The Importance of Choosing the Right Dog Toys
Playing with your dog is a fun part of having a dog, and your dog likes it too! But what about those times when you’re not available to play, or your dog isn’t asleep? What will he/she do then? Chances are, boredom will set in and Fido will be looking for something to do, possibly something you don’t want him to do. Those are the times when having the right toys around will save the day.
When do you start giving toys to your dog?
You should begin giving your dog toys as early as possible, young puppies, even with their baby teeth, can start getting used to toys around him. Obviously you would choose size and softness appropriate toys for a young pup, but as he matures, just as with children, the toy selection should mature.
- Young puppies will still have their “baby” until between 3-9 months when they will be in the teething process and their adult teeth will come in. During this time they will feel like gnawing on everything, including your best shoes. So it’s wise to have plenty of toys available to satisfy that need.
- Stock up on soft toys that might be made of soft rubber or soft, plush fabrics that are easy on their gums and baby teeth.
- Avoid toys that are made of hard rubber during this time.
- When teething is complete, you are then free to purchase harder toys that will challenge your dog and keep him occupied.
- As your dog ages and enters the “senior years”, he will loose strength in his jaws and teeth, yet still need and desire toys. So, once again, it’s time for softer toys to satisfy his needs.
There are a variety of types of toys to choose from, and although they may look great, they may not be great for your dog, always keep in mind size and age…
- Plush toys are usually a “hit” with dogs of all ages and sizes, but they aren’t necessarily a great choice. If your dog likes to use it for comfort, that’s great, but if he gets too aggressive with it, it will get torn to shreds, not only making a big mess, but also becoming a coking hazard.
- One family buys plush toys with squeakers in them, which their dog loves. He plays aggressively with them until the squeaker stops working, and then he’s done with it. This type of toy could end up being an expensive one because it constantly needs to be replaced.
- Tug toys are also very popular with dogs. They can be used interactively with you and the dog, or by the dog alone. Because they are typically used with “great energy”, there is the likelihood that over time they will shred or tear into pieces. When this happens, replace them right away so the pieces don’t become a choking hazard to your dog.
- A word of caution on playing tug with your dog, avoid pulling the tug toy vertically, raising your dog off the ground. This can be harmful to his spine, jaw and neck.
- Toys that roll are a great way to keep your dog active. Dogs can play with them on their own, or you can join in for a game of fetch. Choose balls that are appropriate to your dog’s size as well as durable…they can get a lot of use.
- If you use tennis balls, watch them carefully, they have a tendency to break up quickly.
- Chew toys are usually toys your dog will spend a lot of time with. Good choices are made of knotted thick rope or hard rubber. Rawhide chew toys are also available, but can be hazardous when your dog chews off small pieces that can get caught in his throat.
It’s advisable to avoid using items from around the house for your dog’s toys. To Fido, your brand new leather shoes don’t look any different from the old tennis shoe you gave him to chew on. It’s important that your dog can recognize the difference between what is OK for him to play with, because it’s his, and what is not OK for him to play with, because it’s yours.
For all your doggie daycare needs, Contact BowWow Fun Towne, you’ll find plenty of great activity, appropriate toys, and exercise here to help keep your dog happy while you’re away. We also have a variety of toys you can purchase for your dog.