Types of Toys 2017-05-24T20:11:14+00:00

Types of Toys

Young puppies and kittens are learning about coordination and modulation or moderation of their behaviors and are teething.  Both puppies and kittens can benefit from the same chew toys.

  •  Food toys made from animal parts (rawhides, pig’s ears, cow hooves, etc) can be excellent outlets for chewing behaviors.  Potential problems exist, however, for animals that rip off huge hunks and swallow them.  Pet owners can avoid these risks by watching the animals when they chew and intervening if they are concerned.
  •  Some animals are allergic to the meats from which some food toys are made.  Beef-the source of most rawhides-is a relatively common allergen, and some dogs may react to the flavorings or coating on rawhides.  Animals allergic to their food toys often vomit, have gas and/or diarrhea, or become very itchy.
  •  Pet owners need to remember that food toys are not true toys for pets that are omnivorous or carnivorous; they are food, and if the pet becomes aggressive, the situation is worsened by allowing the pet access to these toys.
  •  Rubber toys often come with holes into which food can be placed.  The rule for any toy should be that it is bigger than the pet’s mouth or head.  Dogs and cats can still chew off pieces of these toys and choke on them or get them stuck in their intestines.  If clients are observant and check the toys frequently, they will minimize these risks.  These toys, which bounce in unpredictable directions when the dog or cat tries to get the food, help keep the pet stimulated and provide excerise.  If soft food is used, they must be cleaned regularly.  Toys should be frequently checked for loose or missing pieces and replaced when damaged to lessen the chance of choking or obstruction.
  •  Nylon toys are made of a synthetic hard plastic polymer and come in a variety of shapes.  They do not spliter, and pieces are seldom able to cause gastrointestinal problems.  They can be great gum massagers; however, they are very hard and can cause dental, gum, and mouth injury.  Pressed bones involve flavoring and a potato starch.  They are relatively risk-free as far as injuries, but they are food to the dog or cat.  Accordingly, if the pet has any allergies or problem aggression involving food, these may not be the teething toys of choice.
  •  There are a variety of dental bones and rope toys that have been developed to massage gums and for pulling exercises between pups and humans.
  •  Food balls and puzzles can be great ways to feed puppies or kittens and adult cats or dogs that are often left alone.  The pet owner can make homemade food puzzles for overweight, understimulated pets.  The owner needs a large tray, some large stones, and some fairly sturdy, non-breakable containers that the pet can move with some effort.  Then, the owner hides the food in a number of spots in the puzzle.
  • Squeaky and fuzzy toys come in thousands of sizes and combinations.  The toy should be a pet toy, not a human child’s toy.  However, many animals will dismember these toys to get to the squeakers, which can cause obstructions.  The pet owner should check the toys frequently and repair or discard them as needed.  Plush toys also need washed frequently because they can become fetid sources of bacteria.
  •  To get pets to play with their own toys and not those belonging to the kids, the pet owner can make a rule about where each set of toys are kept.  If, after play, the kids’ toys go in a chest or on a shelf and the dogs’ toys go in a basket, the rule is clear.
  •  Interactive toys on strings and ropes and those involving feathers can be terrific for household animals.  These are all relatively safe toys as long as none of the parts are chewed off and swallowed.