Dogs and cats don’t necessarily need toothbrushes or dental scalings – some natural, species- appropriate chews a few times a week should keep their teeth strong and shiny!
Chewing provides not only nutrients but also mental enrichment, and strengthens the neck, jaw and spine muscles. For puppies, chewing is not only calming but also helps against the discomfort of teething.
There are plenty of different chews for all breeds, sizes and dental statuses. Today we’ll talk about boneless chews, recreational bones and edible bones for dogs and cats to help you pick the perfect ones for your pet!
First things first – any new food should be introduced slowly and while keeping an eye on your furry’s reactions. If your pet throws up after chewing – stay calm, they might just have eaten too fast and regurgitated the chew to then try and eat it again, this time slower. It doesn’t mean they are sick, they are just figuring out how to do it right 💪🏽
Now let’s get into it!
The different kinds of chews in detail:
Boneless Chews such as Tracheas, Pizzle, Ears, Skin or Tendons are typically loaded with Glucosamine which is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that provides relief to Joints, Skin and digestive system.
Boneless Chews help by softly polishing the tartar of your pets’ teeth and stimulating the gums for healthy blood circulation and strong teeth. These chews are great for pets who tend to gobble, have dental issues or who are not too fond of chewing hard bones!
Edible bones are part of a balanced diet and should make up around 10% of the diet.
If your pet tends to gobble, go for bones like Poultry Necks first, depending on the size of your furry that can be Chicken, Turkey, Duck, or Emu Necks for example. You can also go for Shoulders or Ribs for starters as these flat bones are easier to chew and teach your pet how to get it right!
Dogs and Cats can not grind food – their jaws can not move sideways like our human jaws do. Their teeth are meant to chew and tear bigger chunks of harder food. When they eat, a thick saliva gets produced to help chunks be forced down into the tummy – that also means small spikey bits that might seem scary to feed such as Nails on Poultry Feet or Rabbit Paws are not harmful – claws / nails are actually made of Keratin which is a nutrient that helps the skin and fur shine!
Fishbones – raw or air-dried (not sun dried) – are perfectly safe to feed to a healthy dog or cat. If you are not sure how your pet would do, start with small quantities – break the dried fish in small pieces and work your way to trying a raw frozen small fish after a while!
Please note that not all fish are safe to feed your pets. Certain big fish can have high toxin levels and may harm your pet. It’s safer to stick to smaller, fresh-water fish like anchovy, sardine and mackerel or sweet-water fish.
Here’s a short video showing what the bones inside a dehydrated whole fish are like – easily breakable and safe for your pet. Though we’d recommend monitoring your furry ones when they’re trying something new to make sure they’re doing well with it.
Recreational Bones such as Chew Bones (Pork, Beef, Mutton or Emu), Beef Spine or Emu Shanks or Knuckles – these are bigger bones mainly for mental stimulation and teeth cleaning while being consumed slowly and not as a whole. These bones can be given to your pet several times a week and stored in the freezer or in a cool dry place wrapped in a cloth in between chew sessions. They sharpen the teeth and are a good choice for gobbling pets when the chews are at least 2-3 times the size of their snout so they won’t break and will have to be gnawed on.
When your pet chews a recreational bone there can be shards or bigger pieces breaking off when they are at it eagerly – these should be taken away and disposed of to prevent any issues when swallowed whole.
Did you know that chewing literally gets your pet high? They release endorphins and become tired, happy and thirsty from chewing – is there a better motivation to brush your teeth than that? 😉
A word on raw vs. dried vs. cooked or roasted bones:
Bones have a honeycomb like structure on the inside which makes them porous and safe to feed – raw and carefully dried bones that is.
Cooked, roasted, smoked or sun dried bones should never be fed as they can splinter in unnatural ways and can harm your pet.
If you see chews like Goat Trotters or Cow Ears that have all fur removed, then be weary – this is usually achieved by roasting the bones or treating them with chemicals.
Disclaimer: Even though most pets’ dental hygiene is easily managed with bones & boneless chews, please note that some may require more than just chews to keep their teeth clean & healthy, in which case they may require cleaning treatments. You know your pet best, so we’ll leave that decision to you. In no way we’re asking you to replace those treatments with our products, our aim is to only make natural (and definitely more fun 😋 ) alternatives accessible to you.
We hope this article was helpful and in case of any further queries you can always write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.