Tis the Christmas Season filled with stocking stuffing, gift wrapping, laughter and smiles! The kids are hoping for the latest and hottest gifts…but what about our furry babies? What are the best Christmas presents for your dog? Over the next few days, watch your dog’s play habits to assess what type of toy is appropriate for your dog. Are they a chewer, problem solver, fetcher, or a snuggler? Does he shred everything in his path or meticulously remove squeakers without a trace? Is there a favorite plushie he drags with him everywhere or would he chase the kitchen sink if you threw it?
Chewers are the challenge to buy for. Those of us with power chewers scoff at the words “indestructible”. Obviously, they haven’t met my dogs! The traditional rubber Kong fits the bill. Treat dispensing Kong’s can be filled with treats like broken Xylitol – free peanut butter cookies to challenge their minds. Nylabone and Benebone also have a selection of chew toys that withstand powerful chewers. Notably, these size appropriate toys are made in the USA. Also antlers naturally harvested from the wild are a favorite.
TIP: Rotate toys weekly!
For the problem solver, an interactive puzzle toy is mentally stimulating, challenging and rewarding. Puzzle toys are designed to involve interaction between you and your dog, reduce boredom, and exercise your dog’s mind. Food driven dogs find these endless puzzle designs and strategies to be consistently progressive. The puzzles are durably made and are available from easy, to advanced with easy to follow instructions to get you started. My personal favorite is Nina Ottosson, but Kyjen and Ethical are also nice.
Chasing toys are a great way for your dog to release pent up energy that can cause behavior problems. The Kong Extreme Flyer Frisbee or the Kong Squeezz Stick that squeaks satisfies these energetic dogs. Both are made of soft durable rubber that won’t damage teeth or gums. Natural fiber rope toys are fun to throw and durable enough to play tug-a-war with.
Snugglers are inseparable from their favorite sopping wet plushie that goes everywhere with them, constantly grooming and nuzzling it. You’d love to wash it if you could pry it from their jaws. For the snuggler, a Kyjen Squeaker Mat or a Kong Cozie are great stocking stuffers! While I realize that poly fill stuffing exploding is hysterical, the materials can be harmful when swallowed or even choked on. So please, never give a chew type dog a stuffed plush toy.
Dogs never should be left unattended with toys!
I love watching my dogs on Christmas morning with their goodies. It’s not always easy to afford the expensive ones, but cheaply priced toys are not always best. Many toys are made overseas with no regulations and contain harmful chemicals. Keep your pet safe this Christmas by reading both the material label and the price tag. Make Fido’s Christmas happier than ever by stuffing their stockings full with toys purchased at localreputable pet stores like the Lofty Dog.