I was raised to use up everything until it simply wasn't usable any more.
Why replace something time and time again, wasting my money? You've heard the old adage: Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without! Some of us may take that adage way too far.
For example; why do we let our dogs play with potentially dangerous pieces of a dog toy? One might say, "Oh my dog doesn't actually eat them...
he always spits the pieces out on the floor and I am always picking them up!" Well don't be fooled! It's simply not possible to watch your dog 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our "good" dogs are, in fact, dogs and not humans.
If you think of them as being on the same level as a two-year-old child, then they, (and you), might be better off.
It would NEVER cross your mind to give a two-year-old child a piece of toy to play with.
Your two-year-old child would NEVER be allowed to play unsupervised for any length of time either.
Then why do we let our toddler-like dogs play with destroyed toys any time they wish, often unsupervised? As far as dog toys are concerned, it is a truly better (and safer) idea to throw those toys out when they become worn.
I am not making this statement lightly.
In the past, I have frequently allowed my dogs to play with mangled dog toys.
However, they will no longer be playing with fragments of toys! In addition, our dogs don't need to play with 50 million toys! A few good quality dog toys, which are in good condition, are more than enough for even the most playful pooch.
Any way, they would much rather be interacting with us than playing with toys.
Dog toys function a lot like children's toys...
they occupy the subject's time and provide amusement.
As social animals, interaction is what dogs crave.
Interaction with the "pack" is essential for their well-being.
Instead of tons of toys, let's just give man's best friend what they really need and want - us.
The reason for my sharing the above statements has come from experience.
Dog toy "fragments" have personally cost me a lot of money in vet bills.
Dogs can, and do, get these "fragments" caught in their throats, stomachs and intestines where surgery will be required for extraction, or certain death will occur.
Surgery is an expensive proposition, even with dogs.
One operation to remove a piece of lodged toy can easily exceed $1,500.
00! That's a lot of money.
Replacing worn dog toys so pieces are not ingested is a lot less expensive than surgery.
Another reason for throwing away those worn out plush toys is the squeakers.
Dogs are attracted to the squeakers because they sound like a small animal.
They respond to the toy because they want to "get" the animal.
When plush toys become worn, dogs will pull out the stuffing in order to get to the squeaker.
As you are well aware, those squeakers are quite small.
A two-year-old child wouldn't be allowed to play with them, because they are considered a choking hazard.
Your dog could choke on a naked squeaker too! Some of us buy stuffed toys which are intended for human use, for our dogs.
This can be another hazard.
These days, toy companies are required to use fire retardant treated stuffing inside the toys.
That is great for children who rarely, if ever, will eat the stuffing.
However, our dogs do eat stuffing.
That fire retardant may very well liquefy in the dog's intestines.
If that occurs, there is virtually nothing a veterinarian can do to save your precious dog's life.
The dog will need to be "put down" or die a terrible, agonizing death! In the long run, throwing away worn out dog toys may save you plenty of money and our dogs, a great deal of pain.
Use the "two-year-old child rule.
" If a toy could potentially cause a two-year-old child to choke, then your dog could too.
Supervise your dog(s) when they're playing.
We wouldn't let a two-year-old child play unsupervised, now would we? Pay more attention to your dog(s) and try not to allow them to be on their own too frequently.
What they need is their "pack leader.
" They need our guidance.
Stephanie Summers Operation Sheepdog Herding http://www.