Dog Treat Selection Guide
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

We, as dog owners, love to give treats to our dogs as much as they love to get them. But when you treat your dog, it is important not to just hand them any treat and walk away. Know your dog's eating habits and choose treats that are appropriate for his size, health, and chewing habits.

Treat toys are a great way to entertain your dog. But safety with toys is just as important as safety with treats. When your dog is home alone, offer some of these safe to chew on puzzle toys. Try mixing them up from day-to-day to keep him interested.

Our chewtime recommendations
Your dog's digestive system can become obstructed with almost any type of treat and toy. As veterinarians, we have seen dogs swallow almost everything imaginable, from toys and treats, to clothing, rocks, tablespoons, paring knives, or tennis balls. We recommend supervising your dog while he's chewing any treat and taking away small pieces he has chewed to minimize the rare risks of choking or intestinal blockage. We can't stress enough, knowing your dog's chewing habits and making sure your dog chews any product properly are the keys. In addition:

  • Read labels carefully and follow feeding guidelines.
  • Prevent gulping when possible by keeping anxiety low and monitor your dog's chewing habits.

The ASPCA Poison Control Center has this to say about dogs and chewing: "Edible flavored or dental chews, rawhide or plush toys are generally designed for pets who are mild to moderate chewers, not strong chewers or shredders - including those who typically consume food rapidly and in large pieces…"

Special advice for owners of aggressive chewers
Don't be fooled by the size of your dog. Aggressive chewers come in all breeds, shapes, and sizes. Some breeds are known for the power of their jaws, but even the smallest Schnauzer can out-chew a laid-back Labrador if he has the right personality. If you have a dog that breaks off large pieces of treats, choose your treats carefully, supervise your dog at all times, and take the treat away when it becomes a hazard. For instance, when your dog has chewed on a piece of rawhide to the point of it becoming soft, take that rawhide chew away and substitute another. Allow the softened rawhide to dry and harden, then be give it back to the dog.

Even if you don't think your dog is an aggressive chewer, remember that any dog may destroy and swallow inappropriate chunks of a treat when bored.

Purchase the appropriate size product for your dog based on the dog's size and his propensity to chew. Follow manufacturer's guidelines as to the size that's right for your dog. Be smart when it comes to treating your dog and you'll save yourself worry and expense in the long run.

Recommended Treats

Everlasting Treat Ball for Dogs

Everlasting Treat Ball for Dogs

Dental Scrubbies for Dogs

Drs. Foster & Smith Dental Scrubbies for Dogs

Chicken Fillets Dog Treats

Drs. Foster & Smith Chicken Fillets Dog Treats

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