If you have a dog that's a strong chewer, you probably know how hard it is to findtoys that will withstand rough play and chewing. Customers often ask "What dog toysare indestructible?" I'm afraid the answer is no toy is indestructible for everydog.
We have a category on our website called "ToughDog Toys." We don't decide which toys are tough, but we rely onthe boastings of the manufacturers who describe their toys as "durable," "rough,"and "rugged."
My friend's dog Daisy, a German shepherd, is really hard on her toys. She eitherdestroys the toy immediately or, in some cases, she'll keep the toy intact for severalweeks, playing gently with it and causing no damage. Then one day, on a cue thatonly she knows, she decides it's time for the toy to "die" and in one session, itwill be torn to shreds.
Buddy, a Rottweiler mix is an extreme chewer and has managed to destroy proven toughtoys in a matter of minutes. His owner, Pam, had purchased the vet-recommended rubberKong toy and he had it chewed apart in less than one hour.
Pam showed me the chewed pieces and I recommended that she try the X-treme Kong, with black rubber, that is recommended for hard chewers.In about 20 minutes, it looked like Buddy had used a shop tool on the X-treme Kong,cutting the top right off!
I had previously given Daisy a Triple Crown Everlasting Fun Ball that she enjoyed for an entiresummer with no damage. Buddy's idea of Everlasting lasted about 30 minutes!
Daisy has been my test-dog, disproving tough dog toy claims for about 5 years nowand so far, I have yet to find a toy she can't destroy. A Kong Wubba had the tentacles chewed off before we finished openingChristmas gifts one year.
More recently, I gave her a Petstages ORKA Ball, similar to this ORKA Jack and she decided that toy could "live" for a while. Aftera few months though, she decided it needed to be destroyed and tore it in two oneafternoon.
The bottom line with tough dog toys is;only you know your dog's chewing ability.Just because a toy claims to have " two rows of stitching for durability" or "alayer of tight woven fleece of the heaviest weight," like this VIP Chippy the Chipmunk, that doesn't mean that Daisy or Buddymight not rip Chippy's little head off in the first hour!
There are some toys that are genuinely tough and hold up better than others. Buddyhas been happily chewing on a Nylabone Galileo for a few months now with no problems. Trial anderror paid off and Pam now knows that this toy can withstand Buddy's bite.
Use your common sense when buying toys for your extreme hard-chewing dogs. If thetoy is destroyed in 20 minutes, you can check the package to see if the manufactureroffers any type of guarantee. You might be able to contact the manufacturer forreimbursement but for the most part, you should accept that no toy is indestructiblefor every dog.
Dogs love to chew. Many people think dogs chew to be spiteful or vindictive butthis is not true. A dog's mouth is his/her source of exploration.
Dogs usually start chewing as puppies at approximately 3 months of age. Reasonsfor chewing include teething, boredom, and separation anxiety. Some dogs will evenchew because they are not being fed a well-balanced diet and they will chew in orderto try to fulfill nutrients that are missing. Chewing can also signal dental orgum disease in some cases.
Many owners become frustrated when man's best friend chews valuable belongings suchas shoes, books, and furniture. One great way to avoid this is to encourage chewingon dog-friendly objects. In this video clip and blog post, Dr. Wendy discusses anddemonstrates some of the products and strategies that are available to help to makesure your dog is chewing desirable objects.
Some common types of chew toys include:
Nylabones: Nylabones are great for chewing. They come in manyflavors, textures, sizes, and shapes. When your dog chews onthem, the bone will dissolve which can help cut down on choking and injury to yourdog. Many Nylabones will also help to massage the gums. Some are textured to promote good dental hygiene too. You can try to put some ofthese bones in the freezer and they will help soothe your puppy's gums and teetheven more.
Plush Toys:There are many stuffed toys that are available to encourage chewing and play.These come in many shapes and sizes. Some will have sound effects too! Be very carefulwith these and let your dog be the judge of what toys are best. If your dog is destroyingthese plush toys quickly, take them away and try a different type oftoy. If these toys are ripped open and your dog eats the stuffing, this can leadto foreign body obstruction in rare instances.
Rubber Toys - There are a wide variety of rubbertoys from which to choose . They come in many shapes and sizes. Many squeak or havesound effects too. Again, make sure you supervise your dog carefully to make surehe/she is not chewing too aggressively. You do not want your dog to ingest any ofthe toy or inside pieces because these could get stuck in your dog's stomach orintestines in rare cases.
InteractiveToys- Many types of chew toys can encourage play and bonding betweenyou and your dog. These toys are available in various shapes, sizes, and texturesso you will certainly be able to find something that your dog enjoys playing with.Many of these toys are also safe for your dog to carry in his/her mouth if thisis something he/she enjoys.
TreatToys- There are many toys available that encourage your dog tochew while encouraging them to work for their food. This is a great way to encourageexercise and minimize obesity while giving your dog something yummy and safe tochew on.
With so many products to choose from, you are guaranteed to find something to helpencourage beneficial chewing. If your dog does not want to use his/her toys, youcan also try to spray some flavoring on the toy for extra encouragement. Be selective on whatyou give your dog to chew and teach him/her what is OK and not OK to chew.
Giving your dog lots of attention, exercise, and supplying him/her with a wide varietyof toys to chew will help you to keep your dog healthy and your personal belongingssafe!
Dog parks are gaining popularity and many communities all over the country now havedog parks. http://www.dogparkusa.com/
A dog park is usually a large open space that is fenced in so that the dogs canrun around off-leash. Some dog parks may require that your dog be up-to-date onvaccinations so it's best to find out what's required before venturingout.
Interaction at a dog park can help your dog to learn social skills and exercisein a safe environment. Novice dog owners can gain helpful information and tips frommore experienced owners they may meet at the park.
These are some of the items you may want to have handy if you are planning to takeyour dog to a dog park.
Some dog parks provide water but, since differences in water can cause an upsetstomach, it's best to bring the water your dog is used to.
A good travel bowl like the Pet Supply Imports Water-Hole Anti-Spill bowl is great for thecar. You can fill the bowl at home and take along without fear of water spillingalong the way.
While you are at the park or even on a hike, portable water bottles like the PetCrew HandiDrinkmake it convenient to carry water with you. It has an attached flip-down bowl anda clip that can attach to your belt or a backpack.
Your dog needs to be on a leash when arriving at the dog park and even when youfirst enter the park. This allows you to control the dog and assess the other dogsthere before allowing your dog to run free. Should there be a problem between anyof the dogs at the park, having a leash allows you to control your dog and removethem from a dangerous situation quickly. You can't control the behavior of the otherdogs, but you can control your dog.
Retractable leashes like the Flexi Lead allow your dog to roam further from you while stillbeing on the leash. The all tape style leash is safer than cord and is less likelyto become tangled around the dog's legs. Most retractable leashes have a lockingfeature that allows you to set the length of the lead for more control. These areavailable in a wide variety of colors, styles and strengths. Lengths are 16 or 26feet.
Some dog parks may come equipped with a pooper scooper and receptacle but you stillwant to be prepared and have your own clean up bags handy.
The Four Paws Doggie Doo Pet Waste Bag Dispenser clips right to yourleash so you never have to remember to carry them along. The dispenser comes witha roll of 30 pick-up bags. For those concerned about conservation, there are alsobiodegradable pick up bags available from Four Paws.
You probably don't want to take your dog's one-and-only, favorite toy to the dogpark in case it gets lost, damaged or stolen. Be cautious of how your possessiveyour dog is about toys before bringing toys with you to the park. Some dogs havevery strong prey drives and guarding a toy may lead to a fight. If your dog doesn'tlike to share toys, simply running around may be all the fun they need at the park.
Balls are always great fun and the Chuckit Ball Launcher allows you to throw and pick up a spittytennis ball with ease and no mess. These are available in different lengths andsizes to suit all dogs.
Tossing a Frisbee is fun for you and the dog. Hard, plastic Frisbees made for peopleare sometimes hard for dogs that are learning the game to catch or pick up. Softflying discs are easier for doSPOT Skinneeezgs to pick upand are easy to throw safely. Chuckit Flying Squirrel is durable but lightweight.
Some may prefer a retrieving toy that won't roll away so something like theJW Pet Tough by Nature Duck dummy may be more fun to throwfor your dog. Some dogs like to shake the dummy and the rope neck makes it extrafun.
Bring some extra tasty, bite-sized treats in case you need to lure your dog to you quickly.If your dog is off-leash, try kneeling down and calling the dog to you with a treatrather than chasing the dog.
Equipped with all these essentials, you and your dog can experience a fun day atthe dog park. You may make friends with other dog owners and can schedule play dateswith the buddies your dog enjoyed playing with the most.
When the weather's nice, you and your pet are sure to be itching to get outside!So plan a day at the park, on a hike, or a romp through the fields so both of youcan enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of the great outdoors.
This could be a good time to freshen up your dog's leash and collar wardrobe, too. If your leash is a bit tatteredand worn, why not "spring" for a new matching set? We've got some cool new stylesfrom Zack and Zoey, Casual Canine, and Savvy Tabby in the Take a Hike Section of our Summer Shop.
Whether you decide to stroll around the neighborhood or take a drive to a nearbypark, the fresh air and exercise is sure to bring on some thirst. Travel water bowlsmake it easy to take fresh water with you on your walk or hike. There are plentyto choose from in the Take a Hike Section too.
Spring showers can make things muddy outdoors but don't let that stop you. ThesePortablePET Instacloth Travel Towelettes will clean up muddy pawsin a snap, and they're easy to slip into your pocket or glove box.
Speaking of messes.every responsible pet owner should bring along pet clean up bags wherever you and your dog may roam. You can choosefrom stylin' colored bags to biodegradable pick up bags, the preference is entirelyup to you!
If your pet is small or older, you may want to stick to the paved surfaces and letyour pet take in the great outdoors from the safety and comfort of a stroller. Petstrollers are also great for times when you'd like to takeyour pet along but don't want them getting under foot, like a flea market, yardsale or outdoor fair. Cats, ferrets and rabbits can also come along safely to joinin the outdoor fun in these secure strollers.
If your pet will be moving through grass, bushes or weeds, be sure he or she isfully protected from fleas and ticks. The damp, warm conditions of springare just what ticks love and they come out early in many areas. Many topical fleaand tick products repel mosquitoes too.
No matter how you and your pet decide to get your fresh air and sunshine, the joyof nature in all its splendor is never better than when you share these wonderswith your best pet friend.