Whether they are given the empty bottle as a toy or they fish it out of the recycling bin, puppies and adult dogs alike seem to love these crinkly, crunchy "toys". Filled with water or kibble, pre-crunched or just as they are, plastic bottles are a big hit.
Here's the good news. Water bottles are readily available, inexpensive, and easy to replace (no trips to the pet store required!), making them a necessity for many dog owners. I've known several dogs whose owners tried giving their dogs bones, stuffed toys and balls only to have their pets come back time and time again to play with the water bottle.
Now, here's the bad news. Water bottles aren't always safe for dogs to play with - but they can be. All you have to do is take a few precautions.
Before giving a water bottle to your dog, always remove the cap and label as well as the small plastic ring which secures the cap. A pair of small scissors can be used to snip off the latter if you cannot easily remove it on your own. As with any dog toy, it is important to supervise play and regularly inspect water bottles for damage to avoid the ingestion of plastic or damage from sharp edges. When the plastic breaks down, the sharp edges can cut your dog's mouth.
Several dog toy companies have taken note of the growing water bottle craze and incorporated water bottles into their products.
Check out the Crunchy Monkey.