Can Your Dog Chew Too Much?

Willow loves to chew. She chews with such intensity that my friend expressed concern that Willow could injure her teeth. I asked my veterinarian, Dr. Lee, at Ladera Pet Clinic, whether it was possible for a dog to chew too much. The answer is yes, it is possible for a dog to chew too much and to break or fracture a tooth. Supervise your dog when they have a chew treat, if it is too intense, if their gums start bleeding, or they have been chewing for a long time, then it is time to stop.

Refrain from letting your dog chew on furniture, wood, rocks, hard plastics, metal, shoes, (they always seem to know which pair is the favorite) and the TV remote. Xuma gave us a scare when she chewed up the remote and especially when we realized the batteries were missing. We found them a couple of days later wedged behind the sofa cushion. Not only can ingesting those items make them sick, it could injure their mouth.

Pet stores have a large number of chew products, which can be overwhelming. Dr. Lee recommends dehydrated meats or jerky, as well as dental treats such as biscuits or cookies. We give our dogs Kongs (a hard rubber toy with openings for treats) filled with peanut butter.

Chewing is not a substitute for teeth brushing. February was Pet Dental Month and the advice was unanimous, brush your dog’s teeth daily. Be sure to use dog toothpaste, not people toothpaste. Most dog toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride and foaming agents, which could upset your dog’s stomach. You’ll find dog toothpaste in mouthwatering flavors like beef, chicken, and peanut butter, to help make brushing a better experience. If your dog hates having his teeth brushed or you simply miss a day, Dr. Lee recommends a minimum of bi-weekly brushing, along with a dental chew and/or a water additive to keep their mouth healthy. Here is a video on how to brush your dog’s teeth from AVMA.

Peridontal disease can be a serious health risk, with the potential to damage not only your pet’s teeth and gums but its internal organs as well. Take care of your dog’s teeth, like you do your own, and you will easily eliminate a common health problem.

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