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Picking The Right Toy For Your Dog

You’ve probably picked out LOTS of toys for your dog, but have you really considered everything that goes into the ‘perfect’ toy for your pet?
What’s good for one dog isn’t necessarily good for another.  Here are a few guidelines to keep you on the right path to choosing the best toy for your buddy:

4 Factors To Always Consider

  • Size:  Quite possibly, the most important thing to consider is the size of the toy.  If you’ve got a tiny little Chihuahua it will probably be intimidated by a larger than life toy.  And if you start throwing a small ball for a large dog, they can end up choking on it.  Keep the size appropriate to the dog.  Larger toys for larger dogs and smaller toys for smaller dogs.
  • Material:  Dog toys can be made of numerous types of materials. Keep in mind that the material of the toy will be felt inside the dogs mouth as well as chewed by the dog.  Painted toys are best avoided.  Do you share your house with a Tug-of-war lover?   Here’s a rope-toy option for your tug-o-war lover! Stuffed toys can make some dogs turn into little frenzied toddlers bent on destruction (and mess).  Keep that in mind when you purchase.  Do you have a dog that likes to play on the rougher side?  Try some rubber toys and TPR (thermoplastic rubber) toys – they’re super tough and can stand up to bully play. Here’s one that might make your tough-guy happy!
  • To squeak or not to squeak?  Your dog may LOVE the sound of the squeak, but if it will make you want to poke your eyes out within minutes, you may want to avoid them.  There are ‘pig’ sounding squeakers that are still enjoyable to your dog, but (in my opinion) less human-annoying than those higher pitch ones. Here is my dog’s favorite!
  •  The important (sometime small) details:  Consider the details of the toy before you buy it.  Does the toy have eyeballs that your dog can chew off and accidentally swallow?  What about that felt tongue hanging out? How is the stitching?  Will it hold up to your dog and how he or she plays?  How much of the toy is painted and is there any part of the toy that might be toxic?  If the answer is ‘yes’ to this question, I would recommend you avoid the toy completely.

2 BIG RULES

No matter which toy you choose there are two general rules that you should always keep in mind when your dog is playing:
  1. Supervision is a must at playtime. Most owners have complete trust that their dogs are fine to play by themselves unsupervised.  The fact is that things can happen in just a few short seconds. It’s always advisable to keep your eyes on your babies while they’re playing with their toys.
  2. Remember that no toy is ‘indestructible’.  Even if the packaging claims that your dog won’t be able to destroy the toy, don’t believe it.  Dogs are smart, goofy, and focused.  They will find a way to poke holes, chew pieces off, or demolish toys if they want to.

Keeping these tips in mind the next time you go shopping will help you to make better toy-choices for your dog.  Choosing the right dog toy will keep your favorite paws happy (and healthy) for a long time to come.


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