Never use a laser pointer as a dog toy

By on September 12, 2016

Kelley McAtee of Dharma Dog Training recently posted a photo on Instagram titles, “LASER POINTERS ARE NOT TOYS!” All caps, guys- this is serious for sure.

Kelley went on to write that we shouldn’t be fooled by pet stores that sell laser pointers as “fun toys” for dogs, used to get them some exercise. “These so-called ‘toys’ can be very dangerous for dogs!” Here’s why:

Many dogs that already suffer from anxiety issues can become excessive compulsive, chasing every light and shadow they see. Chasing is so dangerous because dogs can injure themselves physically and drive themselves crazy trying to chase something that is not there.

Kelley and her Dharma Dog Pack had a emergency consultation with a dog named Lexi in August. Her family has used a laser pointer “toy” to entertain Lexi, resulting in the pup driving herself insane, chasing shadows and light reflection. The obsession with chasing has gotten to the point where her family could not even take her on a walk. The family also said they had not seen Lexi sleep in months.

“Like humans, dogs develop coping mechanisms to deal with their life experiences and anxiety issues,” Kelley says.

Lexi was rescued from a local reservation and then went to a few different foster homes before arriving at her forever home. Dharma did communicative leash work to help ground Lexi and communicate with her.

“We we’re so thankful to be able to help this family and they were able to see Lexi sleep peacefully for the first time after our consultation!” Kelley is happy to report.

Cat owners may be wondering about laser pointers at this point: the toys were originally intended for kitties, not dogs, as they seem to be able to chase and play without developing any sort of negative behavior. Little research or anecdotal evidence can be found on the effects they have on cats. That said, we’re confident in saying never use laser pointers for fun with dogs.

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