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


A piece of 2 by 4, an old chair leg, or a fallen branch are NOT good for dogs to chew on!  Although dogs are often attracted to chewing wood items the danger of splinters, or chemicals used in wood products, is very real. So, if you are wondering – should dogs chew wood? No; normal wood is definitely not a good thing to give your dog as a chew toy. However, there are some very good alternatives. Read on to find out what they are.

Holidays4Dogs has recently discovered a product which is gaining in popularity on the dog food market. Root tree chews for dogs.

While writing for Holidays4Dogs and looking after my son’s Golden Retriever at the time, I noticed what looked like the remains of a piece of firewood.  This I reported directly to my son who informed me this was a ‘special wood dog chew’. I searched online for the product and indeed, these chews are actually tree roots and are perfectly safe for dogs to chew.

I felt a little bit excited at the prospect of a chew toy that didn’t involve animal parts, (cow hooves, antlers, rabbit ears etc.). Apart from anything else, the latter can be a bit smelly in the home.

Root chews for dogs are sustainably sourced.

These dog chews are made from the root tubers of the European tree heath. The heath tree is in the same family as heather and gorse. The root is native to Portugal, Spain and Greece.

The wood is commonly used in the manufacture of products such as cutlery handles and jewellery. It is a hard-wearing, dense and heat-resistant wood. Usually, only the tuber of the root is harvested, meaning the root will sprout again.

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

Root chews won’t splinter. While the dog can work bits off the wood, they don’t end up as little shards, which can be hazardous. They are completely untreated and make fantastic natural teeth cleaners.

There are similar products you can buy such as olivewood and coffee wood. Both are dried, sanded and infused with olive oil.  These chews 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. They may be a good alternative to try for dogs who get bored easily or have mild separation anxiety.