When you decide to purchase a dog toy, you probably consider this an easy process. You may go to the store, either a supermarket’s pet department or a pet store, find a cute toy, and make your purchase. Simple enough, right?
Did you ever think of the consequences of purchasing an inappropriate dog toy? Instead of purchasing just a cute toy, there are many other factors that you should consider when making the purchase.
The first and foremost thing to consider is the safety of your dog playing with his new toy. Avoid buying a toy that could possibly endanger your dog by splintering; indigesting any stuffing, attached strings, eyes or buttons that could easily be chewed off and swallowed; or any item that has sharp edges.
Even when you would like your dog to play by himself, his safety should also be considered. Anywhere from a little supervision to constant supervision is advised when he is playing with a toy. Any dog can destroy a toy by rough chewing. If a toy begins to crack, break into pieces, shred, or is chewed to be so small that your dog can put the entire toy/bone in his mouth, that is the time to discard the toy immediately. Place it in a container strong enough to withstand his desire to retrieve it.
Another factor in becoming an educated buyer of dog toys is to know the personality of your dog. If your dog is a puppy, you may not know her personality for a couple of days to weeks, but we do know that puppies like to chew. If you get your new dog from a previous owner, get some advice from them. If you acquire a rescue dog, observe him closely. Some dog personalities to consider are: the chewer, the aggressive chewer, the possessor, the energetic, or the snuggler. The breed of dog you select may also have some innate characteristics which should dog toys also alert you regarding general personality traits.
Knowing your dog’s breed, age and personality will all help in making a good dog toy decision. Many purchases may be made before you find the right toy your dog enjoys playing with.
Toys are not just for fun and entertainment; they can also have other redeemable values. Dog toys can:
* aid in strengthening your dog’s gums and teeth
* relieve stress
* be interactive with you or someone else
* be a bonding time with you
* keep a dog physically and mentally healthy
* prevent separation anxiety
* helps to eliminate your dog from destroying the family’s personal possessions
* fills in times of his boredom
Listed below are some general descriptions of dog toys with possible pros and cons:
Size: Make sure the toy is dog-size appropriate. A large toy for a small dog is not easy for the dog to play with. On the other hand, a small toy for a large dog can be swallowed.
Squeakers: Some toys have squeakers in them and some dogs love to squeak them. A word of caution, however. As fun as it is for your dog, he could actually chew it until the squeaker comes out of the toy, and then swallows it. Examine the toy often, and supervision is advisable. Should a hole develop, sew up the toy to keep the squeaker in, or while the squeaker is out, sew up the toy so no stuffing comes out – should there be stuffing in the toy. Closing the hole allows the dog to still play with the toy.