So we're nearly 2 weeks in with our gorgeous rescue dog. He's lovely, I've never known such an affectionate dog. I grew up with a dog, but this one is very different and I have learned such a lot over the last week and a bit. I've also become puzzled, confused and clueless over a lot of stuff..
So here's what's concerning me most at the moment. Gymdog is estimated 1-2 years. He didn't chew anything in his first week but as he's settled down, it's clear he does like a bit of a chew. Dogs Trust encouraged us to buy lots of toys for him, which we did and now he's started to play with them, chew them eat them.
I'm assuming that eating plastic and rubber isn't really very good for him? He doesn't just chew, he eats. Am I being very naive? Do all dogs eat rather than chew? Or do most dogs chew and spit and my dog is different? If he eats then should I remove his toys? Gah! am very confused!
ps gymdog is labrador sized and seems to demolish shop-bought bone-type things that are meant to last for ages in about 2 minutes, but maybe they all do this?
A lot of dogs are like this, including one of mine, but it's not okay for them to eat all that rubber and plastic and fabric. If it gets stuck inside it could cause a blockage and require an expensive operation. If he is actually eating them you'll need to take them off him - but since he is a rescue dog, and new to you, try and swap instead e.g. for a piece of sausage or something. You don't want him to learn that he has to guard his toys, and a swap is much safer with a dog you don't know well.
Look for toys that say they are for strong chewers. If he destroys a regular Kong, for example, they make a black one too which is stronger.
Thank you Redwing, that confirms what I'd thought. I have been taking them from him but hadn't thought to swap with something. I've been telling the DC that despite him being so affectionate, he is still a dog and could surprise us with his behaviour - looks like I haven't been following my own advice!
He does have a couple of super strong toys - they are the ones he's not interesting in playing with!
Don't buy orka products. They say they are 'for all your dog's chewing needs'. £11 and 15 minutes later, I can tell you they are not! Mine is a 10 month old staff cross, and he demolished it absolutely effortlessly <sob>
If Gymdog likes a bone but seems to destroy them in under half an hour like my 2 do, try a Stagbar.
I have a Doodle and a Staffy and they can shred even the most hardened toys/bones in about 20 mins. So far 2 Stag bars have lasted over a month. AND they don't splinter or crack which worried me with bones.
Stag bars are great. My dog also has a pet roock which he likes to carry around and chew on. It is an actual rock, though, I didn't buy it. I do pick up sticks for him on walks which he very much enjoys reducing to bark chippings on the lawn. I don't think he actually eats it, though.
Mine is also enjoys a chew and will destroy all soft toys within minutes. You are right that they shouldn't eat it though so best to avoid giving the dog anything that could get stuck rather than digested. Sticks will also splinter and could cause an internal puncture so I also have to frequently confiscate these when in the garden. We have taken to buying really big raw bones for the garden OR pigs/cows ears, pizzles etc which we get from a local shop called Nurturing by Nature (they have online shop too) but these are quite smelly! Kongs are great for filling with diferent foods and if you freeze them and then let the dog go in the garden with them (messy when defrosts otherwise) then it keeps them quiet for much longer!! Pets at Home also do BIG hide chews which are quite white in colour which take ages to get through. If you have a hunt round you can find food chews which ultimately get digested rather than cause problems!! GOOD LUCK