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Puppy Toys, What to Look for When Buying

Updated on February 18, 2011

There's a new Labrador puppy coming to our house in a couple of weeks. We have lot's of toys from our last two Labradors but I do not think they are appropriate for the new pup. We will have to pack these up until she's older and go out and get some new puppy designed toys making sure they are safe for her.

It's been fourteen years since we have had a Labrador puppy running around the house. What puppy toys are good and safe? I like the dogs to be challenged a little as well as having fun. What's out there?

Labrador puppies can be very mouthy as I remember my yellow Labrador when she was a pup. If she didn't have something to chew on she would turn those dreaded, needle teeth on what ever part of me she could latch hold of. Usually an arm or an Achilles, ouch. I start looking for general instruction from dog clubs. They are toy manufacturer independent. Vinyl toys may chip and give pup gastrointestinal problems. Natural bone and cow hooves are too hard leading to possible dental damage. Rawhide is fine however stay away from dyed products. There are plenty natural rawhide out there. Pick sizes appropriate for the size of dog you have. Small bones are not good for large breeds since they could swallow them whole. Puppy chew toys made of latex are great and some are made with a formula especially for puppies. Kong brand toys have a couple shapes designed for puppies.

Different dogs are bred for different things. Our new pup is a retriever and I want to look at some toys that will allow me to exercise her without getting exhausted myself. Balls are good but again latex not vinyl. Get proper size for your breed. Most packaging has this information and most manufacturers make sizes for all types dogs. Tennis balls are fine but get the balls made for dogs. They are a little more sturdy and weigh more for longer throws. There are other shaped toys that have the tennis ball fleece covering on them, also good.

Plush puppy toys are ok but make sure there are no strings, sticks, button eyes, ears or anything that could pull off and get swallowed by puppy. Squeakers or any mechanical parts are not good for the same reasons. Some plush toys come with no stuffing which is handy when the toy rips and it will rip.

Get some good, not toxic, safe puppy toys. Use the toys for rewards and for the first couple of month no unattended toy play. There's a lot more to choose from since the last time we had a puppy. I can't wait to go shopping.


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