Why My Dog Has a Collection of Stuffed Animals

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Reading time: 5 min.

Stuffed animals, stuffed toys, plush toys, plushies, soft toys, or cuddly toys – we all grew up with at least one. Every weekend, when I was a kid, I had a morning routine of playing with my big collection of stuffed animals which I considered my brothers and sisters or friends. Now, my best friend/dog Penny is also fortunate enough to have a big collection of stuffed animals most of which were gifts from friends and co-workers.

Why do dogs need stuffed animals?

Stuffed animals are fun. They are great for tossing in the air, tugging in opposite directions, shaking like a polaroid picture… In addition to being fun, stuffed animals provide comfort, especially if your dog does not have another dog to snuggle with. Dogs that are entertained and calm are less likely to destroy the house by chewing on baseboards, etc. Therefore, they are less likely to be surrendered for destructive behaviors.

Stuffed animals can also help fulfill hunting instincts bred into some breeds of dogs. For instance, the toy breed Yorkshire Terriers or Yorkies weren’t always lapdogs. They were initially bred to be ratters in mills and mines, so laying around for hours doing nothing may not be something that they want to do. In contrast, Papillons were bred to be companion dogs. Penny is half-Yorkie and half-Papillon.

Penny’s Collection of Stuffed Animals

1. Pig

Stuffed Animals

2019 is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac. 🐷 This pig is squeaky and crinkly. Plus, it matches the pink tutu that was given to her as a gift on her first birthday.

2. Squirrels

Stuffed Animals

My blogger friend Sara gave Penny this Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel Puzzle from Amazon for Christmas this year. Not only are the squirrels tiny enough for Penny’s mouth, but they are also squeaky. Penny enjoys making them squeak. Also, sometimes, I hide her kibbles in the log to make her work for her food.

3. Turtles

Stuffed Animals

Can you tell which one is the dog toy and which one is a kids toy? Neither can dogs. 🐢 The one on the right is a National Geographic Kids toy.

4. Mice

Stuffed Animals

The mouse on the left is a cat toy that Penny stole from my cat Boo. 🐭 The mouse on the right is a TY kids toy.

5. Hedgehogs

Stuffed Animals

Penny likes licking the white and yellow one. 🦔

Fun story: The first hedgehog I ever saw was in rural Lebanon. My youngest sister saw something moving around outside from her bedroom window. My middle sister called her crazy. It turned out that it was a hedgehog.

6. Owls

Stuffed Animals

The toy in the middle is actually a puppet. 🦉 The other two are from a Pupjoy box, a Barkbox competitor.

7. Teddy bear

Stuffed Animals

Russian-born Jewish-American Morris Michtom and his wife Rose invented the first teddy bear in 1902 after seeing a picture of US President Teddy (Theodore) Roosevelt with a baby bear. 🧸

8. Goat

Stuffed Animals

Penny is a silly billy goat, sometimes. 😜🐐

9. Rabbit

Stuffed Animals

Sometimes, Penny is a funny bunny. 🐰

Stuffed animal surgery: I had to stitch up this bunny after another dog tore a hole in it.

10. Manta ray

Stuffed Animals

Another National Geographic Kids toy

Fun facts: Mantas have 300 rows of skin-covered teeth that they don’t use because they eat by filtering plankton and small fish.

When manta babies or pups are delivered, they arrive rolled up like burritos.

11. Dog

Stuffed Animals

Penny dragged this stuffed dog out of a toy box and into bed when she was staying with a former co-worker. 🐶

12. Giraffe

Stuffed Animals

This giraffe is from Playful Pooch Boutique. Use promo code PENNYY25 for 25% off! Free shipping to Australia and the US 🦒

Caveat

As beneficial as stuffed animals can be, they can be harmful to dogs that swallow non-food items. If your dog chews apart toys, take away the stuffing and any loose pieces that can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Invest in durable toys like Kong toys that are tear-resistant. Better yet, invest in pet insurance at an early age when puppies are more likely to ingest non-food items. Surgery to remove gastrointestinal foreign bodies is expensive. Plus, having something that should not be in the intestinal tract can cause health issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal necrosis or tissue death, and perforation leading to severe infection of the abdomen.

Contest

For a chance to win a new stuffed turtle dog toy pictured in #3, subscribe to this blog (link below) and reply to the following questions:

Which animal in Penny’s stuffed animal collection is your favorite? What animal do you want to be added to her collection? What two animals listed above do not have emoticons?

The contest is open to dog lovers around the world. 🌍 Deadline: February 14, 2019

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