Christmas Toys and Treats Tips

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

(This blog is a sample of information that I offer in my Private Lessons and Group Classes to help owners to keep their dogs safe.)

Christmas is here, and so are all the cute dog toys and treats. But do you know what ones to avoid? What ones are safe for your dog? Below are some Toys and Treats to Avoid, but also which ones that may be appropriate for your dog.

***Please be aware that each dog is different when it comes to their size, breed, jaw strength, and chewing/destructive abilities. Some dogs are very destructive and cannot have certain toys even if they’re labeled “safe” for dogs.

Dog food and treats are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, but there are no governmental safety regulations for dog toys. This means that the responsibility for choosing a safe dog toy falls onto dog owners. Some toys are made from toxic materials, dyes and can contain unsafe levels of lead, BPA, or other chemicals.

What to Avoid:

-1. RawHides

Not only are they full of harmful chemicals, glues and dyes…Rawhides can pose a choking and intestinal blockage hazard.

2. Avoid Tennis Balls Or Any Ball That Can Compress

Dogs have been known to compress and choke to death on Tennis Balls.

Large breeds, especially those that are mouthy should never be given any type of ball they can compress.

Not only are Tennis Balls a huge choking hazard, they can wear your dogs teeth down.

3. Avoid Treats That Have Chicken By-Product, Corn, or Artificial Colors

Always Read The Ingredient, the less the better.

Pet Magazine explains what Chicken by-product really is, “Chicken by-product: the parts of a chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.”

Corn is a filler, and has no nutritional value to your dog.

Home Alive Dog Blog perfectly describes Artificial Colors, “Artificial colours make things look more visually appealing. However, artificial colours have been linked to hyperactivity as well as several biochemical processes within the body. The only reason artificial colours are used in any food is to make the food look better to you. Completely unnecessary for people and pets.”

4. Cooked Bones

Cooked bones can easily Splinter and can cause damage to your dogs teeth and gums. Other bones should never be given to puppies that still have their baby teeth or dogs with unhealthy teeth, your dog will break their teeth.

How to Determine What is safe for your dog:

A few things you should know about your dog that can determine if a toy labeled “safe” is actually safe for your dog.
*1. Their Destructiveness and Chew Strength
2. Their age
3. Their size
4. Their Allergies
5. Their Teeth Quality
6. Their Environment
7. Their Breed
Destructiveness Determination Scale:

1. Low Destructiveness:

A Dog that may have bad teeth, or no teeth. May be an older dog, or a young puppy under 13 weeks. Never punctures holes in toys, chews occasionally.

2. Low-Medium Destructiveness:

Typically a smaller dog that chews occasionally, may chew a few holes in cheap toys, but never rips them apart.

3. Medium Destructiveness:

A dog that likes to chew, will rip apart cheap toys occasionally.

4. High Destructive:

A Dog that loves to chew, will rip apart any cheap toy quickly.

Is able to chew bones or antlers without problems

5. Extreme Destructiveness:

Typically a large dog with high energy, and an extremely strong jaw. Can break a regular Kong in half. Will rip apart every toy within minutes. Needs to be watched at all times with toys.

What To Buy Instead:

1. Kongs

These are an all time favorite, and come in different sizes and strengths depending on your dog.

These are perfect to put some peanut butter, yogurt, canned pumpkin and other healthy snacks in to keep your dog mentally stimulated.

*Tip put it in the freezer to make them last longer. And wash them weekly because food can get stuck in them.

Please choose the right size and strength for your dog.

2. All Natural Cod Skins A Tasty and Healthy Treat

All natural cod skins are a great treat for your dog. Yes, sometimes they can be a bit stinky, but they are a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to help promote a healthy skin and coat, and dogs love them!

Always supervise your dog when given.

3. Nylabone:

Nylabone has a wide range of chews for different Destructiveness Levels.

These Nylabone Wishbones are another favorite. They are typically good for Destructiveness of levels 1-4. Please be aware they come in different sizes, and strength levels, and not all Nylabones are made equal.

Never give an Extreme chewer a regular, or soft Nylabone as they will chew off small splinters and may swallow them.

4. Galileo Nylabone:

The Best Nylabone for Extreme Chewers. These are good for dogs with a Destructiveness Level of 3 to 5.

*Please be aware if you have a Extreme Chewer they should always be watched when chewing this Nylabone. Because of your dogs jaw strength they may gnaw off small pieces after

it has been chewed on awhile. If this happens take away the Nylabone immediately.

For dogs with a Chew Strength of 3-4 this is a perfect chew to keep them occupied in their crate.

5. Bully Sticks

Bully Sticks are great because not only are they healthy for your dog, they are easily digestible, and all dogs love them. They’re even perfect for teething puppies, as long as they can chew hard treats/food on their own. Bully sticks are great for all breeds and sizes of dogs.

If your dog has allergies bully sticks are a great option because they do not contain artificial chemicals, additives or preservatives.

AKC.Org explains what type of Bully Stick that may be good for your dogs, “You can find a bully stick that caters to your dog. The sticks have different thicknesses, sizes, and shapes. Is your dog an aggressive, intense chewer? Try a braided bully stick. Do they take a long time to chew? Straight sticks are a great choice. Need to challenge your dog? Shaped bullys, like bully rings, provide a puzzle for your dog as he chews.”

Please always supervise your dog when they are chewing on these as they can become a hazard if your dog tries to swallow a large piece.

When purchasing a Bully Stick make sure they are made in the USA and only contain one ingredient - Beef Muscle

6. Deer Antlers

Antlers are good for dogs with strong, healthy teeth and a destructiveness of about a 4

But not all Antlers are the same. Make sure the antlers are not curved and are size appropriate for your dog.

Please note Deer Antlers are not for every dog. Please always supervise, and dispose of the Antler if it starts to look like a hazard.

I hope this sample was helpful to give you an idea of what is safe for your dog. This is one of many things we cover at Private Lessons or Group Classes.

Please contact me for a more detailed and personal comprehensive lesson that is customized to your dog. Which will include other health tips, nutrition, and basic training knowledge.

please contact me at: 585-441-2891

Gainesville GA

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