Wood Chew Toys for Dogs: Which to Avoid, Which are Safe, and Benefits | Pupford
April 28th, 2023
Filed under Health + Wellness
Whether it was a stick in the backyard or the leg of your dining room table (ugh), odds are your dog has chewed on wood at some point in their lives.
Odds are also that they really enjoyed it.
It makes sense if you think about it – wood is one of the most readily available things for dogs to chew in the wild. I know it’s hard to think about our dogs as ancestors of wild animals, but they have carried quite a few instincts through domestication with them.
That’s why wood chew toys exist.
While that poll was just for fun, there are a lot of people asking serious questions when it comes to what’s safe and beneficial for dogs to chew.
We get asked often if it’s okay to let your dog chew on wood and if there are any benefits, so we thought we would break it down for you. Today we’ll cover:
- Benefits of chewing in general
- What types of wood chews to avoid
- What types of wood chews to give your dogs
- Benefits of coffee wood dog chews
- Tips for giving your dog coffee wood chews
Let’s get into it!
BENEFITS OF CHEWING IN GENERAL FOR DOGS
Before we talk about wood chews specifically, let’s take a step back to chewing in general.
We should be encouraging our dogs to chew often since it’s an important part of their physical and mental health. Here are some benefits of chewing for dogs:
- Relieves stress and anxiety by giving your dog something to focus on
- Improves dental health by reducing plaque buildup
- Strengthens jaw muscles
- Burns energy
- Gives dogs, especially puppies, a way to explore objects around them
- Engages your dog’s mind for emotional and
Because of these benefits, it’s important to give your dog opportunities to chew – but safely.
CAN DOGS CHEW ON WOOD & WHY DO THEY DO IT?
Since we're on the subject, it's important to answer the question of whether dogs can or should be allowed to chew on wood.
Many dogs chew on wood because it's readily available. There are sticks, trees, and other types of wood (like tables and chairs) all around them! But, chewing on wood like this can actually be risky.
Random sticks or trees could potentially be toxic for your dog. Additionally, wood can splinter and cause blockages in your dog's internal systems.
So the simple answer is your dog probably should not chew on wood they find laying outside in nature.
WHAT TYPES OF WOOD CHEWS TO AVOID FOR DOGS
While we want our dogs to get ample chewing opportunities, we want each one to be safe. Here are the types of wood chews to avoid…
- Sticks they find on the ground. These can splinter easily causing cuts or intestinal blockages. They also can carry fungi, bacteria, or insects that could be harmful if ingested.
- Scrap wood. Again, the varying age, condition, and materials of scrap wood can mean pieces will break off in your dog’s mouth. This type of wood is also usually treated with sealants or insecticides, which can be toxic.
- Anything made from toxic wood. While many varieties of wood are not toxic to dogs, there are quite a few that are – including cherry, oak, orange, red maple, wisteria, yew, and more. Here’s a full list of .
- Soft wood chews or wood chews that easily splinter. This is especially the case for dogs that are strong chewers.
- Fillers. Wood chew toys with a lot of additional filler ingredients often have higher calorie counts or are lower quality and could potentially splinter.
WHAT TYPES OF WOOD CHEWS TO GIVE YOUR DOG
But if this article is about wood chews for dogs, there have to be safe options right?
Of course there are!
When selecting a wood chew for your dog, you want to look fora natural wood.
Keep in mind that the “best” options may differ from dog to dog. Strong chewers, for example, really need a tough material that won’t easily break down, while large dogs will need larger chews so they don’t become a hazard. But those two factors are a great place to start.
BENEFITS OF COFFEE WOOD DOG CHEWS
- No calories. Coffee wood doesn’t contain any calories so it’s a great way to treat your dog while being mindful of their weight and caloric intake.
- Very dense. As a dense type of wood, coffee wood can withstand tough chewing.
- No harsh smell. Some chews (wood and otherwise) release strong odors when wet with your dog’s saliva, but not coffee wood.
- Allergy-friendly. Dogs with allergies to animal-based chews can happily enjoy coffee wood.
- Long-lasting. The dense, tough wood can withstand a lot of chewing and last a long time before becoming worn down to a small piece – a lot of bite for your buck!
- Sustainably harvested. Coffee wood can be harvested sustainably as a natural part of the coffee harvesting process.
All these benefits make coffee wood chews a unique, safer, and healthier enrichment experience for your dog.
TIPS FOR GIVING YOUR DOG COFFEE WOOD CHEWS
We have some additional tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy when enjoying their coffee wood chew:
- Only give your dog their coffee wood chew under supervision
- Make sure their chew is large enough that they can’t swallow it
- If the chew gets worn down to a size where it could be swallowed, replace it with a new chew
RECAP OF WOOD DOG CHEW TOYS
While there are many different wood dog chew toys out there, it's important to find a safe one for your pup! Be sure to avoid wood chews with added fillers or that easily cause damage when consumed.
And again, letting your dog chew any wood or sticks they find on the ground can be risky. Random sticks or wood can carry bacteria or fungi that may be problematic for your pup.