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  • Writer's pictureLisa Charity

Twelve Days of Learning: Day 2, Top 5 Things to Consider When Buying Your Dog a Toy

In today's world tons of pets are seen as family members with many owners seeing their dogs or cats as their furry children. With Christmas right around the corner everyone is busy buying all sorts of gadgets and gizmos for their family members, including the furry ones. But why am I writing this? All the products sold in stores are safe for your pets right? Incorrect. In fact there is absolutely nothing regulating what toys can be sold in pet specialty stores. So what is an owner to do? Make informed decisions! Not only for your dog's toys but everything you buy. In today's blog I will be outlining what you should consider before buying your pet some new toys for Christmas.

1. Size of the toy

Now this one is really important and is something people often don't consider. There are hundreds of different breeds of dogs out there and millions of dogs on this Earth. They come in all different shapes and sizes from tiny miniature Chihuahuas to giant Great Danes. You wouldn't buy the same sized kibble for your Chihuahua as you would a Great Dane would you? Well it is the same for toys! When choosing a toy you should ensure that they cannot swallow the toy by accident or on purpose. This is especially important with balls.

2. What the toy is made of

When I've talked to owners about their pet's food they always talk about the ingredients. But do they do the same when choosing what toys they purchase for their pets? When going down any pet aisle I always see some form of rawhide or toy I would not let dogs anywhere near. Why do I attack rawhide? Mainly due to they way it is produced and the fact that many of the brands sold in stores are manufactured in China and the process at which rawhide is made is through lime brine and chemicals for preservation. Other toys either have small bits that a dog could easily chew off and swallow presenting a possibility of a foreign body. As always, it is important to monitor your dog while they are playing with their toy and take it away when they are starting to get bits and pieces out.

3. The age of your dog

I think one of the things I enjoy the most is buying toys for my new furry family member. There's so many different toys available with many geared towards those with new puppies or kittens. So what ones do I buy? Ideally for younger dogs you want to purchase a toy that is going to last under intensive chewing by your young dog since often young puppies are at the age where they want to chew everything you bring home. You also don't want it too hard if your dog is really young since their teeth are still developing. With older dogs you will want something that will help clean their teeth while also being big enough so they can't swallow it. You will want it also to be durable since an older dog's jaw is stronger than a puppy's.

4. How your dog plays

How your dog plays is also important. Are they a chewer, do they like to play tug-o-war, or do they like to fetch? With these factors in mind you also want a toy that is durable, especially if your dog is a heavy chewer. If your dog enjoys playing fetch then you might want to consider a ball or a frisbee. For a dog that enjoys tug-o-war you may want to consider a rope toy or a longer toy that is capable of holding up to pulling and tugging.

5. How much it is going to annoy you

Consider hearing this at 2am in the morning.

You laugh, but is this something your should REALLY consider when buying your dog or cat a toy. Even if you take the toy away some dogs get really fixated on a toy and won't do anything else until they get that toy back. What may be a cute or funny noise can really get annoying after you hear it hours on end.

What's your favourite toy for your dog? Let me know in the comments below. If you like this post and would like me to write some in particular let me know!

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