Choosing the right dog toys for your furry friend is essential to keep them mentally stimulated, happy, engaged and most importantly, physically active. The right toy may also help with behavioral issues and prevent destructive behavior’s. Let’s get started!
1. Consider your dog’s breed and size. Powerful large breeds may require more durable toys, while smaller dogs may prefer softer or smaller toys. Like children every dog is unique and has different toy requirements. When choosing a toy for any size of dog always be mindful of choking hazards.
2. Age and activity level: Puppies and young dogs may need a softer toy to soothe teething pain, while more mature dogs may prefer interactive or mentally challenging toys. If your dog is highly active you may want to consider toys that encourage physical exercise.
3. Toy material: It’s always best to choose toys that are made of non-toxic materials. The old adage you get what you pay for really holds true for dog toys. Check the label and if in doubt ask! No matter the size of your dog you should never choose a toy with small parts that can be easily chewed off and swallowed. No one wants to buy a toy and follow up with an expensive vet visit.
4. Durability: If your dog is an enthusiastic chewer, look for toys made especially for heavy chewers. Maybe consider dog toys that are not stuffed. A lot of dog toys will have labels indicating they are made for tough play.
5. Interactive toys: Interactive toys are a great way to keep your dogs mind sharp. Most interactive toys have levels. Start at a beginner level and work your way up gradually. Interactive toys can be a puzzle toy or a treat dispensing toy. Choose an interactive toy that encourages your dog to think about how to solve a problem.
6. Fetch toys: An oldie but goodie. Almost every dog enjoys a good fetch toy. It’s tempting to just use a stick to play fetch but keep in mind that stick may splinter and cause harm.
7. Comfort toys: Not every dog is a heavy chewer. Look for a quality plush toy that is double or triple stitched. Again we caution, make sure there are no small parts for your dog to ingest by accident.
8. Noise makers: Almost every dog loves a good squeaky toy but note we said almost. Some dogs will find them distressing. We can’t say it often enough. Dogs are like children, every dog is different.
9. Switch it up: Our final tip! Keep your dog interested by rotating the toys every once in a while. It’s an easy way to prevent boredom.
Most of all have fun!