As a pet owner, you likely know that dogs love to play, which is why choosing the right toys for your dog has a significant role in their playtime quality and are essential for their physical and mental growth. Additionally, playing with your dog is a great way to create and strengthen the bond you already have, and who does not love to play with their adorable four-legged best bud?
Those things in mind, choosing the right toy for your dog comes with its own set of challenges as there are a variety of toys you can choose from. Since dog toys come in all different shapes and sizes, choosing the right one can be a tricky task. Fortunately, you can use the information in this article to have a better idea of how you can go about choosing toys that your dog will love!
How to choose a toy that is suited for your dog
Choosing the right toy for your dog seems straightforward, right? It might seem simple, but anyone that has been to a to a Toys’R’Us store or any toy aisle to find children’s toys has seen how many options there are. For babies, you have those softer and bigger toys that they can chew on and will not get swallowed. For teens, you will see video games and more electronic toys like remote-control cars.
It is no different for dogs! When you are choosing toys for your dog, it is important to consider their age, size, energy level, and personality. If you have a small puppy, you should not give him a very tough chew toy. Their teeth will still be very fragile which is why toys made of softer rubber are better as it is easier for them to chew on.
Similarly, if you have an adult dog that is a heavy chewer, you should give them hard rubber chew toys as these dog chew toys won’t get broken into little pieces that can become a choking hazard. If you have a very high energy dog, they will likely love playing fetch or tug-of-war which is why balls and ropes that they can pull on can be great toys. A dog toy’s size is also a very important factor to keep in mind. It cannot be too small as it will get swallowed, or too big that your dog cannot even play with it.
When choosing toys for your dog, it is also important to think about your dog’s personality. For example, if they are scared by noises, it is a good idea to stay away from items that make loud noises such as squeaker toys. Like children, dogs show which toys they prefer over time, however the process can require experimentation. Don’t just pick the first dog toy that looks cool to you. Make sure you always think about your dog’s preferences when making a purchase. That way you will not be wasting your money on toys that your dog will not enjoy.
Always check if the dog toy is made of safe materials
When shopping for dog toys, it is easy to assume that the items are safe for your pet, however that’s not always the case. For example, as noted earlier, if you have a large dog and choose a dog toy that is not sturdy, the toy may break into small pieces which can become a choking hazard. You should always look for toys that are made from non-toxic materials and avoid harmful materials such as bisphenol A (BPA), lead, sharp edges, or long strands.
Why is it important to choose the right dog toy?
Just as children get value from play in multiple ways, dogs operate in a similar fashion. The most common categories of dog toys include those for:
- Training toys
- Enrichment toys
- Interactive toys
- Self-amusement toys
- Comfort toys
Training toys are used for exactly that, training! For example, you can use them to redirect destructive chewing. Dogs always need something to chew on, so if you have to choose between a toy or your couch, you might as well get your dog a chew toy! Other types of training toys include talking dog buttons and agility kits.
Enrichment toys are also known as treat dispenser toys. These are great at keeping your dog entertained. They not only give your dog physical exercise, but they also give them mental exercise. These toys cause your dog to think about what they must do to get the tasty treat inside it.
Interactive toys are the toys you use to play games and interact with your dog. Games like fetch or tug-of-war are a notable example. These toys can go from a simple tennis ball to a rubber rope device. If it is something that is building a bond between you two while playing, it will fit in this category.
Self-amusement toys are, as the name suggests, toys that your dog can play with and amuse themselves with. These toys, such as a snuffle mat, are usually made of stronger and more durable materials. This is one of the best kinds of toys to get your dog if you are looking for something to keep them entertained while they are home alone. But it is important to supervise your dog when they get a new toy to make sure it is safe for them.
Finally, comfort toys are frequently plush toys that dogs often sleep on and carry around. You will want to be careful with these toys as the stuffing can cause a blockage in your dog’s digestive system.
Making sense of it all
By choosing the right toys for your dog, you can help them live a healthier life by providing them with ways to stay entertained. Be sure to have a variety of dog toys on hand and switch them up every few days. That way, your dog will feel like they are getting new toys regularly and will not get tired of them too quickly.