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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 9 month old Toller is a strong chewer. I tried Yaky Chews when she was young, but now she goes though them pretty fast and they are expensive. I tried a Nylabone for powerful chewers. She loves it and it looks like it will last a while.
Fortunately, or perhaps foolishly, I googled on "are nylabones safe" and found there are many broken teeth from them. I would really really prefer to avoid broken teeth.

I've tried rawhide like things that are more digestible, but she just eats them; so they don't solve anything.

I googled here on chew toys and found that many of you use antlers. They have to be significantly harder than nylabones.

Is there anything that will last a while, won't cause obstructions, and won't break teeth?
 

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I think you need to just evaluate these things based on your dog.

My dog chews antlers, nylabones, and raw meaty bones (the frozen bones you buy at the super market or from a butcher) and he has never (knock on wood) broken a tooth or had any other issues with them. He is a hard chewer, but not extraordinarily hard -- I buy him the powerful chewer nylabones and the RMB he can't really break pieces off, same with antlers. I also give him water buffalo horns which he loves and I love because they smell way better than hooves, but last just as long and in my experience, splinter less.

As long as you are giving nylabones that are made for your dog's chewing level, I would say they are one of the safer chews. A dog could technically break a tooth on anything they chew that is too hard, so I would just be careful and know your dog's chewing level.
 

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Dogs need to chew, and sometimes chewing breaks teeth. I've never had a young dog break teeth, but our senior dog broke a few chewing on bones.I gave my dog nylabones until he was about a year old, then I switched to antlers because I figured his teeth were probably strong enough at that age, and because I was tired of vacuuming up nylabone pieces. I just check his mouth occasionally to make sure nothing is broken.
 

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The ONLY thing my power chewer hasn't been able to get through is water buffalo horns. I've had the same two (one for inside, one for outside) for probably 6-9 months now and the tips are somewhat worn down, but there's hardly a dent in them. Plus, they're only like $7 where I get them, and considering how long they last and how much the dogs love them, they're very cost effective. I'll be getting them new ones soon just because the ones they have are old now.

The other thing that takes a little while but can be messy is beef tracheas stuffed with either raw meat or canned dog food. Moose antlers are pretty good too but the dogs lose interest in them.

My favorite and they're favorite is to be given a raw meaty bone/meal intended to be consumed. It cleans their teeth, is pretty safe, and is a nice healthy snack. A big dog crunching on a chicken back is great for their teeth and also good for them mentally.

Basically, anything hard enough to stand up to aggressive chewing is hard enough to break teeth. You run a risk of broken teeth with basically any chew. I worry more about whatever they are chewing splintering under the pressure and becoming dangerous/a choking hazard than breaking teeth.
 

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Antlers generally will be harder than Nylabones, but there are many different types of Nylabones out there.

Our dogs get antlers and they haven't broken any teeth; however, my dogs don't usually get edible chews so when they chew on the antler they're not trying to break it up and swallow it, they're just chewing (more using the sides of their teeth to chew on the sides of the antler). I wouldn't recommend rawhide since it can definitely cause blockages.

If you're looking for something a little softer try Benebones. https://www.chewy.com/benebone-bacon-flavored-regular/dp/56873 Our dogs absolutely LOVE these. They do wear down, but it takes a little while (6-7 months).
 

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all I can say is Indy loves his nylabones and hasn't broken any teeth in the last 6 years. I do have too keep an eye on condition some of their designs can have chucks break off which could be risky if swallowed. I also keep an eye on rate of destruction ingesting a lot of plastic shavings quickly can't be good.
Indy tends to tear up his gums on antlers and horns. The water buffalo horns tent to splinter on him too. I could be wrong but even the hardest nylabone feels softer than bones dogs should be naturally chewing on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My son is a vet tech. He says his vet thinks nylabones are evil because the break up and are swallowed. He says that natural bones are the only things he recommends and rarely sees a broken tooth.

I don't know about all this. I can't imagine she could break a nylabone, but i guess it happens. I emailed nylabone and they say the plastic shaving are harmless.

My last dog never chewed on anything, and she made it to almost 17.
 

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some of their designs can have chucks break off
Clarification, break was a poor choice of words, chewed off is much more accurate. I've had a few designs that have worn in a way that would eventually result a chunk being separated off. This is the culmination of a lot of chewing not an instantaneous break.

Also the nylabone should just be passed harmlessly but a dog isn't supposed to be ingesting and passing plastic so... the way I look at it, it's better than most household object he could chew on if he didn't have a better outlet for his chewing energy.
 

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so, here we go on chew things. My dogs are in a biting sport. Teeth are important and VERY expensive to fix!!

No antlers. Too hard. I have an antler chew but checked with my much more experienced trainer. My expensive antler is now a door stop. It will last forever....

No weight bearing raw bones (leg marrow bones from the grocery store are weight bearing marrow bones). These are too hard and have broken teeth. Rib bones, neck bones and knuckle bones are OK (all raw and fresh NO cooked bones ever regardless of where you can find them for sale!!). I buy Rib Bones with my Raw order and feed them frozen. I buy both beef and pig neck bones.

Gorilla Wood chews. Yup. Safe because they don't splinter. Be watchful to take away when they get too small (as with anything you do not want choking or blockages).

I do use Nyla bones for heavy chewers with no issue. Yup. They do ingest little bits of plastic that pass through and may be a bit uncomfortable on the way out, but I have never seen a dog act like that is the case. Another choice is Galileo Bones. Also plastic and similar to Nyla bones. Used by one of the most knowledgeable long time breeders and trainers in the country.

I HAVE filled Kongs or the like with peanut better and go kibble. I worry a little that a serious chewer my power off a chunk and swallow it but I will also say I have never heard of a dog doing this.
 

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I love the hard yak cheese chews. My dog goes nuts for them and they last a week or two if I don't put them up after a long chew session. Best part is when it gets small, I just microwave it until it puffs up so she can eat the rest. She loves her nylabones too (I have all kinds) but she really REALLY loves the cheese things.
 

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Yikes! Was the femoral head attached to part of the femur when the dog got it? #1 rule with chews is they must be too large to fit inside the dog's mouth. I hated giving things like bully sticks and tendons where I had to take away the chew before the dog was done. I love the way a Himalayan chew can be popped in the microwave so it can be finished off.

I'd invest in a number of kongs and keep them in rotation filled with part of dinner or a smear of peanut butter. Big kongs. Buy the real thing, I've bought a number of things that look like they are made of the same material and dogs enjoy figuring out how to shred them. They haven't been able to shred the kongs. In the end the dogs mostly get kongs or raw meaty bones.
 

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Interesting to hear about the gorilla chews from someone so cautious about what they give their dog. I encountered them the other day for the first time and had an array of thoughts...Quill loves chewing wood (I've always tried to discourage it, but he's an off leash hiker and he inevitably finds sticks occasionally, not to mention we could clean sticks in our yard 2x a day and STILL have some fall into the yard), but the idea of intentionally giving him wood to chew seemed odd. I know it isn't the same as a stick, but still seems like breaking a piece off is a possibility and it seems it would be less digestible than a lot of these other things being discussed.

Kongs are good. If you're really worried because the dog is intense at chewing, get the extreme. I find Quill only cares about getting everything in it out, so he doesn't chew it anyway really, but he has the extreme and it doesn't have a dent in it.

Also, remember if buying antlers that there are different varieties. Older ones will be harder and can splinter. I believe (if I remember right) elk are the softest, most dog-friendly in general (not sure where moose ranks, though).

So again, knowing your dog and what they need is really the key.
 

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There is NO overarching rule for good chews for dogs. Part of dog ownership and buying appropriate products is learning your dog. Both my dogs are the same size and pretty intense chewers and there are differences even between them.

I have certain plastic (Nylabone, etc.) chews, antlers, buffalo horns, and goat horns. I also have certain toys that are holding up well (some West Paw toys, Kong Wobbler, Everlasting ball, Starmark pickle) but only because they aren't as interesting and the dogs don't try as hard with them if there's no food on/in it. I've tried virtually every kind of chew product out there.

Even among the same type of product, for example buffalo horns or femur heads, I need to inspect each one before I buy because the thickness also affects how it will break apart with my dogs. There really is no 100% reliability with my guys.

On my NOPE list:
Hooves - both dogs can break chunks off
Wood products - Brae has eaten wood to the point where he almost got a blockage
Smoked bone products - both dogs would eat them like chips and break chunks off
Himilayan chews - last less than 10 minutes and is pricey.
Rubbery chews - Brae will pull chunks off and swallow
Rope/anything with fabric - Brae will swallow, almost went to the e-clinic for a blockage before he pooped an entire knot out
Cut femur - Soro has two minor slab fractures when he tried to get the marrow out
Rawhide - chunks swallowed, generally causes a day of diarrhea
Benebones - Brae wore down and ate an entire prong faster than I'd like
Fake edible bones - crunch crunch gone


On my Yes but it only lasts 30 seconds-15 minutes list:
Ears
Bully sticks
Rolled pig skin (like rawhide, but more digestible)
Frozen raw beef ribs (Soro only, Brae always throws up a tiny piece of bone)
Frozen turkey neck
Frozen cut beef femur head (only if it's cut a specific way), and I need to remove it at some point because both dogs will totally consume the whole thing in one sitting if allowed.
Frozen kongs
Chicken feet
Sweet potato chews
Tendons
 
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