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SAFE CHEW TOYS
Toys that can stand up to hard chewing are hard to come by. It's even hard to find toys that are safe for teething puppies. Here are some ideas. Please, ALWAYS supervise chew-fests. It is possible for a dog to chew off big pieces of anything, and also to chew hard enough to fracture teeth! Be careful!

Nylabone products

Nylabones are made of a hard plastic substance that holds up well to aggressive chewers. The "Galileo" line is especially well suited for this purpose, but "Gumabones" are a little too soft and the dogs can get big chunks off. Unfortunately, Nylabones are sometimes not too interesting to dogs, but scratching the bones with sandpaper and soaking them in chicken or beef broth might make them more exciting.

Kong products

The Kong company makes a lot of different things that are reasonably safe for chewing. If you look at the company web site (www.kongcompany.com) there are lots of recipes for things to put into the Kongs so the dogs will become addicted to chewing on them and playing with them. This is the only product I feel is safe enough to leave with my dog when I am not at home, and it relieves my guilty feelings on days when they are crated for long periods.

Rawhide

Be REALLY careful here. It is safest to buy American processed rawhides, as some foreign countries bleach their rawhides with toxic substances. I prefer processed, "pressed" rawhides as the dogs are not able to get such big chunks off, but even then I have to take the sticks away at a certain point or they will swallow the ends.

Ropes

Braided cotton ropes are great to soak down in water and freeze as a toy for teething puppies. Make sure though that the dogs don't unravel and swallow the cotton threads, as they could block the intestines and cause you a lot of grief.

Raw bones

Now HERE'S a controversial subject. I personally like to give my dogs raw bones, but I prefer the shank bones (sawed off at each end) to the knuckle bones that have too much cartilage and stuff attached. My dogs are only allowed fifteen minutes of chewing fun each time, and between times I keep the bones in plastic bags in the freezer. When the bones are clean and boring I will leave them out in the yard, or run them through the dishwasher and then stuff them with cheese (aerosol or regular) and other good things.

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