We love our dogs, and we want to show that we love them with gifts of treats and toys. But did you know that the gift you are giving could become your dog’s worst nightmare?
Some toys and treats are harder than the enamel. Enamel acts as a protective covering for the living, sensitive parts of the tooth. If this protective enamel is broken, the tooth can be very painful and even the most attentive owners can be completely unaware of their pet’s pain.
In fact, pet owners are seldom aware of their pet’s dental pain, because animals with painful dental conditions nearly always still eat and drink normally.
Toys and treats that are tough on teeth:
- Tennis Balls
Tennis ball toys are harmful for teeth because their abrasive surfaces wear teeth down like sandpaper. Dogs who play with tennis balls have flattened smooth tops on their teeth from wear. Eventually the wear can dig down into living tooth and lead to the same problems that occur with tooth fractures.
- Bones and Sticks
Avoid the temptation of giving your dog bones, hard Nylabone type toys, antlers, pigs ears, or cow hooves. These are harder than your pet’s teeth. Additionally, they can splinter into sharp pieces and stab into the soft palate of their mouths. Ouch!
- Frayed Rope
Aside from the potential intestinal damage that is possible if strings are swallowed, toys with strings and frayed rope ends are also a hazard for teeth. If the material wraps around teeth, the teeth can be pulled on and broken. Also, the material can separate, be lodged between teeth, and can act as a foreign body leading to severe periodontal disease.
Always use common sense with pet toys and treats. Monitor your dogs to make sure they don’t chew up and swallow the toy or a large portion of the treat. Also, make sure that toys are appropriately sized, so your pet does not swallow it whole. Periodically check your pet for pieces of toy stuck between teeth and for worn down or discolored teeth.
Above all have fun with your pet and don’t forget to give them a big hug. Read on! Click to read Dog Toys and Treats Part 2: Easy on Teeth.