Dog Toys – Playing It Safe!

Catherine G. Hoover

Dog owners do love to think their dogs as their children. “That’s my boy,” they will say while referring to their own dogs. They will refer themselves as “Mummy” or “Daddy” while talking to the dogs as well. Of course, they get their dogs, some toys for playing with. Choosing the correct dog toys might be very tricky. People love to get cute and, squeaky toys to their dogs or get them stuffed toys to chew and carry it all over (the stuffed toy is the dog’s “baby” often – “Get your boy, Checkers! Checkers, where is the baby?”) As they think it is “adorable.” Dog toys need not be “cute.” They should be practical, fun, durable, and importantly, safe for the dog.

Avoid Non-Toys

For as loyal, friendly, lovable and playful as they would be, dogs aren’t the brightest of creatures. They are quite naturally attracted to many things which can cause them harm. It is important to start off early with the dog, giving safe toys to play and chew with, when teaching the dog to avoid the household stuff it might wish to use a toy. Dogs like to chew on a pantyhose, for e.g., but these may be partially ingested, and chokes the doggie. Some dogs would chew on the power cords, risking a very harmful (or even fatal) shock. Teach the dog early on things which are for playing, chewing and things which are off the limits.

Safest Dog Toy

The size of it is a very important consideration. Balls, Kongs and other toys should be small enough such that the dog might chew and carry them along, but not very small that they may become locked in the dog’s throat or mouth.

Durability is the other factor, mainly for dogs which loves to chew for a longtime. A toy which would easily break apart can surely become a hazard, because the sharp parts might be swallowed, get caught in throat, or cut in gums and mouth. Again, a very hard rubber Kong (one of the very best dog toys ever) is a very good choice.

Softer toys, as the popular “squeak” toy made up of very thin plastic and is full of air are very good for dogs which are a bit gentle. They are unlikely to chew such items and might be usually attracted to the sound of squeaking.

Tennis balls are a great choice for some doggies, but poor for others. This is a question of the size ratios. If the dog would be too small to be in a tennis ball in its mouth, then it might be a good toy that the doggie would love but it costs very little too. If the ball fits all the way to the dog’s maw, it might become a choking hazard.

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