The summer is an excellent time of year for you and your pooch. All the fun and excitement of being outdoors provide opportunities for bonding. Unfortunately, the summer can also be hard on your canine companion because of the heat and humidity. If you want to make things a little more fun and healthy for your favorite furry friend, then consider picking up a few water toys and taking them to a beach, lake or even your pool.
While you may have never seen a designated water toy at your local pet store, they do exist. Most establishments will have water toys in a special section of the toy aisle. You can make it easy on yourself by checking out an online pet store and looking for watersport or waterproof toys. You may be surprised at the variety of materials you see. Not every water toy is plastic.
Fabric toys: Many pet owners are surprised to find fabric pet toys, like the Outward Hound Floatiez Dog Toy , in the watersport section. Many fabric toys use quick-drying nylon or even vinyl materials, and the inside is often made of pool noodle foam, ensuring that the toy can dry quickly and does not attract bacteria or fungus.
Plastic and rubber toys: Even though there are fabric toys safe for water use, many owners feel more comfortable using more traditional materials, like plastic or rubber. Most rubbers and plastics are non-porous, which means that liquid will not penetrate the surface of the toy. If you feel more comfortable with a more traditional waterproof toy, consider the Jive Granny Smith Dog Toy . The ball comes in a variety of sizes and can be dried off quickly when you and your dog are finished with play.
Combination toys: Beyond toys designed with only one material, you can find several toys that use a combination of fabric and rubber or plastic to create a durable dog toy. Many of these combination toys have a rubber or plastic body with a cloth or rope handle. For example, Katie's Bumpers are a popular combination toy with a plastic body and a floating fabric handle.
Many new dog owners underestimate the benefits of dog toys for their pets. They assume that taking their pup on walks every day is enough. Most dogs need more than daily walks. They need playtime and designated toys, so they stay out of mischief. Water toys are especially fun for your bored pooch, but beyond curing their boredom, water toys present six advantages over other dog toys.
Float: Most water toys float. Floating dog toys allow dogs to spot the toy in pools, lakes and oceans easily. These toys also make it easy for owners to keep an eye on their pup as it races toward the toy. However, beyond visibility, floating toys encourage dogs who are new to swimming to enter the water. When a puppy is unfamiliar with water, they will be reluctant to retrieve a sinking toy.
Mold-Proof: Traditional dog toys are not meant for water use. They are often filled with regular cotton, and the outer shell is made of similar materials. Unfortunately, traditional toys are not intended to soak, which means they can develop mold. Water toys account for excessive moisture and are therefore made from mold-resistant materials, making the toy safer for your pooch and your family.
Easy to Clean: Most water toys can also be classified as outdoor toys, which means they are designed for the rougher elements. Since traditional indoor toy manufacturers do not need to worry about rain, mud, grass and other outdoor issues, they often do not worry about the cleaning of the toy, other than making it washable. Outdoor toy manufacturers use materials that are easy to spray off with a hose, like nylon and rubber, creating a more durable finish.
Confidence Builders: It is not uncommon for puppies, even of water-loving breeds, to be hesitant of the water. Water toys can help build confidence and interest in water. By consistently throwing the toy in the water and encouraging your pup to get it, they will gain comfort in entering the water. By routinely diving into the water and returning to dry land, they will build necessary swimming muscles. In no time, your pooch will develop a positive swimming habit.
Preventative: As with other toys, water toys encourage appropriate play. Dogs, especially puppies, tend to chew on things, regardless of the importance to the owner. Couches, shoes, purses, table legs and countless other items don't seem to offer any boundary to a teething pup. By introducing a toy, you give your dog permission to chew on something. You set a boundary that their toys are theirs, and your furniture is not.
Interactive: Finally, water toys are interactive. They offer an opportunity for you and your pet to bond and develop a relationship. People often underestimate the value of playtime with your dog, but it is invaluable to them. Dogs look to their owners as the pack leader, and being a good leader is about ensuring all your dog's needs are met, including play.
With the summer in full swing, there is no better time to get outside and play with your dog. Look into the different outdoor toys available online and in stores. Find a good selection of water toys and take advantage of the beautiful weather. Go beyond taking your dog for a walk, and start playing with them as much as you can.