By Maggie Mae…with Ronni Diamondstein
There’s nothing I like to do more than sleep, eat and cuddle with my owner except play. I am not fussy about my playthings. I love socks and tags and rags so I don’t need fancy toys but I do like them. Since it’s the time of year to think about gifts I want to tell you about some of my favorite toys. Your dog might like them too.
I am a chewer, I will confess. You may not believe a petite poodle like me could be so destructive, but when I was a puppy I tore through two Orvis Tough Chew Dog Beds. Because of this I don’t get some toys that other dogs enjoy so I decided to get some advice from Jeremy Tubbs, DVM of Millwood Animal Hospital. “Know your pet,” says Dr. Tubbs. “Toys are anything they get excited about. Every dog is different, just like their owners.”
I love to fetch. I have many bones and balls. I place one of them at my owner’s feet and if she doesn’t pick it up and throw it, I let her know! I love treats so I love Kong toys because there is always something delicious inside them. I have to work hard to get the treat out. I also love my Wee-Nut: it’s a smaller version of the Peanut by Ruff Dawg. I bring it to my owner and when she picks it ups I play tug with her too. She said that she likes this toy because it is a soft rubber and gentle on my teeth. It doesn’t tear and it is made in the United States, which she says is important to her. My favorite ball to fetch, West Paw Design’s Zogo-flex Jive ball, is eco-friendly, which also makes my owner happy.
Some dogs, like my friend Buddy, a Labradoodle, like to cuddle with a little stuffed animal. A lot of my dog friends like those comfort toys. Although I got over my big chewing problem and have managed not to destroy my new Tough Chew Dog beds, my owner doesn’t let me have any of those toys. So these days I am happy when I can snatch a washcloth or towel and snuggle with it.
But you have to be careful about plush toys. Any toy with squeakers can be a problem if the squeaker gets swallowed, and Dr. Tubbs says, “If your dog tends to chew these toys up, its best to take them away before they do.”
Dr. Tubbs says he is a big fan of rawhide chew toys. But he offers a little warning about them too, “They are great for teeth and stimulating gum tissue. But if your pet swallows large pieces, or gets some gastrointestinal issue, I would stay away from them.” He says that owners who give their dogs these rawhide toys should be very careful because they can be dangerous. My friend Jules, a rescue dog, got a piece stuck in his throat and he did not survive. “It is important to monitor your pets, see how they handle and tolerate any particular toy before walking away and leaving them unsupervised.”
Toys of all kinds can be fun for you and your dog. “It can be as simple as picking up a stick outside. You just have to find toys that match your dog’s personality and what you like to do,” says Dr. Tubbs. “Exercise and quality time with your dog is most important.” I could not agree with him more. So just have fun and be safe in this holiday season and all year round.
Contact Maggie Mae Pup ReporterTM at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maggie Mae lives in Chappaqua with her adoring owner Ronni Diamondstein, who, when she isn’t walking Maggie is a freelance writer, PR consultant and award-winning photographer who has worked in the United States and abroad.
Maggie Mae’s Must Do:
Gifts can be to charities which my owner tells me are tax deductions too! Here are some local pet charities I hope you will consider:
SPCA of Westchester- A no-kill shelter in Briarcliff Manor, New York.
Visit their website: spca914.org/donations
East Coast Assistance Dogs, Inc. ECAD- breeds and trains Assistance Dogs for clients with a wide variety of disabilities and needs in our area.
Visit their website: ecad1.org/default.htm
Pets Alive Westchester: A no-kill animal sanctuary located in Elmsford, NY.
Visit their website: petsalivewest.org