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 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 dog toys.
Best dog toy
Many pet owners wonder if there a ‘best’ dog toy: a single, universal toy that will make their dog happy, as well as challenge him and help develop his skills. While there is a range of toys available now, there is no best dog toy. Each dog prefers different toys. Moreover, different 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 that toy that fits this personality. Finding your dog’s favourite toy may take a while – and may take a lot of playing. However, if he has several to choose from, it will be easier to learn his 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 feature a rope that your dog can bite. You can hold the other end of the toy and begin a tug of war. Dogs love these toys they suit their natural way of playing.
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 toys!
It is natural for your dog to want to chew, even after he has teethed. Chew toys for dogs ensure he chews something safe, and not your sofa or bed. These toys come in a variety of shapes: as sticks, ropes, bones, as animal shapes, rings, etc. Some dogs are powerful chewers, while some dogs are not. These toys have different levels of durability to match your dog’s chewing power.
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 him as he twists and turns and chews the toy to get to his kibble.
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 his instincts.
Benefits of dog toys
Dogs can get easily bored. This can 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 help prevent these outcomes.
A good toy stimulates your dog’s mind. It allows him to use his natural instincts, whether that is chasing, searching, or solving a problem. It also makes these activities fun for your dog, so he enjoys himself while leading a healthy life. Like humans, dogs love playing – toys are a perfect way to make play interesting and educational.
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 him 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 his motor skills. ‘Tug of war’ is another classic game played with rope toys. This game lets your dog use his full body strength.
Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys come in various forms. They improve your dog’s coordination and problem-solving skills. Let your dog explore these games on his own, as each have a solution he must find.
It is important to choose toys for dogs according to your dog. If your dog is small, a large toy will be unsuitable. It will not be much fun for him if he cannot bite the toy or move it around! If you have a large dog, a toy intended for small dogs could also pose a 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 toy.
Also buy toys that are age-appropriate. If your dog is a puppy and is teething, consider getting him a plush ball or a small toy he can bite safely. Be careful of buying your puppy toys that break off into smaller pieces, as he might swallow these and cause harm to his digestive system.
And remember, always buy toys that have been specifically designed for dogs.
Choosing toys for dogs is not as difficult as it seems – the most important thing of all if to know your dog, and find toys that suit his personality.