Are dog toys important?

Dog with toyWhen it comes to humans, many say that we never stop buying toys – they just become more expensive with age. Toys are important to us, and they’re important to pets as well. To dogs, they’re even necessary.

Toys can:

  • Keep boredom at bay
  • Provide comfort
  • Prevent a pet from developing behavioral problems

Cats are generally picky about what toys they approve, but dogs tend to love everything they can get their paws on, and it’s wise to choose toys for them before they find something on their own.

What toys are safe?

The answer to that depends on many factors, such as the dog’s size, preferences, and activity level. A toy that can be perfectly safe to a small dog not interested in chewing can be dangerous to a large and energetic dog. Use common sense, and try to see it from the dog’s point of view.

Make sure the toy is appropriate for your dog’s size. Balls and other toys that are too small can be swallowed, or choke your dog. Not all dog toys for sale are safe or even appropriate. Remove any ribbons, strings, and other parts that can be chewed off and swallowed. If the toy is torn and falling apart it’s time to remove it.

Some toys, like rope toys that are braided with knotted ends, are great when they are new, but it is important to replace them once they’re worn and chewed, so the dog doesn’t eat any of the strings in the rope.

Always supervise play with squeaker toys. Many dogs feel the need to tear the toy apart and destroy the squeaker, and squeakers should not be eaten.

As a general rule, soft toys made for children should not be used by pets – the filling is dangerous and can in severe cases kill a dog. Not even “pet-safe” fillings are meant to be eaten. Dog-proof your home. Make sure your furry friend can’t get to strings, rubber bands, ribbons, children’s toys, pantyhose, and similar things that can be swallowed.

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