Identifying your dog’s “chew personality” can help you determine the safest chew for him.
There are many factors involved in finding the right toys and chews for your dog. You’ll need to consider the quality, the type of protein he prefers, and the size appropriate for his breed. But the first step – and one of the most important – is identifying your pup’s chew personality.
Chew personality refers to the characteristics that form a dog’s specific chewing preferences and habits. “We all have a friend who isn’t afraid to chow down, leaving a trail of crumbs everywhere they go, and another who nibbles throughout the day, rarely tempted by surprise office snacks,” says Rashell Cooper, Marketing Director at Redbarn Pet Products, a company that offers a wide selection of high-quality dog chews. “Dogs also have their own eating habits, or chew personalities – and it’s vital for dog parents to understand their dog’s unique chew personality to pick out the safest, tastiest treats.
Identifying his chew personality
Some pet parents know their dog’s chew personality immediately, while others have a more difficult time figuring it out. The following descriptions aim to spell out the different chew personality types, so you can find the safest chew for your companion.
Light chewers – Nibblers; dogs that spend days slowly gnawing away at a single chew or lose interest overtime.
Moderate chewers – Selective; dogs that inhale some treats and ignore others.
Durable chewers – Dogs that chew anything and everything, from Redbarn chews to couch cushions.
Which chew is right for your dog?
If your dog is a light chewer, you’ll have a much easier time finding a chew that’s safe for him. The trick is finding one that he’ll enjoy. Because light chewers have a tendency to lose interest in chews quickly, the key is finding one that’s enticing and palatable. “Lighter chewers, including puppies and senior dogs with teeth sensitivities, will love Redbarn’s softer chews,” says Rashell. She recommends Protein Puffs, natural ears, and Puff Braids (see sidebar).
Finding the right product for a moderate chewer will take some trial and error, so be prepared. Buy a selection of chews and pay attention to how quickly your pup devours them. If he chews them too quickly, it might be a safety issue. If he’s completely uninterested, you’ll need to choose something more appealing. “Bully sticks, steer sticks, and our braided esophagus sticks and rings are ideal for moderate chewers,” says Rashell. “They’re tasty enough to entice picky eaters, and strong enough for when the urge to chew kicks in.”
For durable chewers, safety should be your first consideration. These dogs have strong jaws and a desire to destroy anything you put in front of them, which can put them at risk of choking and obstructions in the stomach or intestines. To prevent this all-too-common problem, ensure your dog has a safe outlet for his chewing needs at all times. This will prevent him from gnawing on object around the house. “Power chewers need durable chews in a variety of shapes and sizes to keep them entertained,” says Rashell, who suggests reaching for Redbarn’s filled bones and knuckle or meaty bones. Just be sure to watch his caloric intake if the chews you give him are edible and, as with all chewers, always supervise during chew time!
Other factors to consider
Identifying your dog’s chew personality is the first step in figuring out which chew is right for him. But it’s not the only factor to consider – size is also important, and so is your dog’s age. “The recommended chew size is slightly larger than your dog’s mouth as they are not intended to be swallowed whole or in large pieces,” advises Rashell. She also reminds pet parents that their dog’s chew personality changes as they age. What works for your new puppy isn’t going to be safe for your four-year-old rescue, and vice versa. But rest assured that with close observation – and careful reflection of these chew personality guidelines – finding the perfect chew for your dog will be a simple and gratifying process.
If you’re still unsure of your dog’s chew personality, click here to take the quiz!