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Dog Toy & Playing Tips

Updated on January 6, 2015

This Is Not The Type of Playing I Mean

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Our Dogs are amazing animals, they will give us unconditional love, will be our best friend and play with us no matter what, how special is that? Dogs are more than willing to play with anything we give them or they can get their paws on. Their toys will help them fight boredom and keep them company when we are not home. Playing gives them a way to use their energy, give physical and mental stimulation, can help prevent behavioral problems and helps to strengthen our bond with our Dog.


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Golden Retrievers Playing

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Hide and Seek

The following are objects found around the house that we need to hide from our Dogs which are dangerous to them.

Plastic bags to avoid suffocation. If you search the internet there are many articles, blogs and Facebook posts that tell a tragic story connected to a dog passing away due to a plastic bag. These stories are so said they will bring a tear to your eyes. Nothing is worse than a living being dying well before their time is up because of an accident. The bags can come in many variations from potato chip regular clear plastic bags.

Anything around the house that is digestible. This can range from dangerous chemicals, liquid or powders that a dog will mistake for food or drink. When I was small I remember putting a laundry pouch in my mouth causing me to gag and throw up. Why did I do that? I still ask myself that today but if I did it so will a dog.


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Rubber bands, strings and ribbons. These items can cause choking hazards for your dog.

Baby toys with small parts that dogs can chew off or unsafe stuffing. We always worry about what toys are safe for our babies and we need to do the same for dogs. A safe toy for our child might be dangerous for our dog. This is especially important when leaving the house unattended. A dog can do much harm when they have hours to chew and dismantle a toy.

We need to become aware of these often overlooked items and make sure that our playing environment is a safe one. These items are routinely left around without much thought. Before we had our pet these items didn't pose much of a threat to a household before that new puppy arrived. Now is the time to walk around the house, clean things up and make sure these items are not left around in the open.

Follow These Tips on Playing

Make sure any treat dispensing toys are durable, easy to clean and not used to replace meals. Make sure that your dog cannot tear them apart and eat all the contents when you are away. Clean a toy like this to avoid any bacteria that can form over time from old expired food. These toys are treats, not a meal replacement.

Rotating toys is a good idea to avoid boredom. Have you ever seen your dog get bored with a specific toy? Do you remember being a kid at Christmas and playing with a new toy everyday for about a week and then never play with it again until we rediscover it later on? Rotating them keeps your dog's attention fresh. If your dog has a favorite toy, it's a good idea not to rotate that toy until you see boredom setting in.

Make sure the toy is not too small or a choking hazard. Some toys are for smaller dogs and not meant for a larger adult dog to play with. This is also true when your adult dog has outgrown their puppy toys. be aware of this and get rid of those puppy toys that are not appropriate anymore for your mature dog.

Make your dog play interactive. Fetch, frisbee and tugging games are a few examples of playing games that involve not only your dog but you also. These types of dog games create a bond between you and your dog. Dogs are just like people, they also want and seek companionship.


Are Laser Pens OK ?

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Laser pens have become a popular way for people to play with their pets. I have to admit, it is fun to watch a dog, or a cat, chase that dot around. Just like us, laser beams are dangerous for our dog's eyes .These games also prevent your dog from the final prize, catching that red dot. This is very frustrating for your dog and will not satisfy their predator instinct.

Dog toys are expensive and one alternative is to make a homemade toys. Sometimes they are more fun then a purchased toy. Feel free to make homemade toys but make sure that any toy does not have sharp edges, protruding parts or small easily detached parts.

Do not use children toys and dog toys. They might be cheaper to buy but they can have stuffing or small parts that are harmful to dogs.

Inspect the toys regularly to make sure they are not tearing, coming apart or breaking. Toys do not last forever and if they are starting to come apart dispose of them. These loose parts can become choking hazards.

If you have multiple dogs what do you do for their toys? Does each dog have their own toy or separate toys? Every home situation is different as far as sharing. Never try to force sharing if they don't want to. If this is the case give each dog their own toys.

Be careful with rawhide chews. Some come coated with preservatives that are toxic. Not many people realize that they have expiration dates. Before you buy them always check to make sure they are not expired or close to becoming expired. Also, do not buy too many at the same time so in the future they will become expired.

Our Dogs are members of our families and every precaution needs practicing the same way we would for a baby. Would you keep a baby toy that has loose parts? Would you shine a laser light around your toddler? A safe playing environment and proper playtime is essential.

I would like to hear any suggestions that are not mentioned here. Please share with us so we can do the best for our dogs. I'm also interested in hearing about any negative experiences that owners have come across using a toy. More specifically, I would like to hear any experiences with a laser pen. I have read that after playing with the laser light their dog still searches in an unhealthy way for the light. This behavior sounds like a connection to the dog wanting to capture the light and not realizing it was only a game that is over. Has anyone experienced this before? Thank you for your comments.

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