In this article, I’m going to tell you everything (yes, everything) you need to know about dog chews.
I’ll cover the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) of dog chews and I’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about dog chews.
This article will be full of examples, interactive polls, videos, tips, and so much more. You do NOT want to miss this one.
Time to learn about dog chews, let’s do it!
Table of Contents (click to jump to section)
The 5 W’s of Dog Chews
Let’s dive first into the 5 W’s of dog chews: who, what, when where, and why! This will be a solid foundation for the other commonly asked questions we’ll cover later on.
There are two specific types of pup parents who should use dog chews with their pups.
#1: Pup parents who have a dog.
#2: Pup parents who have a dog.
Do you fall into one of those categories? 😉
But seriously, every pup parent should give their dog chews.
If you have a puppy, you’ll especially want to use chews. Puppies LOVE chewing; it’s one way that they explore the world and it’s a totally natural behavior.
So, don’t focus as much on stopping them from chewing and focus more on getting them chewing on the right things!
I mean, really though, who hasn’t had something destroyed by their dog? Let’s take a vote 👇
One of the best ways to avoid things getting destroyed is to control the environment. That’s number 1.
But, giving your dog proper chews and rewarding when they do pick the right things to chew is vital.
Just to reiterate, every single pup parent should use chews with their dog.
What Breeds Should Use Dog Chews?
All breeds! Yep, every single one.
Of course, some breeds like to chew more than others. For those power chewers, you’ll just have to modify the types of chews and how frequently you give them.
It’s all about learning what your dog does and doesn’t like.
Trying out new chews is the best way to accomplish that!
And, that leads us perfectly to our next question 🔽
Whenever someone asks what the best is of anything, you’re going to have opinion involved in the answer.
But, you knew that, right?
So, I’ll try to keep as much bias out of this answer as possible… and here’s how.
The best dog chews are the ones that your pup enjoys (and of course, are safe for them).
It’s a simple but true answer.
I have three dogs, and two of them love Himalayan Chews while the other one is relatively neutral about them. See what I mean?
The best way to find out which dog chew is best is to try out many different options for your dog.
Some dogs love rubber chews. Some dogs love chewing on sticks (although that’s not always safe). Some dogs love chewing on antlers. Some dogs love chewing on tendons and other types of real meat bones.
So, test out different chews and find out what your pup likes most!
Again, I left bias out of my answer… but you should certainly check out some of our dog chew options we have at Pupford.
Just to reiterate my point that every dog is different and you should try out new options, check out this poll (and cast your vote as well)!
The question of, “when should I give my dogs chews?” is a tricky one…
Every dog and situation is different. There are many factors that will help you decide when to give your dog chews.
Some of those factors include:
- Your budget
- Your dog’s age
- Your dog’s chewing behavior generally
- Your dog’s behavior when left home alone
- The type of chews you give
- Your daily schedule
- and more
But, here are some general ideas and tips on when to give your dog chews.
When your dog starts chewing on things you don’t want them to, you should redirect them to a proper chewing outlet.
Like I talked about before, chewing is healthy behavior.
You just have to help your dog (especially puppies) learn what you want them to chew.
So, if your pup starts chewing up a shoe, say no and redirect them to a tasty chew. (Also, don’t forget to control the environment and keep shoes away from your pup… or keep your pup away from the shoes.)
Another time you can give your dog a chew is if you want them to be distracted and busy for a bit of time. For example, if you need to take a quick phone call and want them to be content and quiet during that call.
Of course, chews aren’t a replacement for proper exercise and mental stimulation, but they can help!
In general, you should try to give your dog some type of chew every single day. This healthy behavior helps clean their teeth, stimulate their mind, and keep them happy!
You may notice a pattern here… where you give your dog chews will depend on your dog, your situation, and more!
In general, you can give your dog chews in any location.
Just be aware that some chews can leave residue or smell as your pup chews. So, keep an eye on that whenever your dog tries out a new chew.
You don’t want to ruin a nice rug or couch!
Additionally, you can check out chews that don’t stink or leave a residue, just to be safe!
I’m gonna give you three major reasons why your dog should chew.
- Good for their brain
- Good for their teeth
- Good for your sanity
Let’s break each of those down.
Chewing is Good for Dog’s Brains
Dogs have a natural desire to chew.
For some dogs that desire is stronger than others. But, pretty much every dog has the desire and drive to chew.
That chewing helps keep their mind and brain busy, aka mental exercise. When our dogs are mentally exercised, it helps them stay more relaxed and calm.
Of course, there is more to it than just chewing, but the chewing does help.
Hot take here… I’m guessing you’ll take any help you can get with helping your dog stay calm and relaxed.
Chewing is Good for Dog’s Teeth
I actually wrote an entire article around this topic, go read it here if you’d like.
An insanely sad percentage of dogs have teeth and dental problems.
So, taking steps every day to keep their teeth clean is essential for your dog’s health and your wallet (teeth cleanings are pricey).
When dogs chew and gnaw it helps to scrape off plaque and tartar from their teeth.
It’s like nature’s toothbrush.
Simple for you, and loved by your dog. What’s not to love about that?
Chewing is Good for Your Sanity
Again, this all depends on if your dog is chewing on what they should be…
Because if they’re chewing up your brand new custom table built from restored barnwood (true story), then it sucks. Bad.
But if they’re gnawing on proper chews it’ll help your sanity and happiness immensely.
As mentioned before, chews are a great way to help keep your pup busy and engaged mentally. And let’s face it, sometimes we just need a break from our dogs.
We love them, but sometimes you just need them to do their own thing. And that’s the power of proper chewing behavior.
I will honestly answer that poll above. 100% yes.
Raising a pup is hard work! Dog chews make raising your pup just a bit easier.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Chews
Now that I’ve covered the 5 W’s of dog chews, let’s dive into some of the questions I hear asked most frequently.
Of course, there are more, but the principles in the following answers will lay a solid foundation for almost any other dog chew questions.
Oh, the dreaded puppy chewing.
Here’s the thing, your dog should never completely stop chewing (you’re seeing a pattern, right?).
But in regards to puppy problem chewing specifically, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to months for it to stop. It’s almost impossible to give a specific time frame.
The time frame will largely depend on how much you consistently train and redirect the problem chewing. Keep in mind that every time your dog is allowed to chew something you don’t want (like a shoe), that behavior is being reinforced.
For the dog, being able to chew something is a positive reinforcer in itself. That’s why it is so important to control your dog’s access to your home at an early age.
The best way to keep them from chewing up furniture or your shoes is to not allow them access to those things…
I can’t stress this enough! The best tools for fixing problem chewing are controlling the environment and teaching proper chewing behavior.
For many of us pup parents, we care about how natural and healthy our dog’s chews are.
If you give unhealthy or dangerous chews (even if you’re feeding healthy food), you run the risk of health problems and unwanted side effects.
Finding natural chews doesn’t have to be hard.
First off, you should look at the ingredient content in dog chews you are considering buying.
Ask yourself some questions before making the purchase.
- How many ingredients are in the chew? If there are more than 5-7 ingredients for a chew, it’s likely not very healthy.
- What are the ingredients?
- Can you pronounce them?
- Do you know what they are?
- Are the ingredients natural?
If you honestly answer those questions, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision as to what chews are natural and healthy.
Some of my dog’s favorite natural chews are:
- Himalayan chews
- Beef tendons
- Bully sticks
- Elk antlers
- Fresh meat bones
- And others
All those chews listed above are made from simple ingredients and are naturally made.
This, again, is a very tough question to answer. (Maybe you’re seeing a pattern here…)
Every dog has very different chewing behaviors and habits.
A chew that would last a 3 lb Chihuahua an hour might only last a 60 lb Pit Bull about 10 minutes. It just varies.
With that being said, here are some chews that pup parents claim to last a long time.
How long certain chews last will depend on your dog. Some pups love to just power through chews, while others like to take their time.
So again, try out different chew options until you find one that works best for your dog.
Frequently Asked Questions About Leaving Dogs Alone and Chews
For many pup parents, trying to keep their dogs happy while home alone is a constant struggle.
We want our pups to be happy while alone, but also safe!
So, here are some common questions about leaving dogs home alone and chews.
Many people wonder what dog chews are safe to leave in a crate.
The safe answer?
You shouldn’t leave chews in the crate with your dog if you’re not there with them.
But, with that being said, many people do. So, if you’re ever going to leave chews in the crate (or with your dog alone), be sure to fully monitor the chewing process before leaving them alone with it.
You want to be able to monitor the process from start to finish of the chew.
You should be checking if the chew does any splintering, cracking, how long it takes to chew, if your dog is trying to eat it whole, etc.
Also, opt for a chew that is either safe to be fully consumed or can’t be broken down at all. That means either your pup can eat the whole thing… or they can’t chew pieces off at all.
The safer bet is to monitor your dog while they chew.
Many pup parents wonder how to entertain their home alone dog.
Simply put, there’s no true formula to make sure your pup is never bored when left alone. And on top of that, nothing can replace sufficient human interaction throughout the day.
But, here are a few ideas to keep your pup entertained when home alone.
On top of these ideas, it’s important to train your pup to handle being left alone slowly over time. If you expect your 8-week old puppy to be alone for 8 hours every day, expect some negative consequences.
Similar to the previous section, there are some great ideas that can keep your dog busy for extended periods of time.
Because sometimes you just need some relaxing time without your doggo needing attention.
Here are some popular ideas for keeping a dog busy.
- Frozen Kongs
- Healthy dog chews
- Puzzle/brain games
- Frozen fruit/veggies (here’s a list of safe vs unsafe fruits/veggies)
- Giving them a sibling at home (but that’s a whole other topic 😉)
- Scavenger hunt
No matter how you decide to keep your dog busy, don’t neglect to give them sufficient human time and interaction.
Dogs are social creatures and they thrive off of being around humans.
Conclusion of Dog Chews: The Ultimate Guide
No matter what dog chews your decide on for your pup, be aware of what’s healthy and safe for them!
Bias not aside, you should buy some Pupford chews.
All of our chews are healthy, simple ingredient, and long-lasting for almost all pups. Plus, we back them all with a 30-Day Promise.
Any questions I didn’t answer about dog chews? Just ask them in the comments!