Dog Toys that can be “Toying” with Your Dog’s Health…
I recently came came across a great blog post titled “Warning: Dog Tennis Ball Dangers!” by The Fun Times Guide for Dogs which I wanted to share with you. It is almost a “must read” for any dog owner, since I hear about mishaps or serious injuries incurred by dog toys almost on a daily basis from Clients. And unfortunately, not everything about dog toys is as intuitive as it should be, so it’s important to educate yourself regarding the things your dog “toys” around with…
More often than not, the dog toys specifically developed for our canine companions that you find at pet stores are a disaster waiting to happen.
Some dog toys “just” affect your wallet, others will poison your dog and may cause health issues down the road, some are damaging your dog’s teeth and/or gums, while others can even potentially kill your dog. I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, there are great toys out there and used properly are completely safe!
It is important to invest a few minutes to research what dog toys your rascal is playing with!
First off, take the time to really READ the label of the toy. Most of them will already come with a mandatory warning or instructions for proper use. Stick with those recommendations or choose another toy, if the one on hand is not suited for what you had in mind. Also remember that about 98% of dog toys (true “chew toys” excluded) are NOT meant to be left out for your pup to self-entertain! Most dog toys are made for you to interact with your dog. They should be put away when the joint play-session is over. This precaution will not just keep your dog from destroying and swallowing any part(s) of the toy. It will also save you money not having to keep replacing the often quite expensive fun stuff. Not to mention any potential vet bills and your dog suffering in any way!
Looking for a safe chew toy that Mr & Ms Pooches can keep themselves busy with?
I love natural and preferably not messy, so all natural Elk Antlers or an Original Kong filled with a little (unsalted) all natural nut butter may be worth a try. (Tip: make sure you pick the appropriate size Kong for your dog to avoid danger of swallowing! And if you fill the Kong with a nut butter or paste-like treat, put it into the freezer and Fido will have longer lasting entertainment.
Lastly: keep in mind the extra calories your pup is ingesting through such treats and if you can’t give your pup the extra exercise to work off those calories, deduct an adequate portion of his dinner so you won’t put extra weight on your pup.
Ever wondered why most of Chuck-it Brand balls are fairly soft and come with holes in them?
While the “Chuck-it” ball system is super convenient (and I love many of their other products), the size and speed of the ball actually pose an immense risk of the ball getting stuck in your pup’s throat for a lot of medium size and large breeds. That is why I personally stay clear of those products.
To avoid the potential risk of any smaller ball accidentally being swallowed when caught by your dog, I generally recommend getting a ball on a string instead. The string lets you throw it quite far, too. Should the ball ever accidentally get stuck in your pooch’s throat, the string will allow you to get it back out fast! The string also makes playing less messy for you, since you can grab the string, not the slobbery ball… So, it has the benefits of the Chuck It system with none of the risks. Usually also at a lower price. Win win!
You should be able to find a ball on a string in any well-assorted pet store near you or in any online store that specializes in equipment for working dogs (such as Leerburg.com or ActiveDogs.com). Equipment developed for working dogs is typically of a little more “durable” make. For the water-lovers among you: Kong also makes a floating retrieve toy on a string, by the way: the Aqua Kong, which can double as a “string ball” on dry land.
A Quick Word on Tennis Balls
Aside from the risk of getting lodged in your dog’s throat due to its size, or parts being ingested when it comes or is torn apart, the glue used in common tennis balls is harmful to the enamel of your dog’s teeth. So, if your dog already has his/her adult teeth, that’s another reason to stay clear.
What’s Your Experience?
Do you have toys you love and can recommend? Any questions about toys you use and are uncertain of? I’d love for you to to share your experience in the comments below! 🙂