Pet Tips

Tip – 38 – Dog toys – good and bad dog toys


All dogs like to play, especially chase games but these are not necessarily the games you want them to play. Retrieving games are best, giving the dog lots of exercise, without necessarily exhausting you. Balls are good toys and attractive to dogs, but things that bounce erratically, like Kongs are better. You can make a toy that bounces unpredictably by taking a ball, like a tennis ball, and punching holes in two sides. Then take some heavy cord, or and old tie or scarf and push it in one hole and out the other. Tie a knot on one side who that it won’t slip out Then pull the cord or cloth to make a sort of a long tail. Tie another knot near the ball to keep the cloth in place. Now you have a tennis ball with a long tail that will bounce in odd directions when it hits the ground attracting the most jaded dog’s desire to chase and retrieve.

Dogs truly love squeaky toys or any toy that makes a noise when a dog grabs it. This is probably because the noise makes the dog think it has caught an injured animal. Choose toys where the squeaker will not pop out or else the dog might choke on it.

Frisbees are the all-time best chasing and retrieving toy BUT you should go for required soft Frisbees. These are made of soft plastic or cloth. Although these don’t go as far, and are not as controllable as the hard plastic flying disks, they are much less likely to damage a dog’s mouth and teeth when he snatches it from the air.

Unless you are using nylon or hard rubber toys specifically designed for dogs, make sure that the dog does not play with them unsupervised. Some toys fall apart or splinter and can cause choking if swallowed. If the toy looks like it is coming apart, either repair it or replace it.

© Copyright Stanley Coren, reproduction by permission only.

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