The following is an excerpt from Petfinder’s FurKeeps Kickoff Ask the Experts Forum.
Q: Unlike my Lab, who carries around her rawhide bones for days, weeks even, my parents’ female Lab chews them up in a few minutes.
How do we stop my parents’ dog’s aggressive chewing? She is overweight, so it’s not hunger. They live on a farm and she goes everywhere in the car with my retired parents.
A: I wish there was a solid great answer for your question. The bottom line is, every dog is different. Some are serious chewers and some are hobby chewers! It sounds like your dog is more of a hobby chewer and your parents’ dog is really dedicated to the task!
You can experiment with various types of bones, as you may find that some are more hearty and appropriate than others for their dog.
Regular rawhide tends to go very fast with a dedicated chewer so some suggestions for your parents’ dog would be to try some of the more indestructible toys like Kongs and Busy Buddy toys from Premier.
These toys are very hardy and are also interactive, so your parents’ dog will have to use her mind as well as her mouth to get through them. All of them can be stuffed with food to some degree and your imagination is the only thing that limits what you put into a well-stuffed Kong! Leftovers never go bad in my house as they get stuffed into a Kong and more often than not frozen to make the challenge that much tougher for my dogs.
Stuff the toys easily at first and then make it harder as the dog gets better at unstuffing them!
The other bones I like are the huge bronto bones — they are essentially cow femurs and are available in most feed stores and some better pet supply places. They look like a dinosaur bone really. They’re huge! If you hand her that outdoors or on a dog bed it should take her a while to make a dent in that. Of course, she should not eat the whole bone in one sitting. This would be a few days or a week of entertainment in my house, even with the power chewers sitting below my desk!
Bronto bones are generally hickory smoked so they have a coating that comes off. Be sure to avoid white carpets or nice dog beds until they lick and chew off all the good stuff.
My short-version advice?
- The bigger the better with power chewers.
- If she cannot get her whole mouth on the bone or toy to get a good chomp down that will help. The power comes from the back of the jaw so if she has to work at it at the front of her mouth, rather than being able to get it entirely inside, it may last longer.
- If you stick with regular rawhide, look for big, industrial size ones — no smaller than 12″ in length. Pressed rawhide or something with multiple layers of rawhide rolled into a retriever roll is ideal.
- If she consumes a lot, be sure to buy USA-made rawhides, as some of the other countries still use chemicals that are not ideal to consume in larger quantities!
Dogs Think! Dog Training