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Finding the right chew toy or treat for your corgi can be a daunting task.
There is so much to choose from, all marketed as good and healthy choices, you might start feeling overwhelmed.
That is why it is so important to know what is good and what is potentially dangerous for our little fluffy butts.
How to choose the right long-lasting chew for corgis
When we think about long-lasting enrichment for our corgis, the first thing we look for is a long-lasting chew.
Before we sprint to the store and buy a bunch of treats, there are a few things you should consider.
The rule of thumb when choosing any long-lasting chew is that you should be able to indent it with a fingernail, in other words – it should have some give.
While the outside of the tooth is made of enamel and is extremely hard, the center of the tooth is hollow.
This means that it can crack and break under too much pressure.
If the chew you have chosen doesn’t pass the fingernail test, every time your corgi chews it, it poses a risk of cracking or breaking a tooth.
Tooth repairs and extractions can be painful painful for your pup and costly for your wallet.
There are also the risks of gastrointestinal obstruction (bowel blockage) and the chew becoming a choking hazard, if they are too hard.
Furthermore, some chews might pass the fingernail test, but can still be inappropriate for your dog.
The long-lasting chews you should avoid
Before we dive into the good chews for your corgi pup, let’s get the ones you should avoid out of the way:
- Antlers / Horns / Hooves: While they make for a great, long-lasting chew, they are also extremely hard (fail the fingernail test), and pose a great risk for tooth fractures. If your dog is an avid chewer, which most corgis are, antlers are pretty much guaranteed to break a tooth sooner or later. So, it’s best to just avoid these chews all together as the risks far outweigh the benefits.
- Hard plastic/nylon chew: Much like their long-lasting natural antler counterparts, tough plastic or nylon chews can pose a similar threat for your corgi’s teeth. Some of them also tend to break off in large pieces and cause an intestinal obstruction or choking hazard.
These chews can be offered, BUT need to have extra caution exercised when given:
- Rawhide chews: While these chews are a controversial topic in the dog world for sure, there is nothing inherently wrong with dried out animal skin as a treat. That being said, rawhides that have been bleached or otherwise artificially whitened should absolutely be avoided. Similarly, rawhides that are held together with glue and treated with harsh or harmful chemicals should also be avoided. If you can find a rawhide chew that is natural, bleach free, glue free, and chemical free – then that rawhide would be acceptable to give to your dog.
- Yak chews: These chews are another popular long-lasting chew. Much like the antlers and hooves, yak chews are extremely hard and pose a risk for your corgi’s teeth. On the bright side, yak chews can be softened by being soaked in water or microwaved to transform them into a crunchy, easily chewable snack instead.
- Bones: If you’re giving any type of raw bone, you should do so with caution – apart from load-bearing bones being a risk for tooth fractures, any bone can splinter and cause a perforation of the stomach or an obstruction.
Generally safe, long-lasting chews you can give to your dog instead are:
- Beef Pizzle (Bullysticks)
- Pig. Lamb, or Cow Ears
- Beef Tendon
- Beef Trachea
- Turkey Necks
All of these chew “give-in” when chewed, so there is no risk of fracturing or completely breaking a tooth.
They are natural, aren’t treated with harmful chemicals, and tend to last a long time (unless your pup is an extremely aggressive chewer).
One thing you should watch out for with these treats (or any treats for that matter) is that they can be high in calories and should be given in moderation.
But what about long-lasting enrichment through toys?
A great alternative to the aforementioned chews can be stuffed toys.
Maybe your dog has an irritable stomach, or maybe it’s not the biggest fan of prolonged chewing (we know there are some dogs who get bored from prolonged chewing sessions), or maybe it’s on a strict diet – we have a suggestion for you too.
Toys that you can put treats in, stuff, and freeze, can provide a long-lasting enrichment for your dog without necessarily adding further calories to the daily diet.
Here are some of our favourite enrichment toys that you can stuff with food (and some of them even freeze for even longer entertainment):
- WestPaw Toppl
- Kong Wobbler (and other similar treat-dispensing toys)
- Puzzle Toys
- Snuffle Mats
Kongs and Toppls are awesome food-stuffing toys you can fill with all sorts of food, vegetables, fruits, broth, or whatever else your corgi’s heart might desire.
They provide mental stimulation and have a calming effect due to the repetitive licking.
You can also freeze them to last even longer!
Kongs and Toppls are dishwasher-safe and can be thrown in the cups rack if you don’t feel like hand-washing them.
Here are some great ideas for stuffing them.
Lickimats are another alternative to the dog bowl that prolongs meal time. Much like the Kong and the Toppl, it has a calming effect due to the licking required to get all of the food off the mat.
There are a bunch of different Lickimat models, but we recommend the TUFF series.
The TUFF series is more chew-resistant and dishwasher-safe for even easier cleaning.
Puzzle toys, like the Outward Hound puzzles, and treat-dispensing toys, like the Kong Wobbler, can be a great way for your corgi to engage in play on their own.
It is also a mentally stimulating and enriching activity as they have to actively think and figure out how to get the treats out.
If you’re feeding your corgi kibble and are looking to extend their mealtimes and keep them occupied for longer, or you just want to make some treats last longer, snuffle mats are another awesome alternative to bowls.
By hiding treats in the snuffle mat, your dog engages with their nose and olfactory receptors to find the treat and enjoy their meals.
Since scavenging for food is a natural dog behavior, you’re providing ample enrichment to your corgi with a snuffle mat.
The best part is, they get to engage on their own and take all the time they need.
Chews are an essential part of corgi ownership. However, not all chews and toys are created equally.
Certain chews might appear safe and harmless, but in reality, are actually able to do more harm then good.
Once you have found safe chews that work for you and your dog, you will be on the path to a more enriched and happy pup.
Enriching your dog’s life mentally will not only keep it occupied for longer periods of time, but will also satisfy vital urges and behaviors.
It can also reduce stress and anxiety and provide calming opportunities throughout the day.
No matter what you choose to enrich your dog’s life with, make sure you supervise the playtime so you can avoid any accidents.
And, most importantly, make sure your corgi is having fun. It doesn’t matter how long it takes them to figure it out, as long as the sessions are kept fun and the dog is not getting frustrated.