Monday, April 25, 2005

Satisfying a Need

Labs need to chew. Period. It's part of their wiring. They are retrievers--dogs meant to run after and pick up something with their mouths to bring back to their owners. They are, simply put, mouth-oriented dogs.

Labradors are soft-mouthed, to be sure (meaning that they hold things loosely between their jaws), but they are powerful chewers--even after their adult teeth have fully erupted.

And the need they have to chew is truly a need, not just a desire.

So, we do all we can to provide plenty of chewing opportunities of varying hardnesses and textures: soft toys, hard toys, and chewy toys; fuzzy toys, smooth toys, and knobby toys. And when we provide enough variety, the dogs stay out of trouble.

Canine boredom, at our house, results in havoc. ;o)

Insufficient satsifaction of canine need, out our house, wrecks even greater havoc still (hence the recent missing fern fiasco).

So, we invest in bones and tennis balls and kongs and ropes and denta-toys of various kinds. We provide plenty--and I mean plenty--of chew things for the canine kids.

Yes, it's expensive, but it's worth their happiness. And my sanity.

So today, while I work, the kids are in chewing heaven: marrow-filled bones and rawhide donuts (we use rawhides very sparingly because of their intestinal effect; bones are our first choice for chewing treats).

It's the only way I can get any work done.

Gee, I wonder if I can write our chew-toy investment up as a deductible business expense. I'd probably never owe the IRS another dime if I did!

Would that we could, but we can't, so I won't. :o) But I'll still provide plenty of chewy toys.

The kids do have their needs. :o)

'Til next time,


L^2 said...

Hi Joan,
My dogs LOVE peanut butter too and make the same funny faces as Elsie when eating some! If I smear a little inside their kongs, they can be occupied with it for a long time.
I also give my dogs Nylabones rather than bones or rawhides (even though they are more expensive). Willow’s favorite Nylabone flavor is the Chocolate that is made to taste like chocolate without being harmful to the dog.

Joan said...

Our guys LOVE Nylabones, espescially the bacon flavored ones. But they do get expensive. I've finally had to upgrade to the highest "chew level" nylabone, which they don't seem to like as much, but which last much longer.

I VERY rarely use rawhides, but they do love them. And I'm told that every once in a while a rawhide won't hurt them.

The only bones we use for the dogs are big, chunky cow bones or soup bones from the market. These don't splinter and haven't ever hurt the dogs.