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Are you sure you should throw that?

Over the past few weeks I have heard, read and met clients who had to suffer because someone threw something for their dog which caused them harm!

In some cases the dog has paid the ultimate price and died an agonising death. This has naturally left their owners devastated and whilst it is sometimes unavoidable in most cases they thought they were playing and enriching their dogs lives.

But we need to be careful here. This is not about blame. I want everyone to think about what they do with their dogs. What type of toy do you use? How you play and what you do. Here are my five top tips to keep your dog safe when they play:

1: Make sure the ball is big enough that it doesn’t get stuck in their throat. Keep a check on this as your puppy grows and remove all the small toys they used to play with. It’s not worth it.

2: Don’t play catch but throw the ball and get your dog to go after it If you don’t want your dog to chase, then try throwing to the side or dropping behind you, to encourage them to search for it. And there’s another story- frisbees, jumping up and stopper pad injuries!

3: Don’t throw sticks. They land awkwardly and go down the throat causing agony. Splinters get stuck and holes create all sorts of problems. If they pick up sticks and chew them - don’t let them. Be more fun to be with.

4:Use two balls to encourage your dog to play with you, bring it back and want the better ball in your hand. Don’t release this one until you have the other ball back. Stand on it if necessary. You can toys instead.

5: Remove and get rid of any old balls or toys that are broken. These break up and can be swallowed causing blockages and even worse.

Think about it when you next go out and remember if you forget their toy then this is the opportunity for you to get them to play games with you. Can you get your dog to do a figure of eight around your legs or walk backwards? Lots of things you can do without a toy, just don’t pick up a stick and throw it!


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