Monday, 14 March 2011

Choosing Good Toys for Your Dog


Playing with toys can be of great value to a dog, both for exercise, and physiologically.
Toys give a dog an interaction that stimulates their mind, keeps them engaged and satisfies their instinct to chew. It can also help to keep teeth and gums healthy.

It is obviously worth buying toys but there are many different types and designs of dog toys to choose from so what should you look for?

Firstly consider your dog's temperament, exercise requirements, size and condition and just how powerful a bite your dog has.
Does your dog like to fetch? Is your dog a chewer? Maybe your dog is a cuddler and likes snuggling up to soft comfy toy animals? Does a squeaky toy attract your dog?

You can now make short list the type of toys you think are suitable, however, delete the following:

1) Toys that break up easily such as soft plastic or rubber (harder  materials are usually okay)

2) Squeaking toys that are not robust and where you suspect that the squeak could become detached and swallowed by your dog.

3) Pull Toys (Actually there is nothing wrong with pull toys but if you are training your dog using the "Alpha Dog" principle pull toys may undermine your status) - see:

4) Toys with any small parts or protrusions that might become detached and swallowed.

5) Toys that are too big or too heavy for your dog's size.

6) All "cheap and nasty" products - buy branded products if possible

Training Tip
If you are trying to show your dog that you are the "Pack Leader", and
when you are at home, make sure that you always go through every door before your dog. This is important especially  if there is someone at your front door and your dog wants to see who it is.
Remember - You Are The Boss -but by action not by shouting!

Have a look round various pet shops and doggie magazines before deciding on what to buy. With branded toys you are reasonably safe to buy from the Internet where you may get better deals.

Once you have the new toy(s) you can introduce them to your dog and hopefully witness your dog's enjoyment.

You will need to examine regularly the toys and discard them as soon as they show any signs of becoming unsafe.

If you have toys that you can throw (e.g. a ball), make sure you throw it carefully. Your dog may chase after the toy oblivious to everything else. This means that if the ball lands near a sharp drop, a piece of machinery or a rock, your dog might run at full speed into the hazard with potentially serious consequences and a possible Vet's bill.

Stay Safe Out There,



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