20100712

Toy Storage - Safer for You , More Fun for Fido

November 7, 2009

Having worked in connection with the health care industry for almost a decade now, I've seen quite a few pet-related injuries. Unsurprisingly, most of these injuries occur while an individual is walking his/her dog (i.e., getting tangled in leash, tripping over dog, etc.). Only slightly less common are injuries that occur when an individual stumbles over doggie toys and bones, resulting in a falls. Occasionally, these falls prove be fatal if the individual falls down stairs or bumps his/her head.

This is one reason I am an advocate for doggie toy storage bins. When your furry friends aren't playing with the toys, you can put them in the bin to prevent you and your guests from tripping on them. In our home, we use a small wicker basket that we keep by our fireplace. The dogs have easy access to the toys and can retrieve them at any time.

Pia Silvani, certified dog trainer and animal behavior consultant, suggests dual toy storage: Allow only chew toys in the house. Keep raucous-time fetch toys outdoors, perhaps in a bin on the back porch. Not only is this orderly, but this way the dogs learn that when it's time for [rambunctious] play, we go outside.

Ms. Silvani's 1 year old puppy, Lena, initially picked up socks and shoes, as if they were toys. Lena now knows that when she wants to play or a chew toy, she must head to the toy bins. It is important to remember to rotate the toys that you keep in your bin(s). Just like children, puppies can get bored of playing with the same toys day in and day out. A constant rotation will keep your dogs interested and wondering, with each visit to ther bin, what toys will be waiting for them.

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