Today, there are so many types of dog toys available that it can be difficult to choose which ones to get. Where do you begin? What will be both fun and educational for your dog? All pet owners face these questions when they first consider buying a dog toy, and it can be hard to find answers.
In this article, we’ve put together a simple guide to help you get started when it comes to choosing the best dog toys.
Best dog toys
Many pet owners wonder if there is a ‘best’ dog toy: a single, universal toy that will make their dog happy, as well as challenge them and help develop their skills. While there is a range of toys available now, there is no best dog toy. Each dog prefers different toys.
Moreover, different dog toys are useful for different dogs. Some dogs like lots of games and exercises, so toys that require running, chasing, or tugging are the best toys for them. Other dogs, especially smaller dogs, are more indoor animals and may like toys that do not require them to move around too much.
Each dog has a different personality, and you should try and find the dog toy that fits their personality. Finding your dog’s favourite toy may take a while – and may take a lot of playing. However, if they have several to choose from, it will be easier to learn their interests.
Types of dog toys
These are proven to be a favourite with dogs. You can choose a soft plush ball if your dog is young and teething, or a tennis ball that has a slightly harder exterior if your dog is older.
These toys are soft, which means they are safe and protect your dog’s mouth. They can be found in many shapes, sizes, and colours. Dogs can grow very attached to these dog toys!
It is natural for your dog to want to chew, even after they’ve finished teething. Chew toys for dogs ensure they chew something safe, and not your sofa or bed. These dog toys come in a variety of shapes: sticks, ropes, bones, animal shapes, rings, etc. Some dogs are powerful chewers, while some dogs are not. These dog toys have different levels of durability to match your dog’s chewing power.
Treat-dispensing dog toys
These are toys that contain treats for your dog. They can be filled and refilled with your dog’s favourite treat. Your dog then has to figure out how to use the toy to get to the treat. It ensures hours of fun for them as they twist and turn and chew the toy to get to the tasty treat.
These are toys that challenge your dog’s brainpower and help stimulate it. They can be physical toys for dogs or electronic games. They teach your dog coordination, as well as help develop their instincts.
Benefits of dog toys
Dogs can get easily bored, which may have a negative effect on their health. They can become lethargic and irritable if they do not get enough exercise, or they could have too much energy that they do not know what to do with. This energy can lead to disruptive or negative behaviour. Toys for dogs can help prevent these outcomes.
A good dog toy stimulates your dog’s mind. It allows them to use their natural instincts, whether that is chasing, searching, or solving a problem. It also makes these activities fun for your dog, so they enjoy themselves while leading a healthy life. Like humans, dogs love playing – dog toys are a perfect way to make play interesting and educational.
Games with dog toys
Each type of dog toy can be paired with a classic game that has made it famous. Be sure to play these games in the beginning to allow your dog to get used to the toy and teach them how to get the maximum amount of fun from it.
‘Catch’ is the most popular game with a ball or a Frisbee. It teaches your dog to listen to commands, and also improves their motor skills. ‘Tug of war’ is another classic game played with rope toys that lets your dog use their full body strength.
Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing dog toys come in various forms. They improve your dog’s coordination and problem-solving skills. Let your dog explore these games on their own as each have a solution they must find.
Safety with dog toys
It is important to choose toys for dogs that are the best fit for your particular pup. If your dog is small, a large toy will be unsuitable. It will not be much fun if they cannot bite the toy or move it around! If you have a large dog, a toy intended for small dogs could also pose a choking hazard.
You should also consider your dog’s health when choosing a toy. Look up the material of the toy and see if it is a good fit for your dog. Dogs with sensitive muzzles, for example, may have a hard time with plastic treat-dispensing toys that they must chew and twist to get their treat. Dogs that love to chew will not have much fun with a soft and easily destructible dog toy.
Also buy dog toys that are age-appropriate. If your dog is a puppy and is teething, consider getting them a plush ball or a small toy they can bite safely. Be careful of buying your puppy toys that break off into smaller pieces, as they might swallow these and cause harm to their digestive system.
Choosing toys for dogs is not as difficult as it seems – the most important thing of all is to know your dog, and find toys that suit their personality. And remember, always buy dog toys that have been specifically designed for dogs.