Don’t let your dog play with the wrong toy

Published 10:45 pm Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dogs love to play, especially with a favorite toy. The two main categories of toys are chew toys and play toys.

Some toys can fall into both categories.

Chewing comes natural to dog, so as dog owners we need to provide them with appropriate chew toys to fulfill the need.

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Chew toys should be selected according to your pet’s size, activity level, and breed.

Most importantly, always supervise your pet when they are chewing on or playing with any toy.

A play toy would be a toy that is used for play only and not as a chewing past time.

Your pet may not react and get enjoyment out of the same toy that your neighbors dog does.

Most of the time, your dog will learn to like the toys you use when interacting with him.

There are hundred of types of toys. I only have room to discuss a few. First, natural sterilized bones.

These bones are usually cow bones that have a hollow center and can be found just about any where that sells pet products.

The hollow center can be stuffed with treats or peanut butter. This can provide your dog with hours of fun and help relieve boredom.

Sterilized bones would not be recommended for aggressive chewers because they may attempt to chew the actual bone instead of the contents causing them to ingest bone splinters.

There are also natural bones that have been smoked or roasted with bits of meat still on them for your dog’s chewing pleasure.

When picking out the correct size, make sure the bone cannot fit completely in your pet’s mouth.

These can be a good alternative to rawhide, which can be consumed very quickly.

Rawhides are also very popular. They are made of cow or swine hides that have been dried and processed into a desired shape or size.

Some rawhides have additional flavoring added to become more appealing to the dog. Once a dog has chewed a rawhide down to the point where it can hold the entire chew in its mouth, it is time to throw it away.

There are some bones available made from pure nylon. These are designed for an average to an aggressive chewer.

These are available in various sizes, shapes and flavors. Many dogs are not attracted to these types of bones, so to overcome that you may soak them in beef or chicken broth for 15 to 20 minutes a couple times per week.

The last type of toy I am going to discuss is a toy made of 100 percent rubber and has a hollow center.

These can also be filled with treats or peanut butter. They are puncture resistant, non-toxic, and non-splintering.

They also can be easily cleaned. Hiding several of these toys around the house can help ease boredom, separation anxiety, and several other behavioral problems.

The right toy can provide great interaction between you and your dog.

They can also provide your dog with hours of tasty fun. Be sure to only purchase the proper size and proper type of toys for your pet.

For example, if you have a large, working breed dog you will want to buy toys designed for aggressive chewers.

A quality pet store will be able to assist you in choosing the right toy. Even with “safe” toys supervise your pet until you are completely confident they can be played with safely when you are not present.

And remember, that every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony Barker, The BARKer Shop