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Toys and Chews A great way to engage your pooch in healthy activity!

26 Apr 2013 | by Alka Paul | Posted in: Training

Toys have become a prime necessity for dogs rather than a mere luxury item. Dog toys and chews can keep your dog physically fit, stimulate his mind and keep his teeth clean and healthy. Toys help to fight boredom and assist in preventing behavior problems in dogs, such as chewing on clothing and furniture. Dogs are ever ready to play with any kind of toy on which they can lay their paws on. Hence, as pet parents you need to be extra vigilant when buying toys and chews for them.

Dog Chews

dog chewDogs are natural chewers. They love to chew on things, which can often destroy shoes, clothes, pillows and furniture. To prevent them from this annoying behavior, it is strongly recommended to engage them with dog toys and chews. Chew toys are quite popular as they keep them busy, and dispense food at the same time, attracting them with tiny rewards. There is a wide variety of such chews, dental ropes and dog bones available online and in pet shops, with varied types and styles, each designed for different dogs and purposes. Some of the most popular ones are Dentastix and Choostix by All4pets, Pedigree, Phoenix and Twistix that can take care of your dog’s oral health, which includes bad breath, pain in teeth and gums, bleeding gums, tartar, tooth decay and build of bacteria. Rawhide chews made from the hides of cows and horses can reduce plaque in your dog’s teeth. All these chewable goodies can keep your pooch occupied and give his teeth a complete workout!

Not all dog treats are alike. Few are more safe and effective than the rest. Here are a few tips on choosing the right chewable treats for your pooch:

·       Some treats can be swallowed too fast by your pooch, which could further add to his calories. It is best to limit the edible treats and if your dog is small, then fewer treats are advised.

·       It is suitable to buy a treat that matches the size and personality of your pooch. An aggressive dog will require treats that are stronger than the normal ones.

·       If your dog has tartar or plaque, his teeth can break if hard chews and plastic bones are offered to him. In this case, it is advised to feed softer chews such as dentastix and choostix.

·       Aggressive dogs chew and consume rawhide chews too quickly. It is best to keep a watch on them when they are consuming these products, as they can swallow them whole as well.

·       To be on the safe side, it is advised to be extra concerned and watch for signs of intestinal issues, whenever your pooch is consuming any kind of chew.

Dog Toys

Dog toys play an active role in your dog’s life. There is a huge range of dog toys available in pet shops and online, that it sometimes becomes tough to decide on which one to purchase. The most favorite brands are the Kong Toys and JW Pets, along with Karlie and Scoobee.

kong toys·       Kong Toys: These toys are quite popular and are available according to your dog’s age and size. The admired ones in this brand are balls, Frisbees, squeakers, pull toys and a range of other interactive toys with accessories. The Kong toys are made of rubber and have a hollow in the middle, wherein treats can be stuffed to provide distraction for restless dogs.

·       JW Pet Toys: These toys are a great choice as they provide several fun options for your pooch. They are high in demand by pet parents as these toys assist in training dogs. They come in various interactive designs and you can play and relax with your pooch too.

Tips on buying the right toy for your pooch:

·       Rubber toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are fun for chewing and carrying around.

·       Rope toys are an excellent choice, as they come in bone shapes with knotted ends.

·       Balls with attached ropes and handles are a good option, as they allow you to play tug and chase with your pooch,  giving him more exercise and something on which he can pull, shake and carry it around with him.

·       Tennis balls in different colors are fun, but you need to discard them if chewed excessively or ripped open by your pet.

·       Soft stuffed toys are good, but should be small enough to carry. They should be machine washable and labeled as safe for children less than three years of age. They must not contain any fillings. Soft toys are not permanent, but you can find some that are lasting than the others.roap toys

·       Toys for puppies are designed with softer rubber material that go easy on their teeth and will not hurt their gums.

·       Old t-shirts, towels or pillow covers can be very comforting for your pooch since they emit your smell.

·       It is best to change your dog’s toys every week, as they get easily bored playing with the same ones. Keep providing your pooch with a variety of toys to keep them occupied and stimulated at the same time.

·       Dogs love to play hide and seek too. You can hide a toy or a chew and let your dog fetch it. This becomes an interactive game, making your dog using up his energy and increasing the bond between the two of you. This activity reduces stress due to boredom and isolation. For young and high energy level dogs, interactive games offer a chance to socialize with people and aids in learning about proper and improper behavior such as jumping and being too aggressive.

Always maintain extra caution when it comes to your dog’s toys and chews. The most attractive toys and chews to dogs could be the most dangerous. It is advisable not to give small balls to play as your pooch can easily swallow them. Avoid buying dog toys that come with ribbons, strings, eyes, or any other parts, as these can be chewed and ingested by your dog very easily. Discard toys that begin to break or tear and replace them with new ones.

Woofy Tip: Choose toys and chews wisely, and thereafter monitor your dog’s playtime, ensuring your pooch is having fun and is safe while playing wih them!

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