Your Dog’s Teeth Are Strong, But Not THAT Strong:
Our domesticated dogs are not wolves. Your pet’s teeth are not made for chewing bones anymore, and the high amount of broken and chipped teeth we see reflects that. Most people are aware that the more brittle bones, like chicken bones, can splinter, but what is less known is that all bones have the potential to be hard enough to cause broken teeth. Whether from the pet store, cooked, uncooked, or hollow, there is no bone that is safe for your pet. The FDA has even issued a warning about bones and bone treats. You can read the FDA warning here: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/no-bones-or-bone-treats-about-it-reasons-not-give-your-dog-bones
A High Price Tag:
Sure, hard toys like bones, antlers, and plastic bones are relatively inexpensive, but that price tag rises significantly when your pet gets a fractured tooth. Even a small chip fracture with no pulp exposure is bad for your pet, as it compromises the tooth and makes it more prone to a larger break in the future. The treatment for a broken tooth is an evaluation under anesthesia that lets the doctor take X-rays and determine if the inside of the tooth (the pulp chamber) is exposed, or if the trauma has caused a fracture below the gumline. The treatment is removal of the tooth. If you would rather get a root canal to save the tooth, this can be done at a veterinary dentist, but is even pricier and not all fractured teeth are good candidates for a root canal.
What Is Too Hard?
Bones, antlers, plastic bones (such as Nylabones), hooves, hard cheese block treats, and anything that doesn’t “give” when you press your thumbnail into it, doesn’t bend, or hurts when you hit it on your knee.
Are Tennis Balls Safe?
Sort of. The problem with tennis balls is when they get dirty or have been in sand. Once it is coated in a fine grit it stays in the fuzzy outside portion of the ball. As your pet holds and chews on the ball in their mouth, this can work like sandpaper on the inside of their canine teeth. This wears away the enamel over time, and can begin to erode the tooth.
Safe Alternatives To Hard Toys:
We know certain dogs just love chewing, but it’s up to us to make sure that what they’re chewing cannot hurt them. A great example of a softer toy for dogs that like to chew are the rubber Kong toys, as long as they do not chew off pieces and eat them! If they love to eat their toys, consider giving them a treat that takes a while to chew! C.E.T. Hextra chews are a safe alternative to rawhides as they are easier for them to digest. They soften easily when chewed and can be used daily to help reduce plaque and tartar. Feel free to visit the link below for more information: https://midtownvethospital.vetsfirstchoice.com/Dosage/Package-Quantity/C-E-T-%C2%AE-Chews-Hextra%E2%84%A2/p/3003335