Pet parents have a responsibility to keep their animals safe at every turn, including during chew toy play time. Unsafe practices during play can lead to all sorts of hazards. Whether you're a new pet owner or you've had your fur baby for years, learn some of the measures you can take to keep your pet safer during play.
1. Supervise the Animal
Always monitor your pet whenever you introduce a new chew toy. Supervision is especially helpful when it comes to puppies. Younger dogs may not fully understand just how to use the toy just yet, and the animal may even try to swallow the toy. If you see your dog try to eat the toy, take it away, and reintroduce the toy later. Ideally, you want to sit with your pet during playtime until you're confident they know how to use the tool correctly.
2. Separate Dogs
Separate your animals during playtime if you have more than one pet as animals can be territorial at times. For example, if you give the chew toy to your dog, but your cat is in the area and tries to snatch the toy from the dog, this could create a feud between the two animals. You might want to put the dog in its kennel during playtime if you have concerns. If you have more than one dog, give each dog their own distinct chew toy to eliminate any confusion.
3. Size Appropriately
Understand that every chew toy does not work for every dog. You should always ensure the size of the chew toy is appropriate for the size of the dog. As a general rule, the larger the dog, the larger the chew toy should be. For example, if you have a German Shepard, you don't want to give the dog a chew toy that is intended for a chihuahua. The chew toy will be too small, which presents a severe choking hazard for the dog. At the same time, a chew toy that is too large for the dog's mouth will make it harder for the dog to enjoy the toy.
4. Choose Natural
Try to find a natural chew toy for your pet. Certain types of chew toys are treated with all sorts of chemicals and other materials. For certain animals, these additives can cause a dog to develop an upset stomach, as the additives may disturb their digestive system. A natural option, such as an elk chew toy, such as from Perfect Pet Chews, is a better solution for animals that have a sensitive stomach.
Ensure you exercise safe practices whenever you let your pet play with chew toys.