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What’s Good For A Dog To Chew On

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dogs chew to satisfy their natural instincts and to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
  • Edible chewing materials are recommended to improve oral health and provide entertainment for dogs.
  • Safe options for dogs to chew on include antlers, beef hooves, beef ribs, beef strips, bully sticks, chomper sticks, cod sticks, human-made edible bones, kangaroo sticks or tails, lamb horns, pig ears, raw bones, stuffed beef strips, tartar bones, tendons, turkey necks, yak cheese chews.
  • When choosing a chew toy, consider your dog's personality, the hardness of the chew, entertainment value, shape and texture, size, durability, and material and coating.
  • Natural dog chews are beneficial for dogs' physical, mental, and nutritional well-being and can help reduce destructive chewing behaviors.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Wednesday 1 November 2023
Last updated on
Monday 30 October 2023
What's Good For A Dog To Chew On
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The first words you can think of once you hear the word “dog” are either biting or chewing. Sometimes, we also get scared of our neighbor’s pets because we often think they will jump at us to bite our hands or chew our shoes in the doorway. 

Considering these instances, here come the questions: why do dogs like to chew, and is it good for dogs to chew on things? Get your paper and pen as we discuss everything you should know in this article! 

What Is the Best Thing for Dogs to Chew On?

According to Arhant et al.‘s research on chewing behaviors in dogs, 94% of 1,439 participants stated they give edible chewing materials to their furry friends four to six times per week. They recommend these chews to improve oral health or enrich canines. Also, the study further explains that these things keep dogs busy, provide minerals for joint and bone health, and offer dental support.

However, knowing these facts would mean something if you know which type of product to give your dog. So, what can my dog chew on that is safe? Lucky you, we have listed a few of the best things to answer that! 


Antlers from deer or elk are a few good things for dogs to chew on due to their wide range of sizes, shapes, and ability to last long. However, their hardness can be risky because canines can break and ingest them while playing. So, if you want to provide your dog with an antler, remember to supervise it at all times to prevent accidents.

Beef Hooves

Beef hooves make one of the best edible dog chews for aggressive chewers because they are natural, durable, and long-lasting. They possess natural cavities inside, where you can stuff treats, kibbles, or dog food to add more delight. Nevertheless, beef hooves have sharp edges, so you must file them down to make them less dangerous for your furry friend.

Beef Ribs

You can give your dog beef ribs if it loves chewing on anything that tastes like beef or meat. This edible chew is natural and can last long, but it may not be the best thing for dogs to chew on because its flat thin shape can crack or splinter easily. Still and all, it can combat boredom, reduce separation anxiety, or provide entertainment.

Beef Strips

Beef or Angus strips usually consist of beef esophagus sourced from grass-fed cows in rich countries, such as Argentina. Thanks to their crunchy jerky-like texture, less aggressive chewers can happily enjoy a healthy yet enjoyable chew. Moreover, this safe chew for dogs is free from hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, and smoke flavors. 

Bully Sticks

Aside from their braided and shaped figure for a long-lasting chew, bully sticks have a lot to offer in terms of thickness and length. Although easily digested, these single-ingredient chews do not splinter but become soft and act like a toothbrush.

You can add treats in the holder to prevent your furry friend from breaking the bully stick at once or take the entire thing away once it gets chewed down. 

Chomper Sticks

If you like beef strips but a little tougher ones, chomper sticks are suitable because they are more durable than the former. Furthermore, they have a thinner shape and higher digestibility, making them a safe, tasty, and natural dog chew. Also, your dog can scrape them against hard-to-reach teeth, further improving dental health.

Cod Sticks

What can a puppy chew on, you ask? Cod sticks or fish skins can be best for small and teething canines.

Since these things are soft, easily digestible, and chewable, your furry friend with little to no teeth can achieve a gummy chewing experience without hurting its mouth. Besides, it can safely mash small pieces and swallow them with their gums or tongue.

Human-Made Edible Bones

If you are searching for the best chew bones for dogs, you can opt for human-made edible bones because they are commonly available in the market. These dental bones can clean teeth and improve oral health.

Additionally, they consist of natural ingredients, making them highly digestible and safe. You can also choose the most appropriate size and shape to suit your furry friend’s needs.

Kangaroo Sticks or Tails

While they provide a satisfying crunchy chewing sensation, kangaroo sticks and tails contain exotic protein, perfect for dogs with allergies and sensitive digestion. They will be less likely to cause allergic reactions than other standard proteins; hence, you can worry less about side effects or unwanted consequences. However, they may not be more long-lasting than expected.

Lamb Horns

When looking for safe things for dogs to chew, lamb horns are excellent choices because they are dense and have a low risk of splintering. They do not damage teeth, making them advisable for puppies and senior canines.

Aside from that, lamb horns are high in protein and can improve dental health. You can also choose the right size based on your four-legged friend’s age and breed!

Pig Ears

One of the things dogs love nibbling is the texture and taste of pig ears. While these natural dog chews satisfy your pup, they are also an excellent dental care option because they have a thinner shape that can reach your dog’s hard-to-reach teeth. Furthermore, they can possess tasty ingredients and crunchiness that are irresistible to any pet. 

Raw Bones

If you ask, what is safe for dogs to chew on, raw bones can be one of the best because they are less brittle and have a lower risk of cracking and splintering. It is also softer and safer to chew off and digest. Once chewed or ingested, your dog can also benefit from the minerals, like phosphorus and calcium, needed for organ function and skeletal structure support.

Stuffed Beef Strips

Is your dog picky about food? You can get a stuffed beef strip to entice it in no time! These treats are chewy due to their durable exterior and soft crumbly meat filling.

Even though they do not last long, they are tasty and highly digestible. The only problem is that they can come in only one size, so you can struggle to match them with your pup.

Tartar Bones

Unlike other standard dog bones, tartar bones are safer for aggressive dogs because they are less likely to crack and splinter. Since they consist of beef bones and cartilage, they can support your furry friend’s hip and joint health. However, they can be smaller than other dog chews, making them a choking hazard for large or giant breeds. 


Compared to other animal parts marketed as edible dog chews, tendons are safer because they are lower in fat and have higher collagen and protein. More notably, the trachea can be advisable due to its chondroitin and glucosamine content, which is perfect for joint issues. On the other hand, fish skin chews shaped into rolls or bones are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Turkey Necks

Raw dog chews can produce a mess, and you might prefer to avoid cleaning every time your dog eats one. So, a freeze-dried turkey neck can be the safest yet least inconvenient to feed your dog.

This dog chew is high in protein. It also possesses phosphorus, calcium, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which support mobility and joint health. Additionally, it is soft and does not splinter.

Yak Cheese Chews

Another thing you can let your dog chew on is the yak cheese chew. It consists of hard blocks of dried cheese made from yak milk, salt, and lime juice. Nonetheless, its lactose content is not high; thus, you can worry less about indigestion. 

Although yak cheese chews do not produce an unpleasant smell, they can be a choking hazard because your pup can break off chunks and swallow them. It can also break teeth due to its hardness. 

How to Choose the Best Chew Toy for Dogs

Indeed, you can find lots of the best things for dogs to chew in the marketplace. Nevertheless, choosing what suits your furry friend the most does not come with a single click in an online shop or grabbing a random product in the grocery aisle. 

So, here are a few factors to consider to help you purchase the best dog chew! 

Identify Their Personality

Dogs have different personalities that can affect which dog chew they will need. For instance, aggressive chewers will require sturdy and long-lasting products, average chewers can suit more variety of toys, and light chewers can prefer soft chews. Meanwhile, durable ones are perfect for teething dogs, and senior canines need things that will not hurt their gums and jaws. 

Do the Hardness Test

Dog chews can have various hardness levels, some of which can crack teeth or lacerate gums. If you have a small dog, choosing an excessively dense product can damage its teeth. Therefore, you must perform a hardness test by doing any of these things below:

  • Press the product with your thumbnail. If the chew does not move, it is too dense for your dog.
  • Hit your knee with the dog chew. Consider choosing another product if it hurts. 
  • Do not purchase a chew if you try to hammer a nail but cannot get driven into the product.

Entertainment Value

Your pup will undoubtedly leave whatever dog chew you serve in front of it if it finds it uninteresting. So, you must ensure that the dog chew can provide hours of exciting gumming experience, distraction, and entertainment.

In this case, you can stuff the product with treats or foods to make it more thrilling. Also, choose one that can last long.

Shape and Texture

Dog chews have various shapes and textures, such as stick-like, long, bone-shaped, and flat ones. Since there can be a lot to choose from, consider your dog’s size and personality before purchasing one.

The dog chew must not have awkward figures that can get stuck or muzzle on your pup’s tongue, sharp edges that can lacerate the mouth or excessively soft material that can easily get torn apart.


Choking hazards are not uncommon for dogs when chewing dog toys or edible chews. For example, tiny products can be dangerous for large canines because they can ingest or swallow them unconsciously. So, with that said, you must pick medium or large ones to prevent them from getting into your pup’s mouth at once.


Dog chews must be sturdy and durable enough to withstand aggressive chewing, especially when your dog is a vigorous chewer. Otherwise, it can get torn into big chunks, leading canines to swallow them whole. However, you must still purchase dog chews that won’t break teeth despite their durability. 

Material and Coating

Lastly, dog chews must contain natural ingredients to guarantee safety and health benefits. For instance, you can come across beef-flavored products with no added flavorings or coatings. If you select one made with suspicious additives and components, your dog can be at high risk of ingesting chemicals and harmful contents.

Why Choose Natural Dog Chews?

Natural dog chews are the most advisable things you can give your dog. In terms of health benefits, these chews can provide tons to your pup’s physical, mental, and nutritional well-being. 

First, natural dog chews are an excellent alternative to brushing your pup’s teeth. They can remove tartar or any leftover food stuck in the mouth. Moreover, they can satisfy canines’ natural chewing instincts or behaviors.

Natural dog chews also prevent laziness, which is one of the primary causes of destructive behaviors among dogs. They can serve as an activity for your furry friend to focus on for a short to a long time. Consequently, they can make dogs occupied, busy, entertained, and safe.

Aside from that, natural dog chews also aid separation anxiety often caused by being left alone in the house. These things make pups feel comfortable and distract them from feeling anxious.

Lastly, natural dog chews provide plenty of proteins, minerals, vitamins, calories, and other nutritional content a dog needs. They also promote healthy joints and mobility by giving out collagen and calcium. Although they do not complete a dog’s diet, they send out additional nutrients.

How to Reduce or Manage Destructive Chewing

If your dog has destructive chewing behaviors, here are some tips you can do to help reduce or manage it.

  • Make your house dog-proof by putting valuable objects away or hidden until your dog’s chewing behavior disappears.
  • Give your pup plenty of inedible chew bones and toys that do not get broken or cracked easily. We recommend providing natural products to ensure safety. 
  • Provide a few edible chews, such as the ones stated above. Nevertheless, supervise your furry friend when chewing to prevent choking or ingesting splinters and hazards.
  • Take notes of the timeframe where your dog most likely chews on things. In this case, you can give puzzle toys or fill the chews with treats during these periods.
  • Gently spray your dog with chewing deterrents to discourage inappropriate chewing behaviors. You can apply some to a piece of tissue or cotton and place it in your friend’s mouth. Once it finds the odor and tastes awful, it will stop chewing on things sprayed with the deterrent.
  • Do not spank your pup when it chews something he should not. Instead, remove the thing inside its mouth, give something appropriate, and praise it afterward.
  • Provide plenty of physical exercises, mental stimulation, and training to your dog. That will help it get distracted and prevent boredom from building up.

Finally, you have come to know why dogs need to chew and what is safe for puppies to chew on. You will no longer need to worry about your furry friend’s destructive chewing behavior or its need to satisfy its natural chewing instincts.

Nonetheless, you must still remember to choose the most suitable one to ensure that your selected type and product are entirely safe and healthy for your pup.

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