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Something to chew on…

The following information was provided by the Animal Emergency and Referral Service of Minnesota (AERC):

Clients often want to know what is safe and what is not safe for dogs to chew on. Our board-certified veterinary dentist, Dr. Brine, has tips for what you can teach your clients about chew toys.

It’s a good idea to…

  • Provide toys with “give” and some flexibility. If you can’t bend it slightly or indent with your fingernail, it is too hard for a dog to safely chew on.
  • Match the dog’s size and chewing style to the right chew toy.
  • Provide “tooth-friendly” toys and treats. Chewing for 10 minutes a day is great for a dog’s teeth, but it does not replace daily brushing. See www.vohc.org for a list of Veterinary Oral Health Council approved, “tooth-friendly” products.

It’s not a good idea to…

  • Allow a dog to chew on plastic bones such as nylabones, real bones, marrow bones, knuckles, antlers, hooves, and rocks. These are too hard on the teeth and can injure or break them.
  • Let a dog chew on tennis balls. For a game of fetch, tennis balls are perfectly fine. For dogs that want to continuously chew on a tennis ball, however, the ball’s surface is too abrasive and can cause abnormal tooth crown wear and pulp exposure.
  • The photo below is of a WBAH patient that loves to chew on tennis balls. Note the attrition or excessive wear of the canines and premolars.

Flat Teeth

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White Bear Animal Hospital