For your doggy, toys are not just for fun, they are important for mental activity! Toys help keep dogs from getting bored and they can also provide comfort. Toys can even help prevent your dog from developing certain problem behaviors. In short, toys are important, and it is important that you find the right one for your puppy! Dogs are often more than willing to play with any object they can get their paws on, which means you will need to closely monitor your dog’s activity to make sure they are safe and not destroying something that is not a toy.
Are Your Dog’s Toys Safe?
Many factors contribute to the safety or danger of a toy, and a number of them depend upon your dog’s size, personality, and personal preferences. Another factor to be considered is the environment in which your dog spends his or her time. Although we can’t guarantee the safety of any specific toy, we can offer the following guidelines.
- Dogs are usually the most attracted to things that are not good for them! Make your house dog-friendly by removing string, ribbon, rubber bands, children’s toys, undergarments, and anything else that could be swallowed.
- Make sure toys are big enough for your dog! Balls and other toys that are too small can easily be swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s throat.
- Remove ribbons, strings, eyes or other parts that could be swallowed by accident, or simply avoid these kind of toys. If a toy is broken into small pieces or has pieces that can become jagged or fall off, throw it out!
- If a dog toy contains a “squeaker” use extra caution. Many dogs feel compelled to rip the squeaker out and destroy it, and they could swallow it by accident.
If you’re thinking about giving your dog rawhide chew toys, be sure to check with your veterinarian about which ones are safe and appropriate for your dog. Because these toys may pose choking hazards, only give them to your dog when you’re there to supervise. For an alternative, consider toys made of very hard rubber, which are safer and last longer.
- Very hard rubber toys, such as Nylabone and Kong products, are fun for chewing and for carrying around, and they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Rope toys are usually available in a “bone” shape with knotted ends, and are great for tug of war and fetch!
- Tennis balls make great dog toys, but keep an eye out for any that become overly, and discard them when this happens.
- Try filling your Kong with healthy treats or peanut butter and your dog will have a great time trying to get it out!
- Doggie Puzzles! The dogs use their nose, mouth, and paws to remove the treat. These are great for mental stimulation!