Is your dog a ripper and crusher, rather than a nibbler and gnawer? For dogs with strong jaws, selecting toys that will hold up for the long haul can be an even bigger challenge than usual, and serious chewers can come in all sizes. Even dogs under ten pounds can still show off their abilities to shred toys.
Select Dense and Solid Toys
One of the best types of toys for mighty chewers is solid plastic. They tend to be somewhat weighty, and often have little ridges and bumps all over them for tooth-scraping. Although they are still possible to whittle away over time, they do not crush or fray in dangerous ways as easily as many other types of toys. With enough time and chewing, your dog may peel off layers one flake at a time, but it is likely to last quite a while before becoming a choking hazard. Alternatively, rubber or nylon balls, bones and so on can be similarly sturdy.
Try Tough Plush Toys
When you discovered that your dog loves to obliterate everything he or she receives, you may have thought that cloth or plush toys were entirely out of the question. However, that may not be true anymore. Toymakers have developed tougher variations of cloth toys for improved durability. Some of these toys have a canvas feel to them, and some have a mesh lining. Toys of these types have a better chance of sticking around a while.
Use Special Shapes for Specific Purposes
If you want to do double duty with your dog toys, consider trying out some of the funky shapes toymakers come up with for superior teeth cleaning while your dog is chewing. Some have various bumps and knobs to create plenty of odd surfaces for friction, while others have a straighter appearance but offer footholds for your dog to grip with his or her paws. Some even come with holes and channels for adding dog-safe toothpaste.
Pick Sizes to Fit the Breed
One of the most important considerations is size. The bigger the dog, the bigger the toy needs to be. Small toys may not only be easier for your large dog to destroy, they may also be a choking hazard. Even if your dog would not intentionally try to swallow the toy, exuberant play could lead to an accident of that nature. Ensuring toys are large enough for your dog will also be helpful in your effort to match durability to your dog’s power, so it’s win-win.
Monitor Toys for Disposal
No matter what kind of toys you get, they are still likely to break down or come apart over time. Watching closely is important.
Additionally, whether it’s a new toy or a really old used one, be sure to routinely remove any parts that may be problematic for your dog. This could include small hard objects, like eye beads or buttons, or may be “linear foreign bodies” such as string or ribbon.
Keep a sharp eye out so you can replace toys that are getting too small or fragmented. If your dog appears to be swallowing the bits that come off rather than spitting them out, it’s probably time to find a new, tougher type of toy.
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