The Holidays are upon us. We are deciding who to give presents to and what presents to buy for them. Children are looking through toy books and watching all those toy commercials. They are intent on making long lists of toys for their letters to Santa Claus. Also, on our lists are our furry family members.
As a doggie parent, it is up to you to buy the safest toys available for your dog. Dogs love to play. It’s an important part of your relationship and important to your dog’s well-being. Not only do toys keep your dog happy, they can help with behavioral problems and provide him with comfort.
There are many toys for your dog available on the market. What should you consider to help you choose quality toys for your dog.
Age, Texture, Size
When selecting a toy for your dog, you must consider his age. A young puppy still has baby teeth so something soft and snugly would be good for him.
Between three and nine months a puppy is teething. You should not get hard rubber. Also, you should buy plenty of toys. He will be chewing on everything in sight.
When teething is done, he can have hard rubber toys, balls and tug toys.
At ages seven years to senior, he needs soft toys, balls that are easy to fetch and toys that encourage him to stay active.
Be sure to get the right texture for the size of your dog. You do not want a toy that he will tear apart and maybe swallow the pieces. Also, a toy that is too small can be swallowed.
Examine The Toy
Be sure to check the toys for removable parts. Your dog could choke or develop an intestinal obstruction if swallowed. Beware of string, ribbons, rubber bands, and plastic eyes on stuffed animals.
There are many squeaker toys on the market and many dogs enjoy chewing on these toys. But swallowing the squeaker can be harmful to your dog. Carefully watch your dog when he is playing with one of these toys.
What Materials Were Used To Make This Toy?
Be careful not to choose a toy the can be toxic to your dog. Dog toys may be coated with toxic heavy metals, fire retardants or stain guards that also contain toxic ingredients.
You can visit the manufacturers’ website to learn how the toy was made. The packaging may not have the information you are need.
If the packaging or the label does not contain the materials, you can smell the toy. A strong scent or bright dyed fabrics may indicate residual chemicals from the manufacturing process.
If the toys contains lead, the lead can come off in your dog’s mouth when the dog is partially chewed.
Dogs love stuffed toys. The filing can be harmless if swallowed. Stuffed dog toys labeled as safe for children under three years of age are not likely to be dangerous.
Dogs also love to chew rawhide bones. Rawhide bones help strengthen your dog’s jaw and help with dental hygiene. The one-sheet rolled up rawhide bones easily break apart and can be a choking hazard. However, the pressed rawhide bones will soften when chewed and are easy to swallow.
Toys That Will Last
It is best to buy toys that are indestructible. Also, your dog will need toys that will keep him busy and distract him for a period of time. Kong toys or treat balls are perfect toys to keep you dog’s interest. Place a few treats inside the toy and your dog will be occupied for quite a while trying to remove the treat from the toy.
Choose toys that cannot be easily torn apart. Look for durable toys made of hard nylon and hard rubber.
Dental chew toys will help keep your dog’s teeth clean. These chew toys are made of soft material that will dissolve when in contact with your dog’s saliva.
Balls And Tug Toys
Balls – There a few different types of balls. Some are rubber balls, plush balls, tennis balls, foam balls, and squeaker. Playing with balls is one of the best ways for you to interact with your dog. When you choose a ball make sure it is the right size for your dog and durable enough for him not to chew it up.
Tug Toys – Tug toys are typically plush and made of linen, leather, fire hose, or rope. It is necessary to replace them as soon as you see shredding or notice missing pieces. Choose a tug toy that is comfortable for you to hold in your and hand and pull on. Never rip a tug toy out of your dog’s mouth. It can cause him health problems. It is important to train your dog to respond to commands such as drop it or release.
Floating toys are great for dogs that love to swim. They are made of a foam rubber or plastic material, floating balls, rings, and other toys are easy for your dog to grab in the water.
The health and safety of your dog is just as important as it is for any other member of your family. So choose your dog’s toys carefully. A toy that is not safe can do a great deal of harm to your dog.
Try to watch while your dog is chewing on toys. Change them periodically. Check the toys for any damage.
Keep your dog safe.