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Why Dogs Need Toys

Any dog-owner will know that some toys are a big hit with their pets, while others do not seem to interest them. It is not because they are growing out of puppyhood and losing the desire to play; it is more to do with the fact that they look upon their toys as their wolf ancestors looked on their prey. If it can't be chewed, and it doesn't make a noise, it does not give them much reward. This is why they really like toys that squeak, can be munched up or torn apart, or in the best case scenario, that taste like food. Hidden treats in a rubber kong can keep a hyperactive dog quiet for hours. 

Toys are important in our dogs' lives as they replace the activities that would have kept them busy in the wild or as a working dog. Tug toys, like rope pulls, are only fun for your dog if you participate. This kind of active toy is ideal for encouraging fitness and vitality. When they have to spend time on their own, chew toys can prevent the boredom that can sometimes lead to destructive behaviour. Chewing is essential throughout a dog's lifetime. As a puppy it helps with teething, and late on it exercises the jaw muscles, is good for the gums, and causes contentment.

Like children, most dogs love to have soft and cuddly toys for comfort. These are great for catch and carry games, for hunt and kill scenarios and for ease of separation anxiety if ever they have to travel to a new place. Admittedly, they often end up tearing these toys from limb to limb, especially if there is a squeak to release, but that is all part of the natural born instinct. More indestructible toys, such as those of hard rubber, can be substituted, but dogs may give up on them if they find them too hard to chew.
A healthy, happy dog will use and enjoy a variety of toys, and the more he or she has, the less likely they are to chew and ruin their owners' prized possessions!




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