Chewing and Toys
Normal dog behaviour includes chewing. This behaviour is magnified in puppies but will continue through the life of your dog. It is important to supply your dog with the appropriate toys for chewing.
There are so many of these toys on the market that it can be difficult to know which ones are right for your dog.
The best toys are safe and fun. A good toy needs to be interesting to your dog but also durable. Remember that no matter what the toy companies say there is no such thing as a totally indestructible toy. My favourite is a kong with a little bit of peanut butter or cream cheese in it. This can keep most dogs occupied for some time. Eventually, most dogs will continue to chew on the kong even without the treat.
The kong is made of very hard rubber and is difficult, although not impossible, to destroy. They come in many sizes so be sure that you have the right size for your dog.
If a toy is too small for your dog or if it breaks into pieces it may be swallowed.
Objects small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll can cause choking.
Soft rubber toys are easier to break apart, but so can hard rubber toys. Pieces that break off can get stuck in the stomach or intestines necessitating surgery.
Tennis balls can be good to chew but beware that they can result in excessive wear on your dogs teeth.
Strings and other linear objects can be very dangerous as they can result in a linear foreign body syndrome which can be very dangerous and even lethal.
Sharp toys can cause punctures in the gastrointestinal tract.
Some dogs can chew on soft toys without destroying them (dogs love the squeakers), but beware that stuffing and squeakers can be swallowed and get stuck.
Remove any and all toys that show any sign of damage and replace them.
Ask your veterinarian about the “Blue Kong”. This is a special kong that is made to show up on x-rays, so if for some reason your puppy is able to eat the toy at least we will know if it inside her or not and it is stuck or moving through.