Dog Toys- What Should I Choose?
So you have a new puppy, or perhaps have recently adopted an older pup, and you want to shower him with lots of toys to keep him happy and active. But what is the best toy for your pup? It’s important that you give your fur baby age and size appropriate toys, and not just choose something because you think it’s cute.
If you have a young pup, you probably already know that they will chew anything and everything, and you need to provide them with toys that will keep them occupied and take care of their teething instincts.
Puppies grow rapidly during the age of eight weeks up to 10 months, and these pups need toys suitable for their size, breed and personality. If you have a very intelligent pup with an abundance of energy, you may want to provide something that will challenge him, such as one that can be puzzled apart, or will dispense treats.
A lower energy pup, or an older pup, may prefer to snuggle up with a soft, cuddly toy, while an energetic young pup may pull it to shreds in a matter of minutes.
Puppies generally begin teething around 4 months of age, and at this time the baby teeth begin to fall out and are replaced with adult teeth. This is the time when your pup will be obsessed with chewing as a way of trying to reduce his discomfort of sore gums.
When your pup begins teething, there are many things you can choose to give your pup and, at the same time, you can teach him what he can and can’t chew on. You may want to consider staying away from squeaky toys that look like shoes and instead opt for a bone shape or a teething ring. You also need to consider the size of a toy. Toys made for a small breed dog, or a puppy that is 8 to 10 weeks old, could cause a large breed or older pup to try and swallow it and choke.
You can also provide your pup with specific teething toys that are made to be frozen which will help soothe his gums. Nylabones and Key Ring Bones are a good choice, as is a good quality Kong. Cubes of ice are another option to help sooth your pup’s gums. Try to avoid toys that have “eyes” or a “nose” that could get chewed off and, if your pup is an aggressive chewer, stay away from “stuffed” toys or soft rubber, which can come apart and be ingested by your furry friend.
If you have a very energetic breed of dog and they need to burn off some energy, try getting a good quality rubber ball or a Frisbee that you can throw for them and they can chase it. This is also a good opportunity to teach your pup to retrieve and return to you. Treat dispensing toys and Kong’s can be filled with some treats, or kibble, or peanut butter and frozen. Your pup will love chewing on these toys and will be kept occupied for a good period of time.
It’s important that you watch your pup when he plays with toys, and check the toys on a regular basis to ensure that they are not falling apart. When purchasing toys for your pup, be sure that you read the manufacturer’s recommendations to be certain it is the right choice for your pup’s age and size, and has been safety tested.
Shop carefully and choose the right toy for your pup, and enjoy playtime.