Perfect Puppy Care Book – Chapter 3 – Supplies (Part 8)
Chapter 3 – Supplies (Part 8)
Always choose a bone that your puppy cannot fit entirely in her mouth. If she wears it down, throw it away.
Quite a buffet of bones is available for your puppy to sink her teeth into, including:
- Real bones. Don’t give your puppy bones from your leftover dinner. Instead, purchase bones made specifically for dogs. For example, hollow beef marrow bones can be fun for your puppy to chew, plus you can stuff them with peanut butter, cheese, and other treats. Make sure that they are durable and that your puppy can’t splinter off large pieces. Get the proper size for your puppy.
- Rawhide bones. As your puppy chews on rawhide, she will break off pieces and swallow them. Rawhide can be very difficult for your puppy to digest. Some puppies do fine with rawhide chews, while others experience digestive upsets. Some puppies also tear through rawhides very quickly. If the bone is too small, it could choke her.
- Edible bones. Some chew bones are made up of edible materials and are designed for your puppy to chew and consume. They are safe for your puppy to eat completely, and they come in a variety of flavors. Look for edible bones without any plastics in them.
- Nylon/plastic/rubber bones. These are more durable alternatives to rawhide bones. Some come in softer textures for young or small-breed puppies, while others are really tough for power chewers. Choose one that matches your puppy’s chewing habits. Some are plain, and some have flavorings added for greater appeal.
- Rope bones. Some puppies love to chew and toss rope bones. Some puppies will undo the knots, so you’ll need to keep close watch. If your puppy undoes a knot, throw the rope bone away. Some puppies also like to pull the shredded ends of rope bones, and if they swallow the strings, it could be dangerous. If your puppy likes to do this, try trimming the ends very close to the knot so there will be less to pull. If this doesn’t seem to work, choose another toy.
Toys for Stuffing
Some toys are made for stuffing with peanut butter, treats, and other food items. These are wonderful toys to occupy your puppy, and they also can be great rewards. When you leave your puppy in her crate, give her a food-stuffed toy to amuse her while she’s confined. If you have company over, give your puppy a food-stuffed toy to keep her occupied while you greet your guests.
A food ball is one type of stuffing toy. As your puppy rolls the ball around, the food falls out. The more the food falls out, the more she will roll it around. If your puppy is chasing a food ball around the living room, she won’t be chewing on your furniture!
Some toys for stuffing are made of hollow, durable rubber. These are excellent pacifiers for your chewing puppy. Put in a layer of peanut butter, then some of her kibble. You also can put in baby carrots or another healthy treat. Top it off with more peanut butter, then wedge a larger treat in the opening. If she becomes an expert at unstuffing her toy, try stuffing it and then freezing it before giving it to her.
Choose a durable tug toy that will only be used for this purpose. Tug-of-war is not the evil game that some people have come to believe. It actually can be a healthy outlet for your dog’s instinctive predatory nature. It’s also a good energy and calorie burner. Puppies, especially sporting, terrier, herding, and other breeds, need a great deal of exercise. If you don’t exercise your puppy enough, she may bounce off the walls, chewing everything in sight and generally acting like a child who’s been cooped up all summer.
Tug-of-war goes wrong only when you don’t set clear, consistent rules for playing the game. You don’t want to teach your puppy to tug on everything she gets her jaws on or that it’s okay to accidentally grab you instead of the toy. You must set up safe parameters for the game so that it remains a fun, healthy outlet. It’s also not a good idea to play tug-of-war if your puppy shows signs of aggression. If she growls or snaps at you for any reason (for example, over her food bowl or a prized toy, when you try to pick her up, or if you try to brush her), don’t play this game without supervision from a professional dog trainer or applied animal behaviorist.
Some dog toys have squeakers, some make animal noises, and some even let you record your own voice. Some puppies get wildly excited over squeaky toys. They can be a good way to redirect your puppy’s attention. For example, if she’s about to chew on something inappropriate, squeak a toy and call her to you.
Some shy puppies may be frightened of noisy toys; if that’s the case with your dog, choose a different toy. You want her toys to be fun, not frightening! Also, keep close watch on the sound mechanism—some puppies become experts at “de-squeaking” a toy. If they swallow a squeaker, they may require emergency surgery.
Puzzle toys have different parts that your puppy can pull apart. Some are larger toys with smaller toys inside it for her to pull out. These are ideal for testing your puppy’s intelligence and can keep them occupied in a passive setting for some time.
Preparing for your new puppy can be exciting, but it can also put a dent in your checking account. Once you see all the equipment, toys, and stuff that’s available, you tend to want more! Start with the basics described here for now. You and your puppy will both develop preferences as she grows, so you can tailor her supplies to what works best for both of you.
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