A longtime favorite among many dog owners, Kong toys are known for their durability and come in different "strengths" and sizes. The Classic Kong (featured in the photo above) can also be filled with dry or canned/wet food. (Check out some of the other "stuffing" recipe ideas on the Kong website.) You can even freeze the toys with the stuffing inside in order to extend your dog's play time as they try to scoop out every last bit — plus freezing Kongs can help soothe the pain for a teething puppy.
There are many chews on the market today that can be considered safer for dogs because they are digestible and not too hard for teeth. It is important to remember that even large chunks from digestible chews can still cause GI upset or blockage. Always supervise your dog after giving it chews. If the dog seems to be swallowing large chunks, take the chew away. Furthermore, if the dog develops vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs of illness, see your vet right away.
The desire to investigate interesting objects and the discomfort of teething motivate puppies to chew. Much like human infants, puppies go through a stage when they lose their baby teeth and experience pain as their adult teeth come in. This intensified chewing phase usually ends by six months of age. Some recommend giving puppies ice cubes, special dog toys that can be frozen or frozen wet washcloths to chew, which might help numb teething pain. Although puppies do need to chew on things, gentle guidance can teach your puppy to restrict chewing to appropriate objects, like his own toys.
The truth is, although some chews are better than others, it’s important to know the potential problems associated with each type of dog chew or toy. Even if you’ve never had an issue, and have friends who say the same, many vets and other dog lovers have seen these problems first-hand. The following breakdown is not meant to scare you. Instead, we hope you will keep these warnings in mind so your dog can enjoy their chewing, and do so safely.

Puppy- and dog-proof your house. As with any type of behavior you wish to change, one of the most important things to do is manage the environment. We are all familiar with “puppy proofing” our houses – we learn to put shoes in the closet, and put pups in the crate when we are not actively supervising them. But we often forget that many adult dogs need the same type of management to keep them out of trouble.


To cut the barking, teach your dog a new habit. Pick a spot within sight of the door. Then teach her to lie down and stay when you say, "Go to your spot." That will help her stay calm and give her something to do while she waits to be greeted. Have a friend with a treat come to the door, but only open it when your dog is quiet. Do this enough and she’ll learn to chill out if she wants that treat.
Offer your dog some edible things to chew, like bully sticks, pig ears, rawhide bones, pig skin rolls or other natural chews. Dogs can sometimes choke on edible chews, especially if they bite off and swallow large hunks. If your dog is inclined to do this, make sure he’s separated from other dogs when he chews so he can relax. (If he has to chew in the presence of other dogs, he might feel that he has to compete with them and try to quickly gulp down edible items.) Also be sure to keep an eye on your dog whenever he’s working on an edible chew so that you can intervene if he starts to choke.
So, what are some other common answers to, “Why do dogs chew their feet?” Numerous between-the-toes skin diseases can cause a dog to chew his feet, says Dr. Remillard, who founded Veterinary Nutritional Consultations Inc. in Hollister, North Carolina. In addition, injury or pain (such as from arthritis or hip dysplasia), as well as autoimmune diseases, cysts, tumors and cancer can lead to foot biting. Some dogs might munch their digits due to skin infections caused by hormonal imbalances, namely too much cortisol or too little thyroid hormone.

Discourage chewing inappropriate items by spraying them with chewing deterrents. When you first use a deterrent, apply a small amount to a piece of tissue or cotton wool. Gently place it directly in your dog’s mouth. Allow him to taste it and then spit it out. If your dog finds the taste unpleasant, he might shake his head, drool or retch. He won’t pick up the piece of tissue or wool again. Ideally, he will have learned the connection between the taste and the odor of the deterrent, and he’ll be more likely to avoid chewing items that smell like it. Spray the deterrent on all objects that you don’t want your dog to chew. Reapply the deterrent every day for two to four weeks. Please realize, however, that successful treatment for destructive chewing will require more than just the use of deterrents. Dogs need to learn what they can chew as well as what they can’t chew. 


Provide your dog with plenty of his own toys and inedible chew bones. Pay attention to the types of toys that keep him chewing for long periods of time and continue to offer those. It’s ideal to introduce something new or rotate your dog’s chew toys every couple of days so that he doesn’t get bored with the same old toys. (Use caution: Only give your dog natural bones that are sold specifically for chewing. Do not give him cooked bones, like leftover t-bones or chicken wings, as these can splinter and seriously injure your dog. Also keep in mind that some intense chewers may be able to chip small pieces off of natural bones or chip their own teeth while chewing. If you have concerns about what’s safe to give your dog, speak with his veterinarian.)
CHEW Dog Rescue is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing abandoned dogs, dogs scheduled for euthanasia due to shelter space limitations, and other dogs who need us. We are always looking to find additional foster homes and acquire funding for veterinary care and other essential elements of dog rescue to allow us to help more dogs in need. CHEW (Canine Health Education and Welfare) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
Discourage chewing inappropriate items by spraying them with chewing deterrents. When you first use a deterrent, apply a small amount to a piece of tissue or cotton wool. Gently place it directly in your dog’s mouth. Allow him to taste it and then spit it out. If your dog finds the taste unpleasant, he might shake his head, drool or retch. He won’t pick up the piece of tissue or wool again. Ideally, he will have learned the connection between the taste and the odor of the deterrent, and he’ll be more likely to avoid chewing items that smell like it. Spray the deterrent on all objects that you don’t want your dog to chew. Reapply the deterrent every day for two to four weeks. Please realize, however, that successful treatment for destructive chewing will require more than just the use of deterrents. Dogs need to learn what they can chew as well as what they can’t chew. 
Every new puppy or dog owner should expect a certain amount of destruction from curiosity-based or tension-relieving oral tendencies of the pet. The solution to the problem lies in removing the environmental cause and guiding the dog towards the appropriate objects to chew. The above-mentioned preventive and corrective approaches will help to minimize and ultimately solve the problem while allowing the dog to develop a healthy relationship with you.
We just got a 9 yr old shiz tzu. He’s obsessively biting, chewing, and grunting over his feet and his butt. His previous owner had a prescription for anxiety meds and I gave him half of one pill (dose age) and have just about doused him with anti itch spray. Bathed him and no good! Food allergy maybe? He eats pedigree small bites, but my rat terrier had a similar problem and it cleared up after we changed his food. Any suggestions?

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Animal hooves, antlers, and bones: Hard animal parts and particularly cooked bones pose the most significant risk to your dog's teeth and GI tract because they are very hard and indigestible. If your dog doesn't break a tooth first, he could manage to snap off a piece and ingest it. Some animal horns (like buffalo or goat horns) soften and fray a little while dogs are chewing them. These can be less dangerous to the teeth and may be more easily tolerated by the GI tract. However, they should be used with extreme caution.
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