Thinking about adding a brand new four-legged-baby to the family? So, after you have brought home your newest addition and choosing a name, how do you know what toys are appropriate for her?
Not all toys are created equal, so it’s important to educate yourself about them. A good place to start is by visiting the North Country Animal Health Center’s Pet Library. In “Toys as Tools for Dogs” you will learn the many purposes of toys, and their place in interactions with your pet.
Toys remain important throughout your dog’s life; they are necessary for a number of reasons and are useful in training as well as for the amusement of both pet and owner. Start by considering a puppy’s need to chew. Choose supple rubber toys for the very young puppy, and switch to a firmer rubber as the puppy grows. Avoid hard bones and toys to protect the teeth from breaking by an overly enthusiastic chewer.
Moving toys may catch the eye of your puppy and can provide lots of amusement for both of you. Teach your puppy to retrieve toys to increase bonding and spend her energy in healthy exercise. Toys are a terrific way to interact with your pet and increase socialization. Soft plushies are popular with some pets, particularly small dogs, but if your puppy has the tendency to destroy and eat pieces of them, switch to another type of toy. Also, be on the lookout for any that contain small squeakers, bells, plastic pieces or other items that may be removed and consumed.
Consider edible toys and chew bones for the puppy that seems bent on eating her toys. But make certain you keep a close on her while she enjoys her treat. Young dogs may try to consume the chew too fast, or pieces may break away and pose a choking hazard, so always supervise your dog’s activity.
A last word – inspect your puppy’s playthings regularly and discard any that show signs of extreme wear. Overly worn toys may present a number of problems, depending upon the type. Besides, then you can have fun taking your puppy for a ride to the PetCo store at Watertown Towne Center to choose some new ones and let the fun begin all over again!