Warm weather means fun time for all of us! This includes your pets and their toys. Toys for our pets are a must have. They help fight boredom and they also provide comfort. Toys can even help prevent your pet from developing certain problem behaviors. Although cats can be pretty picky about toys, dogs are often more than willing to play with any object they can get their paws on. That means you’ll need to be particularly careful when monitoring your dog’s playtime to prevent any issues. It seems there are always new toys on the market every week. We parents fall into the buying trap as well. I have to ask myself, am I buying this for Khloe or me? She may not like it, but I love the hot pink and purple colors and the squeaker that sounds like Chewbacca – is a must have! Be very careful in what you purchase. There are toys on the market for our high strung, mellow, adventurous, determined or laid back babies specifically made for them.Here are some guidelines when purchasing toys and the toys you may already have:
How to make sure your dog’s toys are safe:
Many factors contribute to the safety or danger of a toy, and a number of them depend upon your dog’s size, activity level and preferences. Another factor to be considered is the environment in which your dog spends his time. Although we can’t guarantee the safety of any specific toy, we can offer the following guidelines:
- Toys should be appropriate for your dog’s size. Balls and other toys that are too small can easily be swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s throat.
- Avoid or alter any toys that have ribbons, strings, eyes or other parts that could be chewed off and/or ingested. Discard toys that start to break down into small pieces or are torn.
- Take note of any toy that contains a “squeaker” buried in its center. Your dog may feel that he must find and destroy the source of the squeaking, and he could ingest it. Supervise your dog’s play with squeaky toys.
- Cats will play with almost anything, especially kittens. Please make sure you don’t have anything lying around that is easy to swallow. Paper clips, eraser heads, anything that has string to it, bottle caps to even a simple piece of paper are some items that felines can accidently ingest and can get lodged in their intestines. It’s highly recommended that you monitor your feline’s toys.
- Veterinarians are concerned not only about a dog biting off and swallowing pieces of these toys but also the dangers of toxic chemicals some are made of. In an industry not directly regulated by the government, it’s up to you to make the best choice. Read those labels.
Courtney and our guest boarder Sam, playing keep away……
Active toys for active pets
Rubber toys, such Kongs, are fun for chewing and for carrying around. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can stuff Kongs with tasty treats or rub peanut butter inside them. Avoid very hard toys such as Nylabones as pets commonly break their teeth chewing on them. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can dent the toy with your fingernail. If it is too hard to dent, do not give the toy to your pet.
Rope toys with knotted ends are popular. However, you need to keep any eye on the rope once it starts to unravel. Pieces of the rope can be ingested. Same goes for toys that have feather material- cats love them, but if ingested may be life threatening.
Tennis balls make great dog toys, but keep an eye out for any that could be chewed through, and discard them once this happens. Frisbee’s are a must have for those that love to chase and catch. After a while, the material starts to wear out and their teeth may accidentally start to puncture their beloved Frisbee. These punctured areas may be sharp for our K9’s mouth and tongue. Rub your fingers on these areas and if it’s not smooth, time to purchase a new one.
Kong-type toys, especially when filled with treats or peanut butter can keep our pets busy for hours. Only by chewing diligently can your dog get to the treats. Please make sure your pet gets a break from chewing on these toys. Irritation to the mouth/teeth could occur. Check with your veterinarian about whether you should give peanut butter to your pet. Be sure to choose the Kong toy of appropriate size for your pet.
“Busy-box” toys are large rubber cubes with hiding places for treats. Only by moving the cube around with his nose, mouth and paws can your pet get to the goodies. This will keep them entertained!
Soft stuffed toys are good for several purposes, but they aren’t appropriate for all dogs. Some pets like to carry around soft toys – it’s their “baby”. Some want to shake or “kill” their toys, so choose one that’s large enough to prevent accidental swallowing and sturdy enough to withstand the dog’s or kitty’s attacks. The minute you see material unraveling form their toy, remove it. Material can be swallowed or get wrapped in between teeth, etc.
Dirty laundry, such as an old t-shirt, pillowcase, towel or blanket, can be very comforting to a pet, especially if the item smells like you! Be forewarned that the item could be destroyed by continuous fluffing, carrying, and nosing. If you have any questions on a certain toy, please don’t hesitate to call us! We would be happy to investigate the product further for you! Really cool fun toys are a must have for your pet, but safety is always first!
Whether at the beach or in their back yard, Walker and Pistol must have a toy to play with! Oh- how these two love water!