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Toys are GOOD for your dog

Did you know that dog toys are actually goodfor your dog, and not just an indulgence on thepart of the owner?

There are all kinds of uses for different types oftoys.

First, starting as puppies, toys give your dog a distraction from other would-be toys likeyour couch or your favorite pair of shoes.

My dogs all love ropes. Every single one of themthat has ever had one played with them until theywere tiny pieces of thread.

Ropes serve a couple of great purposes, in additionto keeping your dog from chewing your house uplike termites.

First, it's great bonding for you and the dog ifyou engage in a good game of tug-og-war. It alsohelps them exercise. Our dog Sadie is one bigmass of muscles. When we play with the rope, she uses her entire body to try to get it away andyou can just see all of her muscles flexing. She's a Black Lab and has the most beautiful, sleek blackcoat.

Rope dog toys also help keep their teeth clean.Who wants to have a dog with teeth problems?I mean, you really don't want to go into that pointylandmine when your dog is in pain and irritable, doyou?

Like people, dogs are comforted by familiarity.So dog toys that they know and love are greattravel companions. They help give your dog alittle extra comfort when you're away from homeor take a vacation with your dog.

Here are some tips to consider when buying dog toys:

Make sure they do not have small, choking parts.Dogs are like babies here, they put it in their mouthand can choke. They don't know Heimlich!

Don't get realistic looking toys like, say, shoes orfood. You don't want them thinking that your shoesare toys or that hot dog sitting on the counter isreally his toy.

Don't buy too many toys. Rotate the ones theyalready have. I do this with my kids too and it worksgreat. It's like getting new toys all over again.

Tina Spriggs Editor of Dog Lovers Newsletter

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