Greetings from me, Chopper. As per usual, I’m here to share some sage advice about toys.
Well-meaning relatives and loving parents can easily spoil puppers with toys. In fact, your living room may be stacked with laundry baskets of toys for your best friend.
Let’s be honest. Dog toys are really fun to buy, especially when you envision how much fun we’ll have with them when we get them. In the best case, your dog will graciously accept the new gift and treat it like a long-time favorite.
However, not every toy is an instant love connection. So, what do you do with all the toys?
Play Puppies with Your Puppy
Sometimes, we don’t quite know how to play with a new toy. It’s helpful when you show us how fun the toy is, and how we might want to play with it. (If it’s still clean, this is your big chance to put it in your mouth and give it a squeak.) It may seem unfamiliar or a little daunting to us. Teach us how the toy works.
In fact, we love it when you play puppies with us. Spend 15 minutes crawling or sitting on the floor with us. We’re happy to have you join us at our level. We can play catch, tug of war or chase the toy. A toy that was mildly interesting can become the absolute best game when you’re involved.
Gifts Can Keep on Giving
Every dog has his own personality and tastes. Aunt Sue’s Pomeranian might love furry toys, but your buddy prefers a different texture. Until you know what your dog likes and dislikes, you’re going to get some toys that miss the mark even when you try the above steps.
And bless Aunt Sue for thinking about your four-legged fur kid for the holidays, even if the toy is a big nope for your dog.
If you’ve tried playing puppies and rotating toys but there are still toys that don’t hold interest, collect them up and launder them (no dryer sheets). You can try a toy swap with friends or donate the toys.
Deliver clean, intact toys to your local shelter or animal rescue. Not only are you providing fun for pups in need, you can also earn a nice tax write-off with your donation.
These tips should help you pare down your friend’s hoard of ignored toys, allowing for a tidier home until you bring home another adorable plaything.
Until next time--