How to Avoid Making Your Shoes Dog Toys
Just about every dog owner has had to face the annoyance of having their dog chew apart their shoes at some point. Dogs, by nature, enjoy chewing things, especially soft rubber, like the soles of most shoes. Puppies, especially, can get into the habit early on of adopting your favorite pair of shoes as their make-believe snack.
If you are like many other pet owners and love your pet, but do not love it when your pet rips apart your shoes, then consider investing in some alternative toys that your pet can enjoy. Here are a few ideas:
1. Rope. Believe it or not, a short strand of rope is one of the most popular toys among dogs. Rope is soft enough for your pet to be able to sink his teeth into, and yet it is firm enough for your pet to feel like he is playing with something substantial. With these features, rope is very similar in make-up to a shoe.
2. Bones. Dogs love to play with bones. Give a dog and bone and he will be quickly distracted from his job of ripping apart your shoes. Bones are generally marinated in meat flavor so that they are appealing to dogs. They are harder than a shoe, but because your dog will be able to grind his teeth into it, he will feel as if he is in nature chasing a wild animal. Chances are good that your dog will make a bone his new favorite toy and because it is small, he will be able to carry it with him everywhere.
3. Chewy balls. Dogs love the sound and texture of chewy balls. Chewy balls are literally round rubber balls filled with air. When your dog bites into the ball, it will collapse into it’s mouth so that he can truly get his teeth around it. Many balls also squeak, simulating the noise that a small animal of prey would make if the dog were to attack it, thus stimulating your dog’s natural hunter instinct.
The best way to prevent your dog from making your shoes chew toys is simply to communicate with the dog that you do not appreciate him ruining your shoes. Instead of letting him take the shoe, it is important that you react in a way that your dog will understand. Many pet owners feel uncomfortable hitting their dogs, but it is important that you are firm in whatever communication you use – be it physical or verbal. Dogs will adjust to your behavior, so make it firm.