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Healthy Dogs

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Healthy Treats for Your Dog


What to Avoid continued...

“So many of the new treats like that on the market are fracturing teeth,” Pierce says.

Use the rule of thumb: If you push your thumbnail into a treat and it leaves a mark, that’s a safe treat. If it doesn’t, the treat is too hard for a dog to safely chew.

Rawhide is the exception because as a dog chews on it, it becomes soft. But always watch your dog when she’s gnawing on rawhide, as it can break into little pieces and get lodged in her throat. Best to take it away when it starts getting small, Pierce says.

Want to know if a treat is healthy for your dog’s teeth? Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s seal of approval on it that reads “VOHC Accepted.” If it’s not there, don’t offer it.

Rethinking Treats

There's another way to look at treats.

“Treats are things that bring joy; they don’t have to be food,” says Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, professor in the veterinary clinical services department at Ohio State University.

“If you want to provide your dog with a good treat, then take him for a walk or teach them a new trick,” he says. “Your dog wants your attention and time far more than he wants a snack.”

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