As a dog owner, you probably understand the physical benefits of exercise for your dog. One of the best ways to get your dog or puppy to exercise is by buying it a toy.
Choosing toys for your dog can be quite challenging, especially with so many options on the market. When selecting a toy for your dog, go for one that is fun, durable, and most importantly, safe. Does this mean that all fun, durable, and safe toys are suitable for your dog? Let’s find out.
What toy is best for my dog?
To determine the type of toy that your dog will enjoy playing with, watch him as he plays with other dogs. Dogs that prefer chasing other dogs or being chased, for instance, enjoy playing with toys that they can retrieve or chase. Those that enjoy wrestling with other dogs, on the other hand, prefer interactive play.
If you are still in limbo about which toy to buy for your dog, here’s the ultimate guide on choosing the best dog toys.
How do I choose a toy for my dog?
After you have determined your dog’s preferences (from watching him play with other dogs), it is now time to shop for his new toys. Still, a lot could go wrong during this process. However, if you follow these tips, you’re guaranteed to choose the best toy for your dog:
Don’t get “inappropriate” toys
For most dog owners, creating a rapport with a dog is the most important thing. If you fall under this category, remember that it won’t be very easy to interact with your dog if he learns to play without you. Therefore, it is best to go for toys that promote interactive play.
Balls and squeaky toys, for instance, might seem like a great choice, but they make it hard to engage in interactive play. Thus, you should avoid buying them.
Avoid toys that your dog can tear apart or swallow
Most people consider soft, stuffed toys to be comfort toys for their dogs. However, if your dog is not gentle and prefers rough play, you should avoid such toys as they are pretty easy to tear apart. Ensure that you avoid toys that have something that your dog could remove and swallow.
Choose a toy with some length
Toys that have some length (tug toys) are the most ideal for your dog. The idea is to have a toy that allows your hand to be a little far away from the dog’s mouth as you play.
Tug toys, including balls and squeakers with a tug, promote interactive play, allowing you to teach your dog some skills, such as retrieving, during play.
Besides, these toys are much safer because they are not easy to swallow. Not to forget that tug is a great game that your dog can enjoy indoors during long winters.
Snaking a tug toy on the ground will get your puppy all excited about interacting and playing with you before a fun game of tug.
Choose a toy with little pockets
If your dog is unmotivated to play, then a toy with small pockets might be what he needs. You can put hard or soft treats in the pockets to keep your dog engaged.
These treats do not have to be in the form of food. You can put a squeaky in the pockets, say a bottle filled with rocks, to help you get and keep your dog’s attention on the game.
Check the material that the toy is made from
Your dog is going to put his toy in the mouth most of the time. Therefore, you ought to make sure that the toy you buy is made from non-toxic material. If you are looking for safe chew toys for dogs, avoid rawhide toys as they soften when chewed and can become stuck in your dog’s throat.
Finally, remember to consider the size of your dog when buying toys. Most toys are designed for a specific dog size. Always check the label to ensure that you are purchasing the recommended dog size.
Note that a toy that is too small can be a choking hazard for your dog. Therefore, as your pup grows, replace his toys and buy the recommended size. Do not forget to use the tips discussed above to get the best toy for your canine!