Nylon Dog Bone Warning!
Should you use a nylon dog bone to help satisfy your dogs chew cravings? Many people do and get great results. I use them myself to help relieve my dog Zac’s boredom or his need to chew on something like my wife’s antique end tables! I’m not trying to scare you with this article, but there are some painful and expensive dog dental health concerns you should consider when giving your dog this type of bone.
Nylon bones are dangerous to dogs who are strong chewers. They’re made of super hard nylon materials. When your dog chews on this type of bone for extended periods of time, he runs the risk of a slab fracture in his large molars at the back of his mouth. These teeth are the grinders and they can deliver a power that is unbelievable. When you allow your dog uncontrolled access to these hard chew bones, you put those teeth at risk. If this thin, longitudinal stress fracture occurs in a tooth,it can expose the pulp through the thin crack. This can be very painful and you also run the risk of infection and loss of the tooth.
Most nylon dog bones come in different degrees of durability. You’ll often see a rating on the package. The industrial strength bone is usually labeled “For Powerful Chewers”. This nylon bone is as hard as a slab of granite. The packaging often calls it indestructible, which is really stretching the truth. I’ve seen Zac dismantle this type of bone in two months or less. Zac is a miniature schnauzer. Imagine what a pit bull could do. The next level of durability is for the “Medium Chewers. Unless your dog is not a hard core chewer, he’ll probably destroy the medium strength in a month or less.
I’m not suggesting that you quit using a nylon dog bone. They do serve a couple of great functions for a dog that likes to chew. The help battle boredom, separation anxiety and, to a certain degree, help fight plaque build-up. However,I do suggest a “medium chewers” bone and controlled chew time, as opposed to allowing your dog to chew all day long.
Often, a good time for chewing on their bone would be after mealtime. I don’t “free feed” Zac, or he would look like a baby blimp. He gets a controlled portion twice a day. After he’s inhaled his meal, he looks around as if to say “Okay, where’s the rest?” I give him his chew bone after a meal and it seems to satisfy his need to keep chewing on something.When I’m going to be gone for an hour or two, I’ll leave his chew bone out. The point here is structured chew time, rather than just letting him have his bone whenever he wants, all day long.
You might not like the extra expense of buying a bone labeled for “medium chewers”. If your dog is a “powerful chewer”, he’ll go through this bone much faster. However, the chances of a tooth stress fracture are diminished considerably. Yes, you will have to invest in a nylon dog bone more often, but it’s a lot cheaper than a dental job. The extra few bucks you’ll pay to buy bones more often is well worth it.
One final note. Don’t let your dog chew his bone down to half it’s original size. Those nylon bits have to go somewhere. They could collect in the intestine and cause an impaction. When he’s roughed up the ends of his bone and chewed them down somewhat, pitch it out and get a new one. It’s penny wise and pound foolish to keep that bone, so why take the risk?