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Buying Dog Toys For Your Dog
by Gerald McNicholl

Get A Pet as A Companion
Ready To Take Care of a Pet?
Puppies as Pets
Choosing Pets
Picking the Right Dog Breed
Buy the perfect puppy
Choosing A Good Dog Breeder
Truth About Pet Store Puppies
Bringing Home Your Puppy
Dog Names
Using a Dog Crate
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
Dog Crates
Mistakes by Puppy Owners
Dog Comfort Within Your Home
Your Dog and Your Furniture
House Training a Puppy
Socializing your Pet
Buying Dog Toys
Mistakes in Raising Dogs
Choosing a Leash for Your Dog
Dog Grooming
The ABC's of Pet Grooming
Communicate w/ Your Dog
Stop Excessive Barking
Adorable Tricks To Teach Your Dog
Annual Vet Visits?
Pet Vaccination Schedule
Top Ten Dog Diseases?
Dog for Food Allergies
Treating Arthritis In Dogs
Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
Is your dog sick
Canine Distemper
Kennel Cough
Heart Disease
Heartworm Disease
Hepatitis In Dogs
Dog Separation Anxiety
Dog's Dietary Requirements
Is your Dog Fat?
First Aid For Your Dog
Lyme Disease in Dogs
Bathing Tips For Dogs
Choosing Dog Obedience School
Dog Travel Tips
Your Dog Goes Missing
If Disaster Strikes
Interview a Pet Sitter
Dangers At The Dog Park
Dog Chewing
Stop Dog From Digging
Older Dogs Have Special Needs

These days when you walk into the toy section of any pet stores for dogs, you are most likely to be spoilt for choice - an endless supply of colourful toys that are uniquely created to keep your dog healthy and amused. Dog toys are a great bonding tool for you and your dog, so exactly how important is it to provide your dog with lots of fun toys?

Dog toys are actually one of the most important possessions you can give to your dog, especially for puppies. Dog toys help to develop your dog's mental and emotional well-being, as well as good physical coordination. They also help your dog to relieve separation anxiety (especially in puppies that have just been separated from their mother), mental stress and boredom, promote dental health and prevent your dog from eating away or chewing on your personal belongings, such as your shoes! So shower your dog with lots of toys to keep it occupied and challenged.

Toys can be divided into 3 general categories:

* Primary toys are your dog's favourite. Leave these out for your dog when you are not around. This helps reduce separation anxiety because your dog associates you leaving with him getting his favourite toys.

* Secondary toys are the toys to have out when you are at home. Be sure to pick up the primary toys.

* The third set of toys are to be rotated with the first set. Trainers recommend swapping toys every 3 days or so. Mixing the toys will keep your dog interested in all his toys.

Variety is the spice of life. Most experts would recommend that you buy different kinds of toys for your dog so that you can discover which ones he really likes. An ideal toy would combine both the fun and safety factors that suit the size and personalities of your dog. There is no point in buying a small Chihuahua a huge heavy ball that it cannot grip with its teeth.

Do consider the following points as you peruse your toy options at the pet store:

* Make sure there are no dangerous small pieces that your inexperienced puppy or dog can chew loose and swallow, lodged in his throat or worse yet - choke on. Good pet toys include hard rubber chews and bones that are robust and hard for your puppy to destroy or swallow. Some toys do eventually fall apart or splinter, if that's the case, either repair or replace it.

* Larger dog breeds have bigger throats, and this means a small toy can pose problems.

* Don't limit your choices to only safe dog toys that you can buy from pet stores. Many household items make for great alternatives, such as tennis balls or Frisbees. You should go for Frisbees made of soft plastic or cloth. Although this variety won't go as far, and they are not as controllable as the hard plastic flying disks, they are much less likely to damage your dog's mouth and teeth when he snatches it from the air.

* To keep your dog interested, combine a variety of toys - squeakers, flavoured rubber bones, bouncy balls, squishy toys etc all of which will provide your dog with hours of fun.

* Another popular toy for your adult dog or puppy is a strong rope. It allows them to chew on something and also it allows you to participate during playtime by pulling and tugging on the rope.

* Create your own dog toy - to make a chewable toy for your dog, put some cheese or his favourite treat inside a sterilised bone. Give your dog the bone and it will try to reach the food inside of it. This toy is ideal to stimulate the dog when he is home alone.

* Do not give your dog old clothes or shoes as play toys. If you let your dog chew these items, it will assume that this is an acceptable behaviour and will do it to other shoes and clothes! Dogs cannot distinguish between old and new things, so bear that in mind when you choose normal household items as toys for your dog.

About the Author
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