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Tips on Choosing Safe Toys Your Dog Will Love
Posted on : 07/31/2014 04:38:19 AM


Have you ever come home to find the doorframe clawed and chewed, or seen one of your shoes that has encountered the dark side of your pooch? No, your dog did not have a personal vendetta against the doorframe, nor did the shoe offend him in an unseemly fashion. He was just being the dog he is.

A part of natural canine behavior, chewing or playing can often turn out to have seriously expensive consequences if you tend to leave your dog unsupervised. Some dogs tend to chew more than others, while others tend to play. Identify what your dog likes to do and offer him toy options to explore that.

If dogs are not offered these outlets in a controlled environment from time to time they can manifest severe behavioral problems. For a dog it is a matter of instinct to chew, dig or play, and going against it can result in issues like barking too much, destruction of furniture, inappropriate urination, etc.

Why Do You Need to Choose the Right Toy?


Choosing the right toys can help your dog find the right outlets for his energy. But the options, however, are endless. Many pet parents end up buying a bunch of toys, while the dog still chooses to go with the old blanket to play with. Choosing a toy that your dog will like to play with can be confounding. A dog’s preference of toys depends primarily on the style of play he usually prefers.

If your dog is energetic but not a chewer, you will find those chew toys abandoned pretty soon; he will instead focus on playing tug with one of your shirts. If he prefers plush toys to destroy and you give him one he can cuddle up to, be ready for a massacre. 

Another thing to be remembered is that however safe the manufacturer may say the toy is, a dog always needs to be supervised when playing, especially aggressive chewers.  However strong a toy looks, it is only as strong as the intent of the dog. Choosing the right toy will keep you assured of the fact that it is not going to end up hurting the dog.

Balls

Dogs that love to fetch would always love a ball-toy. They come in many shapes, sizes and designs. There can be your run of the mill tennis, or rubber bouncers, meant for fetching and retrieving. There are also balls with squeakers, those that glow-in-the-dark or even those with holes for treats. The selection is endless.

Keep in mind how your dog plays and ensure the ball is large enough for him to carry it without swallowing it. Leaving tennis balls around can turn out to be unpleasant. If your dog is a chewer he will definitely get his paws on the ball. The material in tennis balls can cause wear and tear in the teeth, and pieces of it can lead to an obstruction in the digestive system.

Frisbees

Dogs that love to fetch ball may also like catching discs. The slightly curved flight path of a disc is way more entertaining for a dog than the simple game of fetch. They give a different retrieving experience to the dog, in fact Disc Dog tournaments are quite a big deal. Get a disc meant for dogs to fetch, or it may not be too kind on his gums.

Chew Toys


If your dog is a not a heavy chewer, but still at times prefers to gnaw on something, get him a rope toy, or a bone-hard chew toy. Dental chew toys are also apt for dogs that don’t chew much.

Rubber dog toys are perfect for those heavy chewers who need to set aside dedicated time to go to town on their toys. They are durable, and their odd shapes will cause them to bounce erratically adding to the fun. Make sure you get a durable product which can’t be gnawed to pieces too quick. Older dogs can be given soft plush toys or vinyl/latex toys that are soft on their gums.

Cuddle Toys

Now, did you think it was just you who liked a warm cuddle when falling sleep? Cuddle toys can make great companions for your pooch. Get one made from fleece or a plush fabric. Over time, it will begin to smell familiar to the dog and make it more enjoyable. There are also plush toys that squeak or make other noises, which keep the dog interested.

Puzzle Toys

Keep your dog occupied, even when you do not have his attention make sure he has enough to stay engaged. Interactive toys, and dog puzzles can be a good mental exercise for your dog, when added to a treat dispenser they offer motivation and positive reinforcement.

These puzzles provide the dog a positive contest. Make sure that the puzzle is something your dog can solve, stand with him the first couple of times to provide encouragement. Just don’t do it for him, that would be defeating its purpose.

Puzzles and interactive toys with built-in reward systems are a great way to hone the cognitive skills of your dog and to keep him mentally engaged and challenged. Not to mention, it is always fun for the dog when a treat slides out of the compartment into his mouth.

What Toys Are Dangerous for Dogs?

Keep your dog far away from string-like objects, ribbons, bows and other similar items. Puppies especially are perpetually curious and always like to explore with their mouths. If ingested, these items can cause grave intestinal issues.

If your dog’s toys are small then he runs the risk of inadvertently swallowing the toy. The same goes for toys with parts. Inspect the toys carefully before purchasing them. Stuffed toys and toys with parts especially need to be checked for their strength, durability and size. If you are leaving your dog to play with something, unsupervised, make sure it is sturdy enough to last till you get back.

A dog needs toys around him that he knows are meant for his entertainment, but no toy is as much fun as the one played with a person. The best part about dogs is that they never lose their desire to play even as adults. So do not keep your dog from having a ball, go get it the right toy today.


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