Dogs, like people, have distinct personalities, so naturally what one likes is not what they’re all going to like. That’s my only caveat before I introduce the latest toy I discovered for my medium-sized shepherd mix entirely by accident.
I enjoy soft drinks as much as the next person, and I’ve always purchased the kind that comes in a six pack of plastic bottles (I like being able to reseal them for later, as opposed to cans. I always go for the sugar free zero calorie kind, because the full flavored kind are so bad health wise, and they taste all right considering what they are. A couple of times a week I’ll drink them as a mid-day snack of sorts to sooth hunger pangs and cravings with something sweet, filling and zero calories. Keep in mind I work at home, so when I’m done I simply set it to the side on the floor behind my chair and continue working at my desk. I do the same for dishware on days when I do have “real food.”
On one such day my dog, having effectively obliterated all of her current toys, decided to investigate. And promptly went nuts. Okay, so maybe she discovered it, not me, but I still think I deserve a little credit for setting up the circumstances for discovery, albeit unwittingly. From what I can tell, though, we just may have stumbled on the perfect puppy toy imaginable.
For one thing, it is thus far completely indestructible. She’ll hold a plastic bottle in her paws and try to gnaw it like one of her bones, but she can’t get any purchase and the plastic is thick enough to where her teeth don’t punch right through. This is the only reason why I say it’s a good toy for small and medium dogs, because a bigger dog might be able to get their jaws fully around it and generate enough leverage to puncture. My dog’s about thirty-five to forty pounds though, and so far nothing. The only part of the plastic bottle that does succumb to her wrath is the label, which she is adept at peeling off and shredding. This is no different from any other kind of puppy toy – tennis balls get deferred, stuffed animals get destuffed, and so on. I’ve resigned myself to spending about five minutes a week on a walk through of the house to collect this detritus for the sake of her happiness.
Another perk of this wouldn’t-have-thought doggy toy is its versatility. It works equally well for both fetch (you get that nice spin in the throw and the thing flies surprisingly well) and for her individual play time. Especially for the latter, it proves much more interacting than a typical rawhide or ball. When she goes to pounce on it, her feet often catch on the edge and send it skidding across the carpet or launching it into the air. An empty plastic bottle isn’t really substantial enough to knock anything over or cause any damage, so no worries there, and she loves it besides.
If anyone else lets their dog play with plastic bottles or has in the past, feel free to get in touch and share your experiences. More importantly, if you know of any reason why a bottle is an unsafe choice for a dog please let me know so I can retract my endorsement of them and stop using them myself. For now, though, there is at any given time four or more scattered about the floor among my pooch’s regular toys for her continued entertainment and fun.