Dog Toys Checklist
Pet owners all love to spoil their dogs with their favorite toys because we treat them like our other children and part of the family. We take a lot of time to pick just the right dog toy to make them engage, be active and most importantly happy. Here are some tips on selecting the best toys for our beloved pets:
- Be sure to pick the most appropriate size that goes with your dog. While we wouldn't get a tiny dog a large bone to nibble on, nor would we select a small toy or balls for a large breed dog.
- The right style toy for your dog. For the gentler dogs which definitely does not describe my 105lb Chocolate Lab Tobee, a soft squeaky toy or stuffed animal would be the best fit. The more durable toys would be more appropriate for the large and rougher dog breeds.
- Rawhide is most dogs favorite. A word of caution be sure your pet is supervised because rawhide after being gnawed on for some time tend to get real soft and can get lodged in your dog's throat.
- Hard tennis and regular balls or toys such as Frisbees are much better for high energy active dogs. A big kudos for pet owners are rope toys. What dog does not like to play tug-of-war? You could also play fetch with a rope toy.
- Another favorite for dogs are the good old stuffable toys. If you give a puppy a toy stuffed with peanut butter or small treats, they will be occupied for a long time trying to reach the treat.
- To break up monotony try to rotate or change your dog's toy weekly to keep them engaged.
What has worked well for me is establishing a designated wicker basket or toy bin for my dogs and teach them that this is their chewing territory. I have done this trick with all my dogs and it kept them occupied and out of mischief when I was not home. This avoided my shoes or furniture being chewed, especially when they were puppies. Puppies teething period is 3 to 9 months.
You know your pet well so for high energy breeds select a toy that gives them exercise to burn some of their energy. Also, there are many pet toys that assist with training at the same time.
There are 4 types of toys to choose from:
- Balls - There are various size and style balls such as plush balls, tennis balls, squeaker balls and more. There are two things to consider the size of the balls and their durability. I do not recommend giving a large breed dog a small ball in the fear they could accidentally swallow it. And you don't want them to have soft style toy balls because they will crack and your dog could swallow pieces of it which is also dangerous for them to swallow foreign objects.
- Tug toys - As I mentioned before this is a favorite for a lot of dogs to play fetch or tug-of-war but you don't want to get too rough pulling the rope because the dog could injure his neck or jaw.
- Treats & Chewables - Be sure the toy is soft enough to chew but durable enough it does not break into pieces. These toys go by dog size.
- Plush toys - Best for smaller dogs and not good for the more aggressive dog breeds. A word of caution with this style toy watch if the dog starts removing the stuffing because you don't want them to swallow it.
In summary, select your dog's toy based on their size, energy level, and age. Try to switch up their toys weekly and supervise when needed. As pet owners we want our pets to be happy and safe.