All dogs love to play with toys, especially puppies. In addition to entertainment, a dog toy distracts the dog alleviating loneliness and boredom when being home alone, provides jaw exercise and discourages undesired behavior such as chewing your shoes and furniture. There are many different dog toys offering the mentioned benefits for your dog but you should take into account potential hazards when purchasing toys for your four legged friend and allowing it to play with them.
Dogs appreciate almost any kind of toy they can play with but every toy even if made especially for dogs is not appropriate for your dog. When choosing toys for your dogs you should to pay attention to their size, just like when purchasing children’s toys. Too small toys can be swallowed, stuck in the throat or cause choking, while too big items might be difficult for it to handle.
Selection of dog toys should always base on the dog’s temperament, chewing habits and its age. Most dog toys are chewable but some dogs are more active chewers than the others requiring sturdier and tougher toys. A vigorous chewer can easily chew off a piece of toy which is not sturdy enough. Pieces of chewed off toys can cause gastrointestinal problems if swallowed in greater amounts, inflict a tooth or mouth injury or cause choking. For that reason it is highly important to choose a toy according to your dog’s chewing needs which are particularly strong in puppies and young dogs.
Since every toy eventually ends up in dog’s mouth a responsible dog owner makes sure that a toy does not contain any potentially hazardous materials or chemicals before giving it to the dog. For that reason dogs should be never allowed to play with children’s toys or items which are not made especially for dogs and to check the label on a dog toy’s package before purchasing one. In addition to materials a toy is made of, you should also pay attention to quality of its manufacture. Inspect a toy for potential cracks or small pieces which could be chewed off and ingested very carefully.
Dog toys containing a squeaker are very popular but you need to be very careful with the squeaky toys. Many dogs feel the need to dig out the squeakers and swallowing them which can cause gastrointestinal problems, inflict a mouth injury or cause choking. In order to prevent potential harm a squeaker can cause if being dug out you are recommended to remove the squeaker unless being absolutely certain that your dog will not try to find the source of the sound.
A dog should not be allowed to play with new toys without your supervision no matter how carefully the toy was chosen. Watch your dog very closely and take the toy away if the dog tries to eat or shred it. If the dogs manage to chew off a piece of a toy anyway you will be able to react immediately and minimize or prevent the harm from occurring.