Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dog Toy Safety: Choosing
The Right Toys for Your Fido

by Caroline Ruddy, guest contributor
© Carrie Boyko
30 Minutes of Treat Ball Work
Equals One Pooped Pup

Sadly, many dogs are injured every year because they are given the wrong kinds of toys. Some even require surgery to remove swallowed toy parts. It's not always easy to choose a safe toy. Many people think if a toy is for sale, it must be safe, but this isn't always true. Taking some time to learn about choosing the right toys for your dog can go a long way to keeping him healthy and happy.

Choose The Right Size

Usually, it's just a matter of looking at toys to know whether they're too small or too big for your dog. If you're in doubt, check the toy's packaging for weight or breed guidelines. Just remember weight guidelines alone may not always be enough to determine the right size toy for your dog. Some dogs, like Basset Hounds, carry more weight because of how they're built, but don't have large, strong jaws, so they may do well with a smaller toy. Giving your dog a toy that's too big can hurt his jaws, while a large dog may swallow pieces of a small toy and end up with intestinal blockage. Choosing the right size toy will help avoid injury, as well as a big vet bill.

Consider Durability

Buying a toy that your dog destroys in a matter of hours is no fun for either of you, not to mention a waste of money. If your dog tears apart a toy and swallows pieces of it, he can become ill or even need surgery if his intestines become blocked. Some dogs just chew more vigorously than others, regardless of size. It may take a few tries before you discover what kind of chewer your dog is. While you're trying different toys out, you'll want to stay away from cheap toys, but you don't have to spend a lot. Look for discounts. For example, Petco coupon codes can help you save on toys. That way, you'll be able to take some time to find the right toys for your dog, not to mention get your your money's worth.

Offer Challenging Toys

To keep your dog busy, get him a challenging toy, like one in which you hide small treats, and your dog has to figure out how to get the treats out. A company called Premier has an entire line of toys for just this purpose (available at stores like Petco and Petsmart), and they make the treats that go inside as well. These are also good if your dog is left alone for long periods, like when you're at work. Giving him something to occupy his mind will help keep him from chewing things he's not supposed to, like your furniture, shoes, or plants, which may be poisonous to dogs. Giving him challenging toys will help keep him safe while also keeping him engaged.

Above all, make some time to play with your dog. Toys are good, but nothing is better for your dog than getting attention and love from you.

Caroline Ruddy is a freelance writer finally pursuing her dream of being published. She loves books and movies, especially when they include a furry friend napping on her lap.

Note: Articles written by guest contributors may or may not necessarily reflect the beliefs or recommendations of All Things Dog Blog or its regular writers.


Brent @ Crates Dog said...

My dog doesn't seem to know what to think when I bring home a new toy, he's kept pretty happy with his favorite squeaky chicken or just a game of fetch with a simple tennis ball! I still like buying him things though - he is loved, that's for sure.

Alfie from Alfie's Blog said...

I love toys on ropes! I can amuse myself for hours just swinging them around my head and catching them in the air. Second choice is squeaky toys but they tend to break within a day or so!

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