7 Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Toys

Would you buy your 6 month old baby a nerf gun or an easy bake oven; of course not.

How do you decide what kind of toys to buy for your fur baby? Is it better to buy a bunch of cheaper toys so they will have more to choose from or a few that will last (hopefully) and be safe for them?

dogtoys

Tip #1: The Size of the Dog

More than the age of your dog, their size should be taken into consideration.  If you buy a toy for a small dog that fits their mouth, that same toy could get hung in a larger dog’s throat and choke them – to death.

Tip #2: Dog-Proofing the Home

Another thing to help keep your fur baby safe is the same as having a toddler in your home. You should make sure not to have strings, ribbons, pantyhose, or rubber bands within reach. These items WILL be eaten and they are not digestible. I am learning this even when buying the toys made of string which MY dog has ingested. She sometimes has to have help getting the strings to come out (not a pretty picture). Point in fact, don’t buy string balls, toys that have the string inside of them to make them stronger, etc.

Tip #3: Don’t Buy Rawhide for Your Dog

Some people believe that all the rawhide chewing toys are a good thing for any dog but there are things to watch for on this also. Asking your veterinarian would be a good idea to make sure which ones would be safe since some could come apart and cause your dog to choke. On top of that some rawhides have unsafe byproducts that come from the cruel international fur trade. It is better to be safe and a humane alternative to buy the hard rubber toys. These last longer and are safer. For my pittie, I buy Kong and they definitely last longer than normal toys. She also has a Nylabone that has lasted now for about six months (peanut flavor). There are different sizes in these also for different size dogs. For any toy that you buy be careful of when they are beginning to come apart so your dog doesn’t try to eat it and get choked.

Tip #4: Encourage Mental Stimulation

If you want to keep your puppy/grown dog busy for a while and distracted there are also distraction toys. These are toys that you can put treats in the middle of and they play to get these treats by moving the toy around.

Tip # 5: Comfort Toys

Soft stuffed toys are good for several purposes, but they aren’t appropriate for all dogs. Here are a few tips for choosing the right stuffed toy:

  • Some dogs like to carry around soft toys. If your dog sees their toy as a companion, pick one that’s small enough to carry.
  • Some dogs want to shake or “kill” their toys, so choose one that’s large enough to prevent accidental swallowing and sturdy enough to withstand the dog’s attacks.

Dirty laundry, such as an old t-shirt, pillowcase, towel or blanket, can be very comforting to a dog, especially if the item smells like you! Be forewarned that the item could be destroyed by industrious fluffing, carrying and nosing.

Tip #6: Making Toys Last

Rotate your dog’s toys weekly by making only a few toys available at a time. Keep a variety of types easily accessible. If your dog has a favorite, like a soft comfort toy,  you may want to leave it out all the time.

Provide toys that serve a variety of purposes — give your dog at least one toy to carry, one to shake, one to roll and one for comfort.

Tip #7: Let Your Pup Find It

“Found” toys are often much more attractive than toys that are obviously introduced. A game of finding toys or treats is a good rainy-day activity for your dog, using up energy without the need for a lot of space.

The Bottom Line on Toys

Many of your dog’s toys should be interactive. Interactive play is very important for your dog because they need active “people time,” which enhances the bond between you and your pet. Try balls, flying disks and other toys that help foster the bond between person and pet.

By focusing on a specific task —such as repeatedly returning a ball, Kong, or Frisbee® or playing “hide-and-seek” with treats or toys — your dog can expend pent-up mental and physical energy from boredom in a limited amount of time and space. For young, high-energy and untrained dogs, interactive play also offers an opportunity for socialization and helps them learn about appropriate and inappropriate behavior, such as jumping up or being mouthy.

 

 

I’m Feeding My Dog WHAT?

I started paying attention to dog food when there was a chance that I was feeding my wonderful furbabies a food that could have killed them.

Did Commercial Food Kill My Dogs?

I won’t mention the brand but there were advertisements after they passed away within 6 months of each other that the particular brand was said to cause kidney failure. This is what one of them passed away from.

The first dog was 15 years old, so we blamed it on old age. So, how do we know what foods are safe and what foods aren’t? There is the alternative of cooking their food yourself which isn’t too bad if you have a small dog or even just one. I will share a report further down that really makes you want to just make your own.

The Sugar Content in Commercial Food

I recently started feeding my new pet, Racheal Ray’s. I then found an article showing how you can tell how much sugar is included in the dog food!

What I am feeding her right now has 48% sugar. There are some that are like 55% sugar. How can you tell how much sugar is in that bag of dog food? If you add the protein, fat, and moisture ash, you should get the percentage of sugar you are feeding your dog.

Also, just because you are getting your food from your vet, does not mean it is any less in sugar than other foods. Feeding our dogs all of this sugar can lead to illnesses like cancer, diabetes, allergies and even inflammations.  And, there’s even a YouTube video about the connections by Rodney Habib!

 

Since my dog loves to eat and I would have a hefty grocery bill just to feed her homemade food all the time, I am hoping to find a good dog food while still giving her more protein from homemade food.

It seems as though ALL of the dog food I have looked at is just too high from the starches and other carbohydrates making sugar to be actually healthy. For the big question of what am I feeding my dog, the following article shows that companies like GRAVY TRAIN and others have phenobarbital in their food. This is what is used to euthanize a pet! This is the link to that article. There are dog and cat foods mentioned in this article.

Cook Your Own Food

It is looking more and more like the safest way to know your pet is eating safe and good food is to fix it yourself. While it seems overwhelming, there are books that have recipes for dogs or cats so you know your pet is eating well. One book is Dog Talk, written by Amber L. Drake, Dog Behaviorist. Her book is available on Amazon.

For now, until I get the right recipes, and into all of it I am using 4Health Dog Food along with what I fix. No more Milk Bones (included in that article), I will be making doggie treats.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Janice

Save a Life, Adopt a Dog

“What a good doggie you are, you always let us know when you need to go out!””

This is just one of the reasons busy people should consider adopting a pet from their local shelters instead of buying from pet stores. It takes a long time- with a lot of patience and consistency- to get your dog trained properly.

Other Reasons to Adopt

What other reasons would someone want to adopt for?

They’re giving up that little bundle of fur that is so cute in the store, but he may be more trouble then you are expecting once you get home?

The only thing I can think of that is on the down side of adopting is the fact you more than likely wouldn’t be getting a “puppy” or “kitten”.

Shelters Have Puppies, Too

Shelters, at times though, DO have litters of animals that need to be adopted out or someone’s pet has babies and family can’t afford to keep them and hand them over to a shelter. Are they purebred? Not usually. Will they love you as much as an expensive store bought animal? Absolutely.

Opening Up a Space

As I am thinking of good reasons to adopt an animal… there is an obvious fact that crosses my mind. And, the fact is that you would be saving a pets life.

There are few no kill shelters, as they fill up the long term animals that haven’t been adopted have to be euthanized to make room for more to come in. So not only are you saving one pets life you are saving two by making room for another pet to be sheltered.

A Certain Dog in Mind

Depending on you and your family, you may have a certain kind of dog in mind.

Is it for companionship, for protection or just to add joy to the family?

Shelters usually have many different breeds at one time and some will even give you a call if you are looking for a certain breed if one happens to come in. If you want to just check them out and see what is available, most shelters will take a dog out to play area and let you interact with it to see if you are interested and if the dog likes you.

You are able to see their personality, how they act with your children, or with another pet. If you are older you might just need a low key pet but find one you like really wouldn’t work because of the energy they have. It is a good time to see if you and the pet would connect personalities.

When you’re adopting from a shelter, you can rest at ease knowing your dog will already be spayed/neutered, vetted, and often microchipped. Pet store dogs don’t offer this. The vetting is your responsibility.

And, there could be more veterinary costs than you think… because most of the puppies found in pet stores are straight from the puppy mill.

On top of these points, if you watch your local shelters, most will have specials throughout the year.

Saving a Dog is a Wonderful Feeling

Adopting a pet is a wonderful feeling as the pet picks you just as much as you pick them!

Be a hero not just to your family but to a loyal companion who will love you until the end.

MY HERO SAVED ME; WILL YOU BE A HERO TOO? (Pictured: Smokie, my rescued Pit)