Dear Porky and Buddy,
My new adopted pal, Bubba, a black lab mix, is about nine months old now and he is perfect in every way except one.
He is an ingrate! No, really. I keep buying him toys and he keeps destroying them – all of them.
It is so frustrating! I would really like to be able to play with him all the time, fetch, or tug of war, or whatever.
But, no toy that I have given him lasts more than a day. Do you have any advice about how to make him stop?
OK, first of all look at this from Bubba’s point of view.
He is a dog after all.
You give him a toy – what he likes to do with it is tear it to shreds, because, as a self-respecting dog, that is what you are supposed to do with things that look like little furry animals.
What would you think if someone gave you let’s say a shiny new car and then said, “OK Mike, you can look at this car and I will look at it with you but if you actually drive it I will be very disappointed and upset”?
You would think they were insane, right?
So your job is to find some sort of compromise that gives you lots of opportunities to play with Bubba, which we assume he also likes a lot, but also satisfies his doggy need to rip things to shreds.
So, first of all make sure that he has lots of safe stuff to chew on when you are not home.
Because at his age he is undoubtedly a champion chewer and if he doesn’t have stuff that is ok to chew on he will naturally try his toys, or the furniture, or the firewood – there are endless possibilities.
Talk to your vet first about what she or he recommends as safe chewing material for big active dogs like yours and get that for him – and praise him when he chews it to pieces.
Then decide what kinds of actual toys you want him to have.
If what he really really loves are stuffed animals, there are versions sold on line that don’t have actually stuffing – hence less mess – that are guaranteed to last for some set period of time.
Just Google “Indestructible dog toys” and read all the online reviews.
They can be a little pricey though, so another option is to check garage sales and second hand stores for really cheap stuffed animals.
If you go that route make sure you remove all small parts like plastic eyes and squeakers, and then you can just use them until they are destroyed to Bubba’s satisfaction and give him another one.
There are also lots of rubber and hard durable plastic toys that he might like that will (probably) last longer.
Some of them have spaces to stuff in treats so they are even more fun.
You can find those online and in pet stores, too.
Check for product reviews and guarantees until you find something that will work.
And above all, don’t stop having fun with Bubba!
Speaking of having fun! On July 20, at the Crisafulli Skating Rink, the Oz Roller Girls are having an intra-league bout at their Naughty-Cal Cat-astrophe.
They are featuring the Oswego County. Humane Society as their charity to receive proceeds from this event.
The doors open at 5 and the bout starts at 6.
Tickets at the door are $12, kids 5-12 are $5 and under five is free.
There will be raffles a bake sale and some exciting skating!
And for even more fun, you can come play with us for a good cause at the 13th Annual Chasing and Fetching Balls (aka golf) Tournament.
It’s July 22 at Beaver Meadows Country Club in Phoenix.
For details, online registration, or a downloadable mail-in form, go to www.oswegohumane.org
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Phone (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because people and pets are good for each other!