Let your dog shred stuffed animals

Let your dog shred stuffed animals

At Dogby, we loved stuffed toys and include them in most of our Discovery Kits. That's because they are the perfect outlets for many of the instinctive behaviors that dogs find fun and enriching.

Their soft, fuzzy nature is reminiscent of real animals, which means they often trigger dogs hunting or scavenging instincts. Once dogs are in hunting or scavenging mode, it's natural for them to transition to dissecting the toy, because that is one of the last steps in the hunting and scavenging behavioral sequences. It can be really frustrating for owners, because to us, it feel to us like our dogs are ruining their toys. But to our dogs, it feels like they are using them correctly.

Rather than giving up and not buying any stuffed animals anymore, we recommend that you:

Buy the cheapest toys you can find. Check out the clearance bins at pet stores or go to HomeGoods. The more expensive "chew-proof" ones usually don't last long enough to justify the expense.

Make your first few rounds of play with a new toy interactive. Play fetch, tug, or whatever games you and your dog enjoy. If they start to settle down to chew on the toy, gently redirect them to a different way to play.

Store the toy out of reach between play sessions.

After your third or fourth session with a toy, let your dog shred! Most dogs lose interest in toys by their fifth or sixth exposure, so you won't really be losing much value from the toy anyways.

Note: Do not allow dogs with a history of ingesting non-food objects to shred stuffed animals. Always monitor your dog when they shred a stuffed toy and take it away if they attempt to ingest any of the pieces.

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