We all know that just like humans, dogs love their toys. And who wouldn't with all the exciting crinkling noises and smells and tastes that come with them. But, what owners often forget to think about (or learn the hard way) is that not all toys are created equal and that some of them can actually cause unintentional harm.
When you get a new pet, you need to figure out a few things. Are they a heavy chewer? Super destructive? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you need to be extra particular about the toys you give them. Because in these cases, a soft plush toy will be completely destroyed in no time flat in their paws. Kong toys are great for pets like this—they can sustain a lot of wear and tear.
But aside from soft toys, owners love to give their pets bones as well. Bones are a great way to help with dental problems and can actually clean teeth, too. They're also tough to get through so can take your pooch hours to break down, making them a great, long term treat. The only problem with these, is that not all bones are created equal. Since they are real, coming from real animals, no two bones are the same and can be extra problematic when it comes to long thin bones that can be split in half leaving jagged pieces, dangerous to soft puppy mouths.
Or what about a circular bone with a nice piece of tasty marrow in it? Just last week, a pooch came into the PPAC with a donut shaped bone stuck around his lower jaw and secured by his canine teeth. The pup had gotten a bit adventurous during play time and gotten the bone stuck around his face. Dr. S. had to anesthetize the poor guy and cut the bone with a pin cutter to remove it.
Bottom line, toys are great for playing, distraction, and loads of other purposes. But they need to be chosen carefully depending on the nature of dog you have. And no play time should ever be unsupervised. Much as I hate to admit it (cats rule, dogs drool!) dogs are bright creatures, capable of coming up with crazy ways to play, some of which can be dangerous to themselves. So be sure to choose your dog's toys wisely.
Til' next time,