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Published: Apr 28, 2011

Most dog owners know that canines love to chew. While this habit is often acceptable for pooches, there are some items that could prove dangerous to pet health, according to Dr. Debbie Barton, a veterinarian who penned an article in The Seattle Times.

"Chewing, in general, is a natural and satisfying activity for most dogs," she writes in the news source. "The buildup of dental plaque and tartar can be decreased (not eliminated), energy can be constructively vented and attention can be diverted from more destructive activity."

She adds that when choosing a toy for your canine companion, consider the dog's personal preferences. If you have questions about what is safe and healthy for a dog to chew, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.

Barton warns against toys that are made of wood or rope, as these can disintegrate and pose a hazard. She writes in the media outlet that she has had to remove splinters and fragments of toys from dogs' gums more than once in her line of work.

The Humane Society states that it's best to give dogs toys that are clearly for chewing purposes, rather than allowing them to gnaw on old socks or other household items.