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Will my dog's habit of grinding bones ruin her teeth?

English Springer Spaniel (brown and white), side profile.

(Photo: Flickr/rodricg)

Will my dog's habit of grinding bones ruin her teeth?

August 20, 2013

Q: Our four-month old English Springer Spaniel is an avid chewer. Any hard bone that we give her is usually gone within 48 hours. Should we worry about her grinding down, or breaking, her teeth because of all hard chewing?

A: Yes! I just saw two Border Collies yesterday that have completely worn down all of there canine teeth from hard chewing. This can also predispose dogs to root exposure on a tooth requiring more advanced dental procedures, like a root canal to help save the rest of the tooth and avoid extraction.

Also, if she's chewing bones a lot, that may also be predispose her to the soft stools you have been seeing. I would stop all treats and chew toys for the next 1-2 weeks until consulting your vet and the stools are more normal. Also, I would limit chewing to 20-30 minutes at a time, and then take a toy away. Toys that appear to be safer than others include Nylabones or "Kongs." Stay away from those hard hooves.

-- Answer from Dr. Andy, a veterinarian on JustAnswer.

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