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Puppy Toys

Updated on December 10, 2009

Some Kongs to choose from

Dog toys come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes and types. Which ones last? Which ones are safe? Which ones will keep your puppy occupied? I have some suggestions. Following are some safe, time-tested toys that will help give you a quiet moment: Kongs, nylon bones and treat dispensers.

Kongs
The traditional Kong is a hollow, hard rubber toy, shaped something like the top of a soft ice cream cone. By smearing a bit of wet dog food, or something else tasty, inside the toy you make it a delicious project that your puppy will probably spend a long time working on. After he's done trying to lick every last bit out of this toy, you can run the Kong through the dishwasher or give it a good scrub.


Nylon bones
These tend to be a love'em or leave'em chew toy - either a puppy is wild about them or he doesn't know what to do with them. Nylon bones come in a wide range of sizes. Make sure you buy an appropriate size for your puppy or buy one your pup can grow into. These bones also come in different flavors such as, chicken and liver. If this bone puzzles your pup at first, try smearing a small amount of something delicious on it to get him started. Throw nylon bones out when they wear down and get small enough for your puppy to swallow - though that normally takes a long time.


Treat dispensers
Treat dispensers are not chew toys, they are hollow toys that you can fill with treats. As your pup rolls the dispenser around, a treat sporadically falls out. This random reward is irresistible to some pups who will play with these toys for quite a long time. Others seem to give up quickly. Starting out with the setting that releases the most treats usually gets the ball rolling so to speak. Once a pup learns the game, he will generally stick with it for a while. Keep in mind that these toys can be noisy on hardwood floors.

If you save these toys for special occasions they will remain attractive to your pup and serve their higher purpose - as puppy pacifiers for emergency use by the loving, but truly tired puppy owner.

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