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Chewing is fantastic for your dog. They actually need to chew. The best Samoyed chews — such as bones and toys — help keep their teeth clean and in good condition. Encouraging your dog to chew keeps plaque buildup to a minimum, provides a healthy activity to keep your dog busy, and satisfies their innate instinct to chew. Its important to give them high-quality chews with good ingredients to maintain their health and teeth condition (and to prevent your dog from chewing on your possessions!).
The Importance of Chewing
Samoyeds, as one of the oldest dog breeds, have a strong urge to chew. The dog’s wolf ancestors preys on animals that need to be torn and chewed to be consumed, so chewing is a very natural behavior that satisfies that primitive instinct.
Ensuring that your pet has access to quality chews has several benefits:
- Chewing reduces destructive behavior: If you live in an apartment, work away from the home, or are dealing with hot weather and can’t take long walks, good quality chews are essential. Chewing can keep your dog busy and curb destructive behaviors, such as chewing your shoes or baseboards.
- Chewing improves dental health: According to research published in Applied Animal Behavior Science (AABS), experts recommend giving your dog chewing toys and bones to maintain and improve dental health. Chews can help reduce dental plaque and tartar.
- Chewing may reduce stress: The Journal of Veterinary Behavior published a research study on working dogs’ welfare. In the study, chewing was identified as a potential way to relieve stress in working dogs. For dogs that are stressed by loud noises, guests, or storms, offering a tasty chew can help distract them and reduce their stress levels.
5 Best Samoyed Chews
For many Samoyeds, it’s a good idea to have a mix of appropriate toys, chews, and bones to keep them happy and healthy. Here is a list of my dogs’ favorites:
- Kongs: Kongs are fantastic. The classic Kong chew is a lifesaver. It is hollow and shaped like a conch shell. You can stuff it with a variety of things, like peanut butter or special treats. For every day use, I fill my dogs’ Kongs with a portion of their breakfast. (Using their daily food allotment rather than additional treats helps maintain a healthy weight). I run water through it for about 30 seconds, then freeze it overnight. I give it to the dogs when I need to work, and it keeps them happy for hours. Kongs are incredibly durable; even with daily use, they hold up to heavy chewing. There are different Kong varieties based on your dog’s size and age; the regular red Kong is fine for most Samoyeds, but there are versions specifically designed for puppies, senior dogs, and aggressive chewers.
- Bully sticks: Bully sticks are terrific, long-lasting chews, even for very strong chewers. They are awesome as long as you don’t mind the smell, or finding out what they are (dried bull penis). Despite the gross-out factor, bully sticks are nutritious, and, unlike other chews, they don’t splinter and are easily digestible. Dogs go nuts for them.
- Himalayan Chews: Himalayan chews are my Anya’s favorite. Made out of yak cheese and all-natural ingredients, they look like hard sticks of butter. They are remarkably nutritious and wholesome treats, and last for days. Do be careful when you first give them; they are very rich, and for dogs not used to them, it can upset their stomachs. Only let them chew for a half hour or so the first couple of days until they’re used to it. And here’s a special tip: When the Himalayan chew is down to the last inch or so, don’t throw it out! Instead, soak it in water, then put it in the microwave for 45-90 seconds. It will puff up like popcorn to a big, pastry-looking blob. We let it cool all the way and give it to Anya, and she goes crazy devouring her “biscuit”. If your dog is a heavy chewer, you may want to purchase a chew holder; it helps slow them down and make the chew last longer.
- Raw bones: While cooked bones can be dangerous due to splintering, raw bones are very healthy and beneficial to your dog. We get marrow bones from the grocery store and give them to Anya frozen; she gleefully sits outside for hours gnawing away at them, and at less than 50 cents a piece, they are by far the cheapest option. If your grocery stores doesn’t have packaged bones in the displays (mine always does!) go ahead and ask the butcher for them. They usually just throw them away, so most are happy to set them aside for you.
- Fish Skins: For Samoyed owners looking for a simple, healthy treat, fish skins are a great fit, and a useful alternative to rawhides. This treat is made up of just one ingredient: dehydrated fish skin. Usually, the fish used are wolffish or cod. They’re full of protein and Omega-3s, and dogs go wild for them (just be aware they smell awful, so only give them when you’re in a well-ventilated spot!).
The best Samoyed chews are safe and healthy. However, you should always use caution when introducing a new chew to your dog, as any changes to their diet can affect their digestive systems and cause issues. Limit your dog’s chewing time at first so their systems have time to adapt, and always inspect the bone or toy after a chewing session to ensure it’s in good condition and not frayed or broken. If you notice any damage, throw it out right away to avoid any issues.