Can My Dog Chew Driftwood? Is it Safe?

Can my dog chew driftwood?

Chewing toys for dogs are important in keeping their teeth clean and healthy. In today’s day and age, you can walk into any pet store and find a wild variety of colorful chewing toys made out of plastic. But what if you want a natural, prettier, and more Eco-friendly option? Can Driftwood make a suitable alternative for your four-legged friend? There are many things to consider when assessing the safety of a chewing toy.

Could my dog get sick if they chew on driftwood?

poor doggie

As with anything in nature, there will be bacteria present on the surface. If your dog gets sick from driftwood, the symptoms will be mainly related to its intestinal tract – sickness, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

In general, this should not happen, as the natural immune system will be able to handle any bacteria present. If your dog is healthy there should not be much to worry about. If your dog is old or has any medical conditions that could weaken its immune response, consider talking to your vet about any possible complications. Any piece of driftwood you want to use as a dog toy should be thoroughly cleaned and dried in the sun to eliminate bacteria on it.   

Is driftwood toxic for dogs?

Driftwood itself does not contain toxic compounds that can be harmful to your dog. Driftwood does contain tannins – organic compounds found in plants. You are probably familiar with them, as they give wine and tea their dry and puckery feeling in the mouth.

These compounds are proven to carry a wide range of health benefits such as antibacterial, antifungal and antitoxin effects. They are also beneficial for gut health. It should also be considered that there is a potential toxic risk involving driftwood. Any driftwood that has come from man-made structures should not be used – as it may have been treated with chemicals that can harm your animal.

Collect driftwood only from sources that you know to be free from chemical pollution, far from human habitation. Also, do not apply paint or varnish to the driftwood toy, as the compounds can be harmful.

Can my dog chew on driftwood?

One of the main things to consider when giving your dog a chewing toy made out of driftwood, or any kind of wood for that matter, is a splinter. Splinters can cause injury in your dog’s mouth and intestinal tract.

These injuries can be either splinters that lodge themselves into tissue and cause bleeding or splinters that block intestinal passage. If this happens, you must take your pet to the vet.

To eliminate this from happening, closely inspect the piece of driftwood you mean to use as a chewing toy – watch out for any sharp edges or loose pieces that would be prone to splintering, and trim these accordingly. You should always keep an eye out when your dog is chewing on something. As time passes, inspect the chewing toy for signs of wear and tear, as no toy will last forever.

Another thing to consider is the size of the piece of driftwood. You shouldn’t give your dogs chewing toys that aren’t right for their size. If the piece of driftwood is too big, you can cut it down to size, and sand down any sharp edges, but if it’s too small – you’re better off looking for another piece of driftwood.

You can make a chewing toy out of driftwood for your dog. Chewing toys help to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy and give them a fun pastime activity. There are also potential health benefits in form of the tannins mentioned before.

To make a safe toy for your dog consider the following:

  • Don’t use driftwood that came from man-made structures
  • Use driftwood found away from polluted areas and human habitat
  • Thoroughly clean and dry your new chewing toy in the sun to eliminate bacteria
  • Inspect it for sharp edges and loose fragments that would be prone to splintering
  • With time, inspect the toy for signs of wear
  • If anything seems wrong with your dog, immediately take it to the vet

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