For dogs and other pets, toys are not just luxury, but a necessity. Toys are important to your dog’s well-being. Toys help fight boredom when you have to leave your dogs at home, and provide comfort when they’re feeling nervous. Toys can even help prevent your dog from developing certain problem behaviors. During the holidays, its natural for us to want to spoil our fur babies with plenty of new toys and treats, but not all toys and treats are safe for them.
What to Keep In Mind...
Many factors contribute to the safety or danger of a toy, and a number of them depend upon your dog’s size, activity level and preferences. Although we can’t guarantee the safety of any specific toy, we can offer the following guidelines. The things that are usually most attractive to dogs are often the very things that are the most dangerous. Dog proof your home during the holidays by removing string, ribbon, rubber bands, small children’s toys, gift wrap bows and paper, and other inedible items that could be swallowed.
Be sure to buy toys of appropriate size for your dog. Toys that are too small can easily be swallowed or become in lodged in your dog’s throat. Supervise your dog’s play with squeaky toys: your dog may feel that they need to destroy the source of the squeaking, which means they could try to ingest if unwatched.
Discard soft toys when they start to break into pieces or are torn. Check the label to ensure it isn’t stuffed with material that is unsafe for animals. Unsafe fillings include nutshells and polystyrene bead, but even “safe stuffing” are not truly digestible. Remember that soft toys are not indestructible, but some are sturdier than others. Soft toys should be machine washable.
Kong type toys, especially when filled with broken up treats, can keep a puppy or dog busy for hours. Be sure to check with your vet what treats can be used to fill the toy that align with your pets diet. Busy box and other feeder toys are large rubber shapes that can be filled with treats. By moving the cube around with their nose, mouth and paws, your dog can access the goodies put inside. They are a great gift for dogs that eat too quickly, and it’s also a great mental stimulation for them.
We hope you and your pets have a safe and wonderful holiday!