Understanding Healthy Dog Chews

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We cherish our dogs as members of our family. Their boundless love and willingness to please us are so endearing! But we need to look past their eager devotion to be sure we are giving them what they truly need. 

Along with feeding them a healthy diet with the nutrition they require to build healthy bones, muscles, and more, it is just as essential to provide them with healthy dog bones to chew on. 

Why Dogs Chew

Dogs have an innate need to chew. Chewing is not a downside to living with dogs — it is vital to their health and happiness throughout their lives. Puppies chew incessantly to ease the pain of incoming teeth. They learn about their world as they lip and lick, gnaw, and chew on anything within reach. Long before their little legs can carry them far and wide, puppies explore with their mouths. Chewing also alleviates the stress of weaning, parting from Mom and siblings, meeting new friends, and getting a new place to live. These are big, scary changes for a puppy, and chewing helps him work through the anxiety and learn to calm himself.

As puppies grow into young dogs, chewing continues to inform and entertain. Healthy dog chew bones also strengthen your dog’s teeth and jaw muscles while cleaning tartar from teeth and gums. Chewing remains a chief method of combating stress and anxiety, and as dogs mature, it also helps them wind down when they are over-excited. After a long run or a vigorous romp in the park, a long, satisfying chew enables your dog to relax and unwind. Over a lifetime, chewing is a source of both pleasure and stress-relief. Older dogs may also chew to relieve boredom and loneliness. Regardless of the reasons, chewing is essential to your best friend’s health and happiness.

Redirect Destructive Chewing

All dogs love and need to chew, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your shoes or the furniture! Always provide healthy chew treats for dogs as an appropriate target for their chewing. Correct inappropriate or destructive chewing and redirect your dog’s attention to the chews you provide. He’ll appreciate the guidance. 

Also, recognize and anticipate times of stress. This could involve situations where there are a lot of people around, fireworks, or upheaval. It may also include when you’re introducing a new member to the family. Be sure to offer a quality chew for these times to help your dog manage his anxiety levels. 

Why Not Rawhide?

Rawhide bones and chews are cheap to make, long-lasting, and dogs happily chew on them. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. 

Rawhide is made from discarded scraps of cowhide that is heavily salted and bleached. It is then treated with a toxic brew of chemicals and compounds like formaldehyde, mercury, and arsenic. Next, it gets slathered in glue to hold its shape. Lastly, it is coated in artificial flavorings to appeal to dogs and shellacked to appeal to buyers. 

Rawhide bones and chews fracture into sharp pieces that can cut your dog’s sensitive mouth, esophagus, and intestines. Rawhide is also indigestible. Further, rawhide can swell up to several times its size when it is wet with saliva and digestive juices. This makes rawhide a serious risk for causing dangerous intestinal blockages when swallowed. Learn all about the importance of rawhide-free alternative chews here

You love your dog. So, skip the rawhide and choose healthy dog chew treats instead.

What are Healthy Dog Chew Bones?

Choosing healthy dog chew bones and treats is just like choosing the food you feed any member of your family — you want to read the ingredients list. If you wouldn’t want it in your mouth, chances are, it shouldn’t be in your dog’s. 

For chews with well-rounded nutrition, turn to NutriChomps. Our rawhide-free treats are made from quality chicken meat, pork skin, peanut butter, and milk. The delicious flavor comes from the same source as the exceptional nutrition — quality food ingredients. Our chews are vitamin and mineral enriched to play a critical role in building healthy, happy dogs. We include plenty of fiber to benefit the digestive tract, too. Artificial dyes and flavors have no place in the wholesome, healthy edible dog chews we make for your dogs and ours. 

Common Misconceptions About Healthy Dog Chews

A wide variety of dog chew treats and toys are available on the market. These chews can be divided into digestible, such as NutriChomps chews, and indigestible like rope and rubber toys.

To help you navigate the options, we’ve addressed some pros and cons about the following choices. 

Bones: Dogs have been chomping on bones for thousands of years. They are tasty and a terrific source of essential minerals. However, bones can also shatter into sharp fragments that can cut your dog’s throat or esophagus. Of course, some dogs chew on bones for years without suffering damage. But it’s just a matter of luck.

Antlers: Antlers make very durable, mineral-rich chews for dogs. If you get the size right and your dog is not an aggressive chewer, antler makes for healthy chewing bones for dogs. However, an excited dog or an aggressive chewer risks cracking or breaking a tooth on antler, which is far denser than bone.

Hooves: Another natural source of long-lasting chews, cow hooves can break into small pieces that are a hazard for gastrointestinal injuries. However, depending on how your dog swallows them, he may be able to digest them without harm. 

Safety First

When choosing the right chew treats for your furry friend, safety is critical. Always supervise your dog with a chew treat or toy. Be mindful of broken pieces and keep your dog from  swallowing indigestible objects. Also, take care with the size chews you offer.

The ideal healthy dog chew treats are a bit larger than your dog’s mouth. It can become frustrating for your dog to try to get a good hold of a chew that’s too large. However, if the chew is too small, your dog may swallow it whole. We offer chews in a variety of sizes to suit every member of your fur family. Consult the NutriChomps size guide to find the best chews for your dog by size and weight. 

Where to Find Healthy Dog Chews

The makers of NutriChomps have been loving and caring for your dogs and ours for over 40 years. We set out to create healthy dog chew bones for our beloved pets that you would be pleased to give to yours. We use only real ingredients that are delicious and nutritious for our rawhide-free chews. 

Discover our full line of NutriChomps dog chews at our trusted partners, Amazon, Chewy, and local retailers like Target and PetSmart. 
Now that you understand how vital healthy chews are for your best friend, isn’t it time to get some NutriChomps? Find a retailer near you to get your NutriChomps today, or contact us so we can help you to decide the right chew for your dog!