Keeping them on their paws

FUR-PLAY

Keeping them on their paws

Choosing the right toys for your pet is very important, reckons K G Umesh

Like our kids, our furry friends also love to play with different toys. Toys keep our pets active and help in keeping their mind and body more productive. Pets easily get bored by sitting idle. Toys can alleviate stress, boredom, and loneliness in pets. Toys are the best medium to teach several things to our canine and feline companions, and sometimes act as a reward for their good behaviour and motivate them, just as they do with humans!

One has to be really cautious while choosing the right toys for their pet. Everything your pet puts in his or her mouth has a potential for harm. He or she could break a tooth, choke, become allergic, get some sort of infection, have trouble with digestion, or incur some other problem we can’t even imagine as humans. Ofcourse, allowing your pet to chew on a variety of objects is good for his/her natural behaviour. It is important to keep your pets engage in some or the other activity. So keep them happily engaged with hygienic and vibrant toys.

Pet owners should allow their pets to play with toys on a regular basis. Toys also help pets to deal with separation anxiety. However, they are not the substitutes for companionship, so don’t use toys to compensate on your time with them! Regularly check their toys and rotate them every few days. Likewise check teeth regularly. 

Also, remember not to play tug-of-war with pets having dominant personalities. This might not be a good idea, as it might induce aggressive behaviour in them.

Few things should be taken into consideration when choosing a toy for your furry friend:

* Pick the right size as depending on the breed, physical attributes, and age of your pet.

* Make a choice after considering the level of activity, temperament, and inquisitiveness of your pet.

* The age of your pet matters a lot in choosing the right toys, as they are critical to his/her development and overall wellbeing, just as it is with human babies.

* Take utmost care with the material of the toy. For example, vinyl or latex toys are great for older dogs because they're easy on sensitive teeth and gums, while toys made of rubber are great for aggressive chewers because of their durability, and soft toys made of fleece or plush fabric are best for puppies.

* Safety first! Ensure the toy does not release colours, or have vegetable or synthetic dyes. Toys with ropes, strings, or ribbons attached to them are to be avoided.

* Also think of the durability of the toy, and whether or not it is easily washable.

* Pick up toys which provide mental and physical stimulation like tennis balls, fly balls, or squeaky toys.
* Also consider your pets behaviour. Is (s)he aggressive or gentle? Easily bored or hyper-active? The toys should be tailored to such differences.

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