch and exhibit other nervous behaviours? A raw bone, pig ear, beef ear or deer antler can help divert their attention away from these destructive behaviours and promote a new, positive chewing habit.