How to Avoid Hidden Dangers in Dog Toys

photoDogs aren’t picky – they’ll chew on anything if no toys are around. So buying playthings for your pet should be a breeze, right? As straightforward as the process may seem, though, choosing the proper dog toys will actually require a bit more effort. Suitable, high quality toys will provide mental stimulation, exercise, and fun for your pet. Bad ones, on the other hand, can contain hazards that you may not even be aware of.

The next time you’re shopping for dog toys, don’t be tempted to grab every cute one that you see right away. Sometimes, manufacturers design their products to appeal to the dog owners and not the dogs. Be wary of buying from establishments that are not pet stores, such as groceries or dollar stores. These places carry poorly made toys that may contain dangerous chemicals or be constructed from flimsy material.

What makes a dog toy dangerous? Some are great for supervised playtimes but should not be left alone with your pet because they might get destroyed. If a toy breaks apart due to excessive chewing, it’s time for a new one. Your dog can accidentally swallow or choke on the small pieces, so keep a close eye on toys that are showing signs of wear. Even a small piece of string from a rope toy, a chunk of plastic from a chew ball, or a bit of stuffing from a plush toy can cause serious harm when ingested by your dog.

You have to acknowledge that dog toys have a limited shelf life. Our pets don’t take care of their things as well as we do with ours, and dog toys aren’t meant to last forever. For the safety of your canine companion, it makes perfect sense to pick up and throw away those toys that are starting to crack or have been nibbled down to a certain size.

Many dogs chew to relieve pain during teething as puppies or for fun as adults. It is your responsibility to provide your pet with toys that are enjoyable and appealing enough that they chew on them instead of on your furniture (or other things). One good way of teaching your dog good habits is by not giving him toys that resemble any valued items in your home.

You might also want to store the toys in a special basket or container and rotate them so your dog won’t get bored. If you set aside the toys that he has been ignoring for a while then bring them out later, he’ll be a lot more excited when he sees them again.

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How to Deal with Loose Aggressive Dogs

photoSome dog owners sometimes encounter this problem: a loose dog approaches them while they are out walking their dog. What do you do in case this happens to you? The situation can be rather intimidating especially if you have a small pet, and the loose dog is larger and/or seems aggressive.

I was on an online forum about dogs recently and had read the heartbreaking story of another forum member. This poor lady held her dying dog in her arms after he was attacked by a loose dog – and the tragedy happened right before her eyes.

I do not always keep my dog Cupcake on a leash, but I follow these two rules whenever we are outside. If she is off her leash and I see another dog with his owner and also off his leash, then I keep Cupcake off hers. I assume that the other dog’s owner knows that their pet is okay with interacting with other dogs.

However, if I see that the other owner has their dog on a leash, then I put Cupcake on hers. My reason for this is that if the other owner is not sure how their dog will react to mine, then I should do what I can to help put their dog at ease.

If you come across an aggressive dog off his leash but with his owner, then it might be a good idea to have a quick word with the owner and suggest that he keep his dog on a leash when other animals are around.

Sometimes, however, you might meet a dog whose owner is either irresponsible or nowhere to be seen. If you are likely to encounter aggressive dogs on your walks, here are three things that you can carry with you to prevent a potential attack.

* Dog pepper spray. This will cause discomfort in the aggressive dog and stop him from attacking but not hurt him.
* Ultrasonic alarm. This device produces sound that is audible to dogs but not humans. It will distract the dog but not cause any permanent damage.
* Walking stick. You can wave this at the dog to drive him away.

Whichever approach you decide to take, you should call a dog warden or animal welfare as soon as you can. The attacking dog just might have gotten lost or is hungry. Reporting the incident could help save him and reunite him with his owner.

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