My dogs don’t really care much for chew toys. In fact, I’ve spent quite a bit of money on all types of special toys for chewing; to prevent tartar build-up. I’ll go on a binge trying out different ones – read the labels; choose those that sound perfect for the job – and, according to the labeling are indestructible. Sure, either the dogs will chew on them vigorously for 10-15 minutes, then never bother with them again or they’ll destroy them within the first half hour. Money down the drain!
Annabelle was a little hellion as a puppy. I was trying every toy I could get my hands on to keep her occupied. Once, I carefully selected one at a local dog store – marked indestructible – and it was expensive. I thought, Expensive, well it must really be good! Right!!! It was summertime. The doors were open to the porch… Annie took the new toy from me and excitedly took it out to the porch. I was busy in the kitchen; kind of forgot about her for a while… suddenly I thought, Wow, she’s so quiet out there, enjoying her new toy. It really works. Ho, ho… I went out and she was surrounded by the shreaded toy, bits of it hanging out of her mouth! This one was guaranteed… I did something I’d never done before – I returned the toy and got my money back.
I began to contemplate the fact that the dogs we had when I was growing up all had sparkling white teeth. They were never taken to have their teeth cleaned – they didn’t need it. What was it that my mother was doing for the dogs? A-huh! Yes… she’d get large marrow bones from the butcher and give them raw to the dogs. They would chew on those things for hours.
I now make a point of giving the dogs a fresh marrow bone each week. I put the bones into the freezer first… then serve them to the dogs. This prevents them from getting grease all over the carpeting. A couple of dollars spent – and the job of keeping the dogs’ teeth tartar-free is accomplished. No fancy – or expensive – toys necessary!
Caution: If you have more then one dog, don’t leave them unattended with their bones. If you’re not around, pick up the bones. The sweetest dog can get very edgy around his bone (or food bowl – for that matter).