Ask the Vet: Safer Chew Toys

Our pet health expert suggests softer chews for your pup.

Dog chewing on a rubber toy

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Question: Baxter, my 5-year-old retriever mix, broke a tooth while gnawing on a bone, and the vet said his enamel was badly worn, probably from chewing on tennis balls. Can you suggest safer chew toys?

Answer: The nylon fuzz on tennis balls damages enamel in two ways: It’s abrasive even when clean, and it picks up dirt that acts like sandpaper on teeth. The lesson: Anything harder than teeth breaks teeth. The list includes natural and nylon bones, dried pig ears, hard plastic chew toys, and even ice cubes. Safe chew toys, the rubber kind, have some “give.” (Kong black toys are good for power chewers.) Offer Baxter a twisted rope toy and some dental chews. Also, increase his physical activity to tire him out before he settles down for a chew.

Ask the Vet is written by veterinarian Lee Pickett, VMD. Send questions to [email protected] and read more at saturdayeveningpost.com/ask-the-vet.

This article is featured in the July/August 2020 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

Featured image: Photology1971 / Shutterstock

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