Put Some Thought Into Your Dog’s Play and Activity Toys

Things that are often the most attractive to dogs are very often things that are the most dangerous at worst, or inappropriate for them to grab hold of and play with. It is not unusual for a dog to treat a non-toy item as a dog toy that can have dangerous consequences.

As you would do for a small child, dog-proof your home and check for trouble before it happens. Secure window treatment cords, and electrical lamp and appliance wire. Check for children’s toys that the dog might claim that can cause choking if broken, or other items that can present similar dangers such as pantyhose, string, rubber bands, ribbon, and anything else that could be ingested. Also be alert to balls that are too small, and other small toys can be easily swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat.

As For Your Dog’s Current Toys…..

Any toy your dog currently uses should be dog-safe or at least dog-proofed. Remove ribbons, strings, eyes or other small parts that could be separated by tugging, pulling and chewing and then ingested.

Problem fillings to look out for include but are not limited to nutshells, polystyrene, beads and basically everything else that is not truly digestible.

Toys that contain “squeakers” buried in their center may be cute in the beginning; however, these toys with breakable small parts could represent a serious emergency if your dog is inclined to tear and chew, and ends up ingesting the small part that squeaks. Any toy that starts to break into pieces should be discarded.

Don’t Select Just Any Toy…..

Before selecting toys for your dog, take your canine companion’s size, activity level, and personality into consideration. However, don’t be disappointed if your toy selection is not a big hit with your dog. There is never a guarantee that your dog will be enthusiastic about your pick.

Soft stuffed toys are a good choice for the appropriate size or temperament, but are not appropriate for all dogs. For small and medium size dogs that are happy to just carry the soft toy as a comfort possession requires less consideration than selecting for dogs that want to “kill” the toy. In addition to durable, the toy should be the size of the “prey” the dog would instinctually hunt.

For reasons that are obvious concerning hygiene, a soft dog toy should be machine-washable for sanitizing as often as needed.

Active And Interactive…..

Many of your dog’s toys should be interactive. Interactive play is very important for your dog because exercise is a vital component to good health and longevity, along with socialization that helps them learn appropriate and inappropriate behavior with people and other animals.

Interactive toys encourage exercise with activities the dog finds stimulating and enjoys — games of catch, fetch, and for balanced dogs, tug and pull games along with long walks, jogging, swimming and biking.

Great Toys That Should Be Considered…..

Very hard rubber toys, like Kong — super-bouncy and irresistible. Kong’s exclusive super-bouncy red natural rubber compound is irresistible for most dogs, and five chewer-friendly sizes are available to satisfy dogs with typical chewing temperaments, along with the rest of the Kong toy offerings.

Other wonderful products to have are: A Ruff Dawg K9 Flyer disc, similar to a Frisbee, only more rugged, flexible and non-toxic for on-land or in water. Try a simple game with a rope tug toy, great fun as long as your dog understands play boundaries. If your dog has shown signs of aggression towards you, tug-of-war is not a game we recommend.

Also recommended: A Hyper Disc which is floatable, durable and soft on your dog’s mouth, or a Hyper Ball Launcher that allows you to launch a ball up to 220 feet. These and other quality dog exercise toys are available at CalloftheDogShop.com.

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1 Response to “Put Some Thought Into Your Dog’s Play and Activity Toys”

  1. 1 Crazy Critters October 5, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Good info on dog toys. Pet-proofing the home and using non-toxic toys would seem to give dogs a safe and fun environment.

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