Dogs generally love to play and playing with toys with their family can provide excellent bonding time. Whether it’s chasing a ball around the yard or laying down for a good chew on a chew toy, playing with toys enriches your pet’s life. However, it’s extremely important to ensure that your pet is safe when it’s play time. Toys should always be appropriate for your dog’s size, chewing abilities, and activity level. Here are some tips to make sure play time is safe time:
- Tug Toys: Some dogs love nothing more than a good game of tug of war. If your dog has any neck or back problems, however, it’s important to use caution when playing with this type of toy. You also may want to take into account your dog’s temperament because overly aggressive dogs may not be good candidates for tug of war games.
- Squeaky Toys: For some dogs, removing the squeaker from a toy is the ultimate victory. If this is the case with your pet, only allow these toys under close supervision and take away the toy as soon as it’s dissected to avoid a choking hazard.
- Balls: Make sure the ball isn’t small enough for your dog to swallow. Also, the fuzz on a tennis ball can be overly abrasive on a the teeth if your dog is an obsessive tennis ball chewer.
- Rawhide Chews: This type of chew may be good for keeping some dogs busy, but others tend to swallow huge chunks at a time. This makes them unsafe in some situations. If they are flat chews they can also get stuck on the roof of the mouth. Supervision is key.
- Stuffed Toys: Be sure to give your dog only stuffed toys meant for dogs as children’s toys may pose choking hazards. Also, if your dog starts pulling the stuffing out, remove the rest of the stuffing and give the empty casing back to the dog to play with.
Don’t just grab a toy because it’s cute. Keep these safety tips in mind the next time you’re toy shopping for your beloved pet.