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Jameson (9ish month old unidentified mix, about 40 pounds, had him just under a month) is the first dog I've had that I would really classify as a heavy chewer. I've been keeping an eye on him whenever he's near the toy bin, because he's a lot more voracious than I'm used to. However, even with precautions, in the time that I was three feet away and happened to have my back turned for just a couple of minutes, he managed to chew off and swallow two toes on a rubber chicken dog toy someone gave us a while back.

The rest of the toy is now in the trash can, but it made me start looking at the rest of the tub of toys and wondering what else needs to be thrown out. Melonie has never been a rip/shred kind of dog, so I never really worried about that with her, but apparently I have to now with Jameson.

I don't think it's an emergency situation right now - it looks like the missing pieces are only a few centimeters in size, so I'll monitor him and make sure they pass, but I don't think I need to rush him to the e-vet - but the stress of trying to allow him to chew without hurting himself is starting to drive me crazy. Every where you look online there are testimonials from people whose dogs have been seriously hurt, made sick, or even died from chewing pretty much every single dog toy in the world, even the ones that are supposed to be "safe" - kongs, nylabones, marrow bones, stuffed toys, etc., etc., etc.

On the other hand, I know plenty of people who just toss a toy in the crate with their dog when they're leaving. Is this unacceptable? Or only acceptable with certain types of toys?

What do you allow your heavy-chew dogs? They both really like the stuffed toys and the nylabones. I have a couple of the antler chews, but honestly, they seem a lot less interested in those. I don't give rawhides anymore, I know those are no good.

Also, how closely do you monitor your dogs when they chew? Do you really sit and watch them with 100% attention, do you just make sure to be in the room and check on them every few minutes, or do you let them have toys when you're not around? I want to keep him safe, but I don't want to do so at the expense of him getting the toy time that he seems to need.
 

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I would say it's only acceptable with certain dogs. I give my dog a frozen pork rib or hock when I leave as she won't eat pork bones and so I know she won't be trying to eat bone shards that I'd need to supervise her with. For other dogs this would be far too risky.
 

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My dog is an extreme chewer...
I too have read many articles about the dangers of rawhide and marrow bones and nylon and rubber toys.

So I tried some other things..
Vegetables...
I gave Roxxie a Cabbage to play with..
She really enjoyed chasing it around the living room and ripping it up and eating it....totally harmless and digestable!
It seemed like a great idea....


Later that evening...
Wow!!!
Never let your dog eat a cabbage!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ha, yeah. Given the reaction most humans have to eating a lot of cabbage... not sure I want to see what happens with that one.

I can try veggies, but I don't know how interested they'll be. I've tried offering Melonie carrots in the past and she looks at me like I'm developmentally delayed or something. I'll have to find a list of dog-friendly vegetables that won't leave a mess all over my floor (tomatoes, for example just sound like I'm asking for trouble).

My dog is an extreme chewer...
I too have read many articles about the dangers of rawhide and marrow bones and nylon and rubber toys.

So I tried some other things..
Vegetables...
I gave Roxxie a Cabbage to play with..
She really enjoyed chasing it around the living room and ripping it up and eating it....totally harmless and digestable!
It seemed like a great idea....


Later that evening...
Wow!!!
Never let your dog eat a cabbage!!
 

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With the really extreme chewers, I don't leave anything in their crates. With the strong chewers, after I have observed them a bit, I will leave either the largest durable Nylabone or an extreme Kong.

For supervised chewing, raw bones or bully sticks. I just hang out in the same room, I might step away but I don't actually leave them (like, I will go to the kitchen but I won't go mow the lawn outside).
 

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With the really extreme chewers, I don't leave anything in their crates. With the strong chewers, after I have observed them a bit, I will leave either the largest durable Nylabone or an extreme Kong.

For supervised chewing, raw bones or bully sticks. I just hang out in the same room, I might step away but I don't actually leave them (like, I will go to the kitchen but I won't go mow the lawn outside).
Still using Crates?
 

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Still using Crates?
When you have a foster that chews right through a door frame or tries to go through a window, crates are the safe way to go.

Would you rather have a dog contained in a large, safe crate (great dane size for a 40-60 lbs dog's usage) or eating pieces of the wall/slamming themselves into doors/ripping to shreds anything they can reach?

Plenty of exercise, crate-free at night, crate-free IF they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. I'd much rather they be bored then dead or injured.
 

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When you have a foster that chews right through a door frame or tries to go through a window, crates are the safe way to go.

Would you rather have a dog contained in a large, safe crate (great dane size for a 40-60 lbs dog's usage) or eating pieces of the wall/slamming themselves into doors/ripping to shreds anything they can reach?

Plenty of exercise, crate-free at night, crate-free IF they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. I'd much rather they be bored then dead or injured.
I hear what you are saying.
It takes a lotta time and patience to get some dogs crate free.
Roxx took a longer time to be crate free than my other dogs in the past.
 

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This might sound wild, and I don't know if you can even get them, but my dogs chew on whole coconuts. It keeps them busy for hours- there is a big mess, but it's easy to clean up. I mean like a coconut straight off the tree.
 

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I know a guy who buys lawnmower tires for his pit bull. You could try that.
 

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I know a guy who buys lawnmower tires for his pit bull. You could try that.
Lol. I would however wonder how safe lawnmower tires are in terms of toxins etc. They're not exactly made with chewing in mind.

In terms of actual toys how about just rope toys? My dog's not a heavy chewer so the only thing he gets (and shows interest in) is raw marrow bones.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, I'm not sure about the safety of lawnmower tires... I think I'm better off sticking with the heavy duty kongs.

We have some rope toys, but last night he was ripping the strings off the ends in big chunks, and I'm afraid he'll swallow the strings (they seem to get stuck on his tongue). I think they're fine for interactive play (like fetch and tug of war), but maybe not so much for chewing.

Lol. I would however wonder how safe lawnmower tires are in terms of toxins etc. They're not exactly made with chewing in mind.

In terms of actual toys how about just rope toys? My dog's not a heavy chewer so the only thing he gets (and shows interest in) is raw marrow bones.
 

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Lol. I would however wonder how safe lawnmower tires are in terms of toxins etc. They're not exactly made with chewing in mind.

In terms of actual toys how about just rope toys? My dog's not a heavy chewer so the only thing he gets (and shows interest in) is raw marrow bones.
Rope toys are NOT a safe chew toy for heavy chewers. I'm pretty sure swallowing some of his rope toy was the cause of Jubel's bloat scare. They make great tug toys and fetch if they will chase it but I wouldn't recommend leaving a heavy chewer with one. The only toys I leave down are antlers, nylabones, kong products, and a few random toys he's shown are safe with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rope toys are NOT a safe chew toy for heavy chewers. I'm pretty sure swallowing some of his rope toy was the cause of Jubel's bloat scare. They make great tug toys and fetch if they will chase it but I wouldn't recommend leaving a heavy chewer with one. The only toys I leave down are antlers, nylabones, kong products, and a few random toys he's shown are safe with him.
Do you buy the "heavy chewer" versions of the nylabones and kongs, or do you use the regular ones? The two kongs I have are the regular red rubber, and I'm wondering if I need to go out and get him the black ones (although so far they've been fine). I'm nervous with the nylabones too, because I've heard of dogs swallowing pieces of them, although right now he seems to be okay with them. I just don't want any more freakin surprises. I swear, I'm turning gray just from trying to keep this dog safe while he plays.

Thanks!
 

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Livia is a crazy heavy chewer - we already did a mass cull through Loki's old toys and got rid of A LOT because she was destroying and swallowing bits and pieces of everything! We did pick up Kyjen Hard Core Firehose Squeak 'n Fetch (http://www.amazon.com/Kyjen-Fire-Squeak-Fetch-Large/dp/B0002MISZ0/ref=pd_bxgy_petsupplies_text_y) but she gets bored with it quite easily :/ She loves her antlers too. She does get a regular Kong in her crate when we leave for the day - she has never tried to destroy it though (just gets all the noms out!)
 

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Still using Crates?
It's an interesting point. Now that we have two dogs, two giant breed dogs, I don't know that I will ever see a day that I would allow them both to roam free in the house. 1 dog alone and free is one thing.. but 2.. eek! I don't know.

I'm with others - I'd rather have two safe dogs when I get home at night then worry about one being bored.
 

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Do you buy the "heavy chewer" versions of the nylabones and kongs, or do you use the regular ones? The two kongs I have are the regular red rubber, and I'm wondering if I need to go out and get him the black ones (although so far they've been fine). I'm nervous with the nylabones too, because I've heard of dogs swallowing pieces of them, although right now he seems to be okay with them. I just don't want any more freakin surprises. I swear, I'm turning gray just from trying to keep this dog safe while he plays.

Thanks!
My boy is fine with the regular nylabones and I also have two of the heavy duty ones, he likes the bigger ones better. It really depends on the dog and how they chew, he may chew off tiny bits and eat them from time to time but they are too small to be a problem. If I leave a stuffed kong for him he gets the goodies out and then ignores the kong so again no issue for him, some dogs will tear them up. Really Jubel has huge destructive power but doesn't choose to use it on all chews, again you just need time to learn what your dog will do. While you learn only leave the toughest toys down, adding others as you figure them out better.

With Jubel his goal with most new toys is destruction, that is what is fun for him. So he gets no stuffed toys other than tougher ones that are only fetch toys and no chance to chew on other than on the run back to me with the toy. Sadly a lot of the toys he can't/won't destroy he simply grows board with. Haha he really just enjoys the destruction, if he didn't want to eat the bits he removed I'd actually be okay letting him kill some cheap stuffies once a week or so and just cleaning up the carnage. But he does want to eat it and I won't risk the obstruction.
 

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We don't have pet supply stores here, so we also use things meant for horses- you can braid the extra heavy ropes into a great chew toy. I made one 3 months ago, and they haven't destroyed it yet.

Bob's more the chewer than Sacha, and when I saw bits of his toys coming out in the poo, I picked 'em all up and supervised all chewing for about a month.

I did drive to the next town over a while back (2 hour on insane crazy roads that are so unsafe), and picked up some 'heavy chewer' toys, which my dogs LOVED but destroyed and started consuming in less than 5 minutes (really.)

Yeah, I'm not sure about the safety of lawnmower tires... I think I'm better off sticking with the heavy duty kongs.

We have some rope toys, but last night he was ripping the strings off the ends in big chunks, and I'm afraid he'll swallow the strings (they seem to get stuck on his tongue). I think they're fine for interactive play (like fetch and tug of war), but maybe not so much for chewing.
 
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