Can I Give My Dog a Piece of Wood to Chew?

The very swift answer to this is ‘No’!  A piece of 2 by 4, an old chair leg, or a fallen branch are NOT good for dogs to chew on!  As much as dogs seem to be attracted to chewing wood items, the danger of splinters, or chemicals used in wood products is very real.  Splinters can become lodged in the mouth and cause ulcers and infections as well as potentially blocking the digestive system.  Splinters can also lodge in the respiratory tract causing a build up of bacteria that could make your dog sick – so no; normal wood is definitely not a good thing to give your dog to chew.

However, I have recently discovered something gaining popularity on the dog food market – (new to me anyway as I must have had my head under a log at the time!) – And that is ‘root tree chews’ for dogs.  While writing for Holidays4Dogs and looking after my son’s Golden Retriever at the time, I noticed he had what looked like the remains of a piece of firewood.  I reported this to my son who informed me this was a, ‘special wood dog chew’ – so I immediately looked it up and yes, these chews are actually tree roots and are said to be perfectly safe for dogs to chew.

I felt a little bit excited at the prospect of a chew toy that didn’t involve animals parts (cow hooves, antlers, rabbits ears etc), because apart from anything else, they can be a bit smelly in the home. Root chews are largely sustainably sourced and usually only the tuber of the root is harvested meaning the root will sprout again.  The great thing is these chews don’t splinter like normal wood; they are completely natural and contain no additives, or treatments.

These root chews have been on the market for a number of years but gaining much more attention nowadays as an alternative to other brands of dog chews that contain harsh chemicals.   More and more people are looking for natural alternatives and these root chews are durable, long lasting and safe.

There are similar products you can buy such as Olivewood and coffee wood; both safe alternatives which are dried, sanded and infused with olive oil.  These chews, however, will eventually break down, so always make sure you monitor your dog’s chew toy. (N.b – this is true of any toy your dog chews, or plays with, including root chews).

There are many companies online as well as high street pet stores that now sell chew roots for dogs.  They can be a little expensive, but they are supposed to last a long time and may be perfect for the determined chewer!

Does your dog have chew roots?  Holidays4Dogs would love to know…….!