It’s easy to overlook the importance of toys in your dog’s life, but they are necessary for your furry friend’s general well-being and your own peace of mind. A bored pup becomes naughtier than a tired and mentally engaged dog. Toys can help tire your dog out, keep it mentally occupied, modify destructive behaviors, and provide an ideal outlet for dogs prone to destructive chewing.
With hundreds or even thousands of toys, it can be challenging to choose which toys your dog will love the most. In this article, we will help you make an appropriate decision and save you from spending money on what seems a magnificent toy only to watch your dog ignore.
Many factors such as your dog’s size, personal preference, and activity level contribute to the success of a toy. Another factor you should consider is the environment in which your pet spends most of his time. Toys are categorized into plush, balls & fetch, chew, interactive, heavy chewers, and toss & tug to address the needs of different dogs. While making your decision, always ensure that the toys are durable, safe, and most of all, fun.
Here are some helpful tips for choosing suitable dog toys:
Soft and squeaky toys are ideal for gentler dogs who love cuddling and carrying things around the house. Just like small children, such dogs will even sleep with the toys. If your dog has such a personality, you can buy him KONG Squeakair Ball Dog Toy. It is perfect for fetching and gentle play and has a squeaker that sparks your dog’s instincts.
However, you may need to buy your dog a plush toy if he enjoys ripping his toys apart. Take note of any toy that contains a squeaker buried at the center. Furball Collective Curry Puff Squeaky Dog Toy and Kong Shakers Honkers Flamingo Dog are perfect examples of plush toys that delight dogs’ instincts.
Get your dog some of the “world’s best dog chew balls” like Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Ball Orange Dog Toy (3 Sizes) to keep him occupied. Rope toys, dental chews, and many other hard chew toys should entertain a dog who loves to chew things. Planet Dog Orbees are available in small, medium, and large sizes and in multiple colors.
Choose a durable toy that won’t break into pieces if your dog is a heavy chewer. Try KONG Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy (2 Sizes) or SodaPup Magnum Can Chew Toy and Treat Dispenser since they are designed to withstand the abuse of the most “power chewer” dogs.
Chewing toys help reduce problem behaviors such as separation anxiety. They are also powerful tools for training dogs what they may or may not chew. Most chew toys can be stuffed with your dog’s favorite kibbles.
Hard rubber toys are ideal for super-active dogs. These toys are available in various shapes and sizes and are fun for carrying around and chewing. Rope toys such as AFP Chill Out Zinngers Flying Shark Dog Toy are also big hits with high-energy dogs. KONG Shakers Honkers Duck Plush is a good-time gobbler with an irresistible crunch that kicks up the fetching fun, whose internal neck tube delights the natural instincts of dogs.
Consider buying your dog tennis balls if he likes to chase things. You will want a multipack of these toys because some balls will disappear no matter how great a retriever your dog might be. You will also need to choose some of the most durable balls on the market. Kong Extreme Ball Dog Toy is one of the perfect toys for dogs that love to fetch and chew.
Try KONG Belly Flops Starfish Dog Toy (Medium) if you want your dog to experience some unique belly-spinning motion. This toy engages and inspires even the most preserved dogs. It contains a squeaker for added excitement and a floating capacity for water fun.
Puzzle toys and treat toys are great for intelligent dogs. An ideal puzzle toy can keep your dog busy for hours. Consider Kong Lock-It 3-Pk Dog Toy if your pup is super-smart and gets bored quickly. It is a mentally stimulating treat puzzle that offers pets a diverse challenge while rewarding them with treats or kibble. Only by chewing diligently can your furry friend access the goodies, and then only in small bits, very rewarding!
Move to more intricate skills once your dog figures out one level, or you can find another toy at a different skill level. It will be a good idea to go for Kong Bamboo Feeder Ball Dog Toy (Medium) as your dog’s second level. This toy will hook your dog into prolonged bouts of play that completely dominate his mind and body. As a dog owner, this can be rib-tickling to watch.
As mentioned earlier, you can try giving your dog toys that can be stuffed with treats if he is attuned to rewards and treats. You can choose an ideal one from a variety of toys. Go for more challenging toys that require your pup to work to get to the treats for mental and physical stimulation. Using such toys also enhances slow mealtime eating, therefore helping with weight loss.
Although they are the best, soft stuffed toys may not work for all pets. You need to understand your dog very well to buy him an ideal toy. While other dogs prefer small toys to carry around, others may want to “shake” or “kill” the toy. So, the toy should be at least the size of prey animals like ducks, mice, and rabbits, depending on your pup’s size. In this case, the toy should be durable.
Again, ensure that your dog’s play is supervised closely if he likes to attack his stuffed animal. Provide your dog with toys that offer a variety of uses, at least one to play fetch games, one to cuddle, one to “kill,” and another one to carry around.