Choosing the Right Dog Toys For Your Dog

Dogs and puppies love dog toys, but how do you know what toy is right for your dog? With so many choices available, from plush toys, to tennis balls, to rubber toys, the right choice isn't always obvious.

First, consider the size of your dog. A large dog certainly requires a different toy than a small dog, for instance. One of the most important points to consider is that all toys you buy should be of a size that your dog can't swallow. Even large dogs may accidentally swallow a ball that is too small for their mouth, especially if the dog is running and playing with the ball in it's mouth.

Another point to consider is how rough your dog plays and it's energy level. Is he or she a real strong chewer? Then stronger, more dense toys will be needed. Or does the dog simply like to cuddle with a toy? Then a soft, plush doll type of toy would be the answer.

Safety should be your first concern when choosing dog toys. Read the label carefully. What is the toy made from? Are some parts toxic? Sometimes, inner parts of dog toys are made of toxic materials, so it's important that you keep an eye on the dog while playing with this type of toy. If the toy falls apart or is chewed apart, you need to take the toy away and throw it in the trash.

If you're in the habit of leaving your dog for long periods each day, consider a toy which will involve activity for your dog, such as a toy that bounces funny, makes noises or has a treat hidden inside. These toys will keep your dog occupied while you're not at home.

When you give your dog a new toy, make sure to remove any labels, price tags, bows, ribbons or packaging. These can cause your dog to choke.

Often, the simplest toys will keep your dog the most occupied and happy. Consider a thick, strong rope that's tied into a knot on one end. Dogs can spend hours trying to unravel this type of toy.

You'll also want to rotate your dog toys, for instance, if you give your dog some new toys for Christmas, then put the old, summer toys away for a while. Variety is good for your dog and rotating toys will help to keep their attention.

Rubber toys are good choices for dogs, they tend to last a long time, resist damage and resist bacteria and have a bounce that can keep a dog's attention for longer periods of time. Watch out though, as a strong chewer can break off a piece of rubber and they can choke on it. Once a rubber toy has broken apart, throw it away.

Take the time to inspect your dog's toys once in a while, and throw away any that look too dirty or that look like they may be falling apart. It's also a good idea to wash your dog's toys in a mild dishwashing soap when you can.

Lydia Quinn writes for KnineTraining.com, offering a dog training toolkit [http://www.kninetraining.com/] and free gourmet dog treats recipe book for instant download. Visit us at: [http://www.kninetraining.com/]
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