When you are looking to keep your dog entertained, you'll discover that toys are very important! Just like small children, dogs love to play and they also need to be stimulated and having toys that they can play with and chew on is good for them. However, it is very important to give them the right toys. For instance, you should never give your dog an old shoe or an old shirt to play with, because it is far too easy for them to make the connection that all of your shoes and all of your shirts are appropriate toys for them! Take some time give your dog the toys that will really suit them.
First, remember that just because a dog wants to play with it doesn't make it a great toy to use. While dogs love things with buttons on them, string, ribbons and rubber bands, any of these toys can constitute a choking hazard for your dog and be quite dangerous for them. Similarly, just because a ball is too small for your dog is still going to be something that he wants to play with, even if it is something that can become lodged in his mouth or his throat. Similarly, bones might count as toys, but if your dog breaks them and ends up swallowing a lot of bone splinters, he could end up in a fair amount of pain.
That being said, what kinds of toys are going to be good for your dogs? Let's start with toys that encourage your dog to be active and healthy. The first kind that you are likely to find interesting are hard plastic toys that can be used to play fetch. They will be too large for your dog to swallow and too tough for them to rip to bits. Rope toys that have been knotted to prevent fraying are another good choice. While many dogs do enjoy tennis balls, remember that they can be a choking hazard for large or even medium sized dogs.
There are also toys that can be great when you are thinking about sot toys. Some dogs love having soft toys to cuddle and “nurse” while other dogs prefer to use their soft toys to stimulate their “kill” instinct. For the former, if your dog only wants to carry it around, make sure that the toy is relatively small, though not a choking hazard. If your dog loves to pounce on the toy and shake it, take a moment to make sure that the toy is about the size of the prey that they would naturally have, whether it should be rabbit sized or rat sized. For the most part, if a toy is considered safe for a child of three, it is going to be just fine for your dog.
Take some time and really consider what toys are going to be healthy and stimulating for your canine companion. There are a lot of options out there, so see what he might really enjoy.
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