I hate to sound a bit of a know-it-all and I generally I don't think I do, however there is one area that I do think I know a little bit about as past experience taught me a very expensive lesson, and that's chewing. Spike is a Bulldog, their jaws are renown for being extremely strong, originally they were bred to bring bulls down, hence their name, and Spike has proved no exception to the rule. Visiting many shows with our Tuffdogs Stuff stand I find I have the following conversation a lot........
Customer: 'My dog Bert chews'.
Me: 'Oh dear, that's not good, I know what that's like, what has Bert chewed'?
Customer: 'He chewed his bed'.
Me: 'Yes, Spike had a lovely rattan bed, chewed it to pieces, had to use it as kindling'.
Customer: 'Then he chewed the table legs'.
Me: 'Spike chewed the shelf in the kitchen, took it out completely'.
Customer: 'I got home one day and he had chewed a little bit of the sofa'.
Me: 'Spike chewed a hole in the kitchen wall, a large hole, he ate the plaster'.
Customer: 'Bert got hold of the remote control, luckily I got to it before he did anything'.
Me: 'Spike chewed through the satellite cable. Then he wrote off my brand new car'.
Customer: 'Yes, Bert did....... What did you just say'?
Me: 'Spike wrote of my brand new car, he wasn't driving at the time though'.
Customer: 'OK, you win, I can't beat that one, how on earth........'
Me: It was a Sunday afternoon, we had taken Spike for a walk along the North Norfolk coast, we returned to the car and popped Spike in the boot, as we always did, he was very tired and we thought he would sleep (it wasn't a hot day, in fact it was winter and it was getting late), we quickly popped into the pub (where we had parked) to say a quick hello to some other fellow dog walkers, we were gone 10 minutes maximum. We returned to the car, my husband lifted the boot to check on Spike to find that the entire boot lining was completely gone, but Spike hadn't stopped there, he had found the wiring loom and quickly chomped through this too, taking out the wiring for the lights, the indicators and more importantly the air bag.
It was then starting to get dark, so we had to continue our journey home with no lights and no indication, luckily we didn't have to go too far. The next day we took the car to the garage, (once they had picked themselves off the floor from laughing so much), they commented, 'isn't the dog supposed to just eat your homework'? They informed us that the car would need to have a new wiring loom fitted. Apparently, once the wiring for the air bag has been broken, it can never repaired, it has to be replaced, which is very expensive and requires the entire interior of the car being removed! Hence, after a long and complicated conversation with our insurance company the car was written off.
And so, yes I do know about chewing, since then I invest heavily on good quality, durable dog toys, I don't think many toys, depending on the dog, are indestructible, but some are much better than others and stand up to a lot more abuse.
Recently I have been using the Rosewood BioSafe ones, I can give you all the technical jargon on them, as in the main idea of them is that they are treated with an anti microbial technology which prevents the growth and survival of microbes including bacteria, mould and fungi, making it more hygienic for your pets, children and family, but I don't use them for that reason, I use them because they are a strong dog toy, durable and do various different jobs.
The Pear BioSafe works similarly to a Kong, fill the middle with a soft meat or mashed potato and pop it in the freezer. I usually have a 2 of them in there, ready for when I have to go out, for a couple of hours, it will keep them busy licking and rolling it around the floor so they don't take a nibble out of my nice wooden dining chairs.
Our ultimate favourite in the summer is the BioSafe Orange, it looks just like a orange cut in half showing segments, but the segments are holes which I fill with water and the dogs use it as an ice cube tray, again licking and rolling it around he floor but keeping them cooler on a hot afternoon.
So my advice for chewing? Some times it can be a good thing, the teeth stay cleaner and as long as they are chewing the right thing, no harm done. Rotate the toys so they don't get bored of them, use different ones which do different things, encouraging play and keeping them interested in food or treats and invest in some good quality ones which will last a little longer and lastly, keep your dog away from wiring looms!