Pressed rawhide bones
Dogs have an innate need to chew. You will find this out quickly when you bring a puppy into your home. Just as babies begin to teethe at a young age and root toward hard objects to rub their gums upon, puppies have a need to chew hard items as well. It stimulates their gums, helps them lose their puppy teeth and encourages strong permanent teeth.
There is great debate between veterinarians, breeders and pet experts about what type of dog bone is best for your dog. There are hard, plastic bones such as Nylabone for your pet but if your dog is like mine, they quickly lose interest in these bones, and choose the leg of my chair or my hairbrush instead. I believe the greatest concern from professionals is that the dog will end up choking on a small fragment or will end up swallowing too large of a piece of rawhide which will cause either intestinal blockage or upset digestive system.
I have always provided my dogs with treats and toys to play with. The floss-type pulls that are supposed to stimulate their gums and brush their teeth at the same time. The soft toys where the dog can sink their teeth into the object and feel as if they are overpowering the toy. The dogs love all of these. However, they still have a need to chew on something hard that gives them flavor or bits of things in their mouths. I tried different kinds of chews made of rawhide and have found that the pressed rawhide bones don't splinter, break apart easily and last for a couple days; even with an aggressive chewer.
My shepherd has jaws of steel and can consume a regular chew wafer in seconds. The pressed raw hides however take a while for her to break through, forcing her to chew it slowly and work all of her teeth. My Wheaton Terrier is a delicate chewer and he can take days to penetrate to the center of the pressed bone. My Yorkshire Terrier is more aggressive in chewing than the Wheaton and once the bone gets softened by one of the other dogs, he will chew to his heart's content, without my fearing that he'll swallow too large a piece or choke.
The pressed raw hides rarely come in flavors but the fact they are pressed, much of the flavor is held within the bone, allowing for taste throughout the bone. The different sizes accommodate the varying sizes of dog. I feel completely safe in giving my dogs this type of treat and they love the chewing satisfaction they receive.
It's also nice because my windowsills, chairs and table legs are spared from their little teeth!
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