The $1500.00 Chew Toy

With February regarded as Pet Dental Health Month it seems appropriate to share my tale about the $1500.00 chew toy. What seemingly started out as a great chew bone for my Chihuahua soon turned into a necessary $1500.00 dental extraction. I had based my purchasing decision on the fact that I believed anything deemed “recommended by veterinarians” was safe and harmless for my dog to chew. It turns out that is not always the case! My two year old Chihuahua who loves to chew on bones – completely cracked and broke his top molar on the “recommended” popular plastic chew bone brand that I purchased from a pet store chain. We soon found ourselves off to see a dental specialist who confirmed the diagnosis of a slab fracture. Due to its severity and location a root canal was not an option. Full extraction of his top molar was the preferred course of treatment.

RULE OF PAW: If you can’t flex or dent the item with your thumbnail – it’s too hard! I (along with my Chihuahua) actually learned quite a bit of new dental information from our wonderful dentist, Dr. Robert Boyd, DVM of the Veterinary Dental Services in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Boyd, a graduate of Texas A & M University, is Board Certified in Veterinary Dentistry, and is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College. Dr. Boyd is a past President of the Harris County Veterinary Medical Association and current President of the American Veterinary Dental Society. More information about Dr. Boyd and his pet dental services is on his website

I found Dr. Boyd’s list of Good Chews & Bad Chews for your pet to be extremely helpful and thought I would share it with other pet parents. The lesson learned here is that an inexpensive $5.00 hard plastic chew bone can easily turn into a highly expensive $1500.00 procedure. Had I known about good and bad chew information my dog would still have his molar and we would have avoided this unnecessary surgery. Needless to say, all of my dogs now chew on soft flexible chew toys only!

Chew Toys & Treats Safety Information:

Good Chew Toys

* All Kong toys & products

* Flexible/Flat rawhides

* Edible treats

* Plush toys

* Rope toys

* Zanies

* Soft frisbees

Bad Chew Toys

* Bones

* Pig Ears

* Hooves

* Compressed rawhides

* Twisted rawhide sticks

* Certain Dental Chews – cannot dent or flex

* Hard plastic bones

* Tennis Balls

* Ice Cubes

* Knotted rawhides

* Bully sticks

* Plastic Frisbees

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