Most dogs explore and learn about their world with their noses and mouths. Chewing is a normal part of canine development, and the ASPCA says that dogs will chew in many stages of life.
Young dogs chew to alleviate pain caused by the eruption of adult teeth. Adult dogs chew to keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean. Chewing also can alleviate boredom or tame mild anxiety or frustration. Chewing is a healthy response, but dogs will need to learn which items are appropriate to chew and which ones, such as furniture, are off limits.
To encourage healthy chewing, pet owners should keep plenty of items that are safe to chew around the house. Here are suggestions on picking the best and safest options, courtesy of The Humane Society, Hill's Pet Nutrition and other pet advocacy organizations.
• Consider age. A young pup with baby teeth will need soft rubber toys or plush stuffed toys for their delicate teeth. But those same toys can be a hazard when bite strength increases, as parts of the toy can be bitten off and swallowed. As puppies age, their chew toys may need to be replaced with more age-appropriate items.
• Consider the size of the dog. A Yorkshire terrier will not have the same bite strength and jaw size as a Labrador retriever. Look f