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Is Chewing Bad For My Dog’s Teeth?
Dental Cleanings

Is Chewing Bad For My Dog’s Teeth?

When does chewing become an issue and potentially dangerous for your puppy or dog?

Will your dog or puppy actually damage their teeth by chewing? It really depends on whether your dog is chewing on the ‘right or wrong’ chew.

Puppy teething is when your dog’s permanent teeth are coming in and it hurts. Chewing is not only an important behavior for your puppy, it also helps relieve sore gums.

Adult dogs need to chew too, and each will have their preference. Some dogs may only need a good bone, non-hide chew, or toy to chew on once a day or every few days. It depends on your dog!

In this article, you’ll learn about destructive chewing and potential problems it can cause for your dog.


What does normal chewing look like?

Chewing is a great activity for any dog, especially if they’re bored! Some of the best toys and safe dog chews include Kongs and balls, but according to a story posted on CesarsWay you always need to make sure they are an appropriate size for your dog.

Chewing becomes an issue if your dog has something in their mouth that can cause an injury and a trip to the vet. Even antlers, which are very popular with dog owners, can fracture a tooth if your dog chews on them at the wrong angle.

It’s best to look for chews and bones that are easily digested. Let’s talk about some of the most popular digestible options to find what’s right for your dog.

No-hide chews vs. rawhide chews

Rawhide chew

Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. Some rawhides contain beef, chicken or liver flavorings. These are not easily digested.

Non-hide chew

The non-hide was designed to provide dogs with a better alternative to rawhide. It’s a long-lasting and safe dog chew that is easily digestible and free of any animal hides.

According to PetsMD.com, rawhide bones can pose a choking and blockage risk. “In fact, this is a much bigger risk than contamination or digestive irritation. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract.”

Try No-Hide Chews from Earth Animal. These come in many sizes and are easy on your dog’s stomach. They are made from chicken, chicken gelatin, brown rice flour, organic eggs, olive oil, banana, and bromelain (Pineapple). This is a much better alternative than bully sticks.

Safe dog chews and bones can be used between dental cleanings to help maintain the results of a recent cleaning. Check out the six dental chew brands we recommend to parents when they bring their pets to us for a non-anesthetic dental cleaning.


3 problems that may cause destructive chewing

It’s worth mentioning that there are underlying issues that may cause destructive chewing. We don’t categorize this type of behavior as ‘inappropriate chewing’ because it’s due to stress or starvation.

Before you try to solve issues caused by chewing, the ASPCA recommends ruling out these three causes of destructive chewing with the help of your vet.


Separation anxiety

A dog experiencing separation anxiety will typically show other signs of anxiety when left alone. They may pace, vocalize, or urinate.

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According to the ASPCA, dogs who chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety usually only chew when left alone or chew most intensely when left alone.


Fabric sucking

This type of behavior is thought to be compulsive. Some dogs will suck and chew on fabrics like a blanket. Behavioral experts believe they may have been weaned too early from their mom.



A dog looking for a nutrition source will often chew on just about any object.


Discourage inappropriate chewing

Dogs can easily fracture a tooth on a bone or stick and sharp objects can become lodged in the throat or gums. These types of accidents happen more often than you might think and usually require a trip to the vet.

Pet owners should discourage inappropriate chewing. If your dog grabs an old chew, a pinecone, a chicken bone, or something else that they clearly shouldn’t have in their mouth, it’s important to trade that object for a more appropriate chew, like a Kong toy.

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Dogs should always be supervised when chewing on toys or bones and you should watch for any large pieces that could possibly break off and become a choking hazard.

With proper supervision and appropriate toys, chewing can be a fun and rewarding activity for your pet! In addition to playing with chew toys and regular at home brushing, it’s recommended that pet’s receive a professional dental cleaning every six months. If you notice any of these 12 signs of periodontal disease in your pet, it’s time for a deep dental cleaning.

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We’re reimagining the pet industry with our zen inspired approach to teeth cleaning for dogs & cats. Schedule a deep dental cleaning every 6 months to keep your pet’s smile healthy!

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Kelli Harvey

Kelli Harvey has produced educational materials for local animal rescues and worked closely with veterinarians across the US to help improve the lives of pets for many years. She’s also an obsessed pet mom to two rambunctious rescue mutts!

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