by Gerald McNicholl
These days when you walk into the toy section of any pet stores for dogs, you are most likely to be spoilt for choice – an endless supply of colorful
toys that are uniquely created to keep your dog healthy and amused.
Dog toys are a great bonding tool for you and your dog, so exactly how important is it to provide your dog with lots of
Dog toys are actually one of the most important possessions you can give to your dog, especially for puppies.
Dog toys help to develop your dog’s mental and emotional well-being, as well as good physical coordination. They also help your dog to relieve separation anxiety (especially in puppies that have just been separated from their mother), mental stress and boredom, promote dental health and prevent your dog from eating away or chewing on your personal belongings, such as your shoes! So shower your dog with lots of toys to keep it occupied and challenged.
Toys can be divided into 3 general categories:
* Primary toys are your dog's favorite. Leave these out for your dog when you are not around. This helps reduce separation anxiety because your dog associates you leaving with him getting his favorite toys.
* Secondary toys are the toys to have out when you are at home. Be sure to pick up the primary toys.
* The third set of toys are to be rotated with the first set. Trainers recommend swapping toys every 3 days or so. Mixing the toys will keep your dog interested in all his toys.
Variety is the spice of life. Most experts would recommend that you buy
different kinds of toys for your dog so that you can discover which ones he really likes. An ideal toy would combine both the fun and safety factors that suit the size and personalities of your dog. There is no point in buying a small
huge heavy ball that it cannot grip with its teeth.
Do consider the following points as you peruse your toy options at the
* Make sure there are no dangerous small pieces that your inexperienced puppy or dog can chew loose and swallow, lodged in his throat or worse yet – choke on. Good
pet toys include
hard rubber chews and bones that are robust and hard for your
puppy to destroy or swallow. Some
toys do eventually fall apart or splinter, if that’s the case, either repair or replace it.
* Larger dog breeds have bigger throats, and this means a
small toy can pose problems.
* Don’t limit your choices to only safe
dog toys that you can buy from
pet stores. Many household items make for great alternatives, such as
tennis balls or
Frisbees. You should go for
Frisbees made of soft plastic or cloth. Although this variety won’t go as far, and they are not as controllable as the hard plastic flying disks, they are much less likely to damage your dog’s mouth and teeth when he snatches it from the air.
* To keep your dog interested, combine
a variety of toys –
bouncy balls, squishy toys etc all of which will provide your dog with hours of fun.
* Another popular toy for your adult dog or
puppy is a strong
rope. It allows them to chew on something and also it allows you to participate during playtime by pulling and tugging on the rope.
* Create your own dog toy – to make a chewable toy for your dog, put some cheese or his favorite treat inside a sterilized bone. Give your dog the bone and it will try to reach the food inside of it. This toy is ideal to stimulate the dog when he is home alone.
* Do not give your dog old clothes or shoes as
play toys. If you let your dog chew these items, it will assume that this is an acceptable behavior and will do it to other shoes and clothes! Dogs cannot distinguish between old and new things, so bear that in mind when you choose normal household items as
toys for your dog.
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