Choosing toys for your dog can be difficult or even overwhelming, there are so many different types of toys to choose from. For dogs, toys aren’t a luxury but a necessity. Toys are important for your dog’s health and well-being, they help your dog fight boredom when you have to leave the house to go to work, and keep them entertained when you are not there. Toys also provide your dog with comfort when they’re nervous. Playing with toys can additionally help prevent your dog from developing unfavourable behavioural problems. Your pup needs to spend its energy with mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy, and out of mischief. Of course, it’s great to spend hours playing with your dogs, but you will need to invest in some toys for your dog as your lifestyle, work, and other responsibilities will get in the way. Although dogs are often brought along during holidays, your children will likely become bored with the responsibility of taking care of the puppy. Dogs are friends for life, so the entire household should make a decision together before just picking any pet.
This article will help you when it comes to thinking of the toys you can buy that will last, are of good value, and will allow your dog plenty of fun for more than a day or two.
What To Look Out For
You’ve probably searched for dog toys on Google already and got hit with plenty of options. There are countless shapes, sizes, and textures to choose from, and also different name brands. We will discuss the more common useful toys for your dog and the qualities to look out for.
- Toys for dogs must be durable, they should not break or fall apart with a little chewing.
- Toys should keep your dogs busy for a fair amount of time. The toy also needs to be rewarding for your dog, while keeping them busy so you can do other things.
- The prices of some dog toys are steep, you should buy a toy that’s worth the price. If the toy is costly, it should be worth it. For instance, toys that you can put treats in and give your dog a slight challenge to get the treat.
- It’s important to buy toys that are suitable for your dogs, they shouldn’t become sick from them. This means toys must be manufactured from the correct material for them to be edible; it also mustn’t break into bits and become a choking hazard.
For Dogs That Love To Chew
If your dog loves to chew, a chew toy is the best option to buy for them.
- For low to medium chewers, you can buy rope toys, bone-hard chew toys, and dental chew toys.
- Aggressive chewers need toys with a bit more durability. Toys made from rubber last long and let your dog have a full-on chewing playtime. These toys come in irregular shapes which makes them bounce unpredictably creating extra fun for your pet.
- Moderate to heavy chewers will need toys with more intense durability that can’t be chewed into pieces as that will be dangerous for your dog to play with.
- Older dogs need soft and squishy, latex, or vinyl toys, as they’re easy on sensitive teeth and gums.
If your dog loves to chew then soft squeaky toys are best avoided.
What Kind Of Toys Do Dogs Love
All dogs have different behaviours, personalities, and activity levels. It is crucial to have an understanding of your dog’s individual needs to find the most suitable toys for them. Dog toys usually fall under these three categories:
- Active toys: balls, frisbees, ropes and woven toys for tugging are suitable interactive toys for play and exercise. For very active dogs, these sorts of toys can also be used as training motivators.
- Enrichment toys: these toys keep your dog occupied through mental stimulation. They range from puzzles and treat dispensing toys to durable rubber toys that can also be stuffed with treats. These “problem-solving” toys are great if you’re often busy with other responsibilities and not able to play with your dogs.
- Comfort toys: Just like how we often have a favourite stuffed animal as children, dogs are somewhat similar. Dogs love to carry around their favourite teddy bear, especially anxious dogs – they mostly benefit from having a soft stuffed companion. You may want to be sure that your dog isn’t an aggressive or heavy chewer, as soft toys can easily be chewed through, and if they have squeakers your dog may be able to remove and even choke on them easily.
For Dogs That Love To Run
For dogs that love to chase, choose toys that fly in the air or bounce erratically and entertain your pet without wearing you out. Soft flying discs made from plastic are easy on your dog’s mouth, teeth, and gums, which is very important for energetic dogs who love to chase and catch toys in the air. Dog toys with rope are also good for teeth and gum health.
For Dogs That Love To Cuddle
Soft toys made out of fleece or a plush fabric are comfortable for dogs and are enjoyable to play with over long periods. They are also the perfect companions for your dogs to relax and snuggle with. Soft toys often squeak or make noise too, that grasps and keeps your dogs attention. If your dog loves to chew, these soft toys won’t last for long, they’ll be destroyed quickly.
Rewarding Toys For Dogs
Balls and other shaped toys made with a hollow centre or hollow areas can be filled with your dog’s favourite treats. These sorts of toys are made to keep dogs occupied for hours; dogs usually won’t stop until there are no more treats left in the toy. You can push moist and soft foods inside these toys. These interactive toys provide mental and physical stimulation, and dog toys that conceal one or smaller toys within are also a fun challenge and rewarding for your pets. Playing with suitable toys safely occupies your dog’s body and mind, and allows an outlet for them to channel mental and physical energy instead of something destructive, like digging up your flower beds.
Homemade Dog Toys Ideas
- Empty toilet rolls core: this can be done with a finished roll of toilet paper. All you have to do is fold one end of the toilet roll core, put some treats in and then fold up the other end. Your dog can then play with a treat-filled toilet roll tube while trying to get it out.
- Fetch: using an old tennis ball to play fetch is the simplest and easiest way to tire your dog out. Simply throw a tennis ball for your dog to chase and bring back to you. If you get tired of throwing the ball, consider investing in a mechanical thrower for your dog to play with.
- Tug: use an old tea towel or dishcloth with one or two knots in it. You can use it as a tug of war with your dog. This interactive game can also be used to teach your dog to calm down and “leave” when you want them to. To do this, you can start by playing with your dog. After a short while you can stop the game and hold the towel still, move your hand closer to your dog, let him calm down and “sit”, and try to teach him to “leave” the towel. Make sure to congratulate the desired behaviour with a “good boy” and a treat. Then repeat this all over again.
- Old plastic bottles: next time you finish a fizzy drink, keep the bottle. They can be used as treat dispensers and rattles to help keep your pup occupied. You can throw the lid away and drop a few treats into the bottle to let your dog have hours of fun trying to get the treats. This game is stimulating and a lot of fun for your dog because it makes a fun rattling sound and now and then your dog gets a treat. This toy option is a useful and cost-effective way to entertain your dogs. Don’t let your dog continue playing with the bottle if it is torn or has sharp points, rather throw it in the recycling and get another bottle.
You can find loads of dog toys to buy online or at specialty pet stores. They are safe, well made, and entertaining for your dogs. You will find many rope toys in pet stores, they are very durable and tough. Chew toys that dispense food and cuddly soft material toys usually get destroyed more quickly, and tough plastic or chewing bones are also great for heavy chewers. If possible, next time you go shopping for your dog, consider taking them with you. They’ll let you know if they like a certain toy or not. Don’t forget that you must spend a good amount of time bonding with your dog. Remember, they’re not just things you buy for Christmas and leave in the garden by themselves. Dogs are companions, and better yet, part of the family.