Dogs are much like children, and they enjoy toys that not only trigger “play time” but also stimulate their brains. Preventing boredom in your dog is very important, especially if you are gone during the day. Toys can also prevent negative behaviors like chewing the furniture or getting into personal items. Dogs are happy when they have something to play with.
Walk into your local pet store and you will see an endless selection of toys for your pet. There are toys for small to large dogs, and definitely toys for chewing, but it is important to choose a toy that matches your dog’s activity level, preferences and tendencies to chew. Most of the plush toys can be destroyed in one sitting, so if your dog is an aggressive chewer, the soft-cuddly type of toy will have you cleaning up the fluffy insides off the floor.
Look for durable toys that will offer hours of fun and do not pose any danger to your pet. It is always a good idea to choose a toy that will allow the two of you to interact with each other. Any toy that offers an element of surprise will also give your dog’s brain a workout, as well as their body. A ball that bounces in different directions is always a good choice that will keep them busy for a long time.
The next time you head to your local pet store for a toy, keep these tips in mind:
- Match the toy with the size of your pet. Many times the toy will specify the appropriate poundage for that specific toy.
- Keep other items in a safe place that might be dangerous to your pet, like children’s toys, loose ribbons or anything too small that could be ingested and choked on.
- Avoid rawhides altogether – these can damage the inside of a dog’s mouth and can get lodged in their throat.
- Squeaky toys are fun, but the noisy piece can be chewed right out of the toy and swallowed. It is best to avoid them too.
- Select a variety of toys for your dog so they will always have something to play with, plus they can help your dog feel more secure both at home and in unfamiliar situations.
- Playing with your dog helps strengthen the bond between the two of you. Plus it gives you an opportunity to socialize your pet and learn proper behaviors.
Rope toys are always popular for tug-o-war and chewing. Rubber toys work well and are favorites among dogs and their owners. Chewing and fetching are popular activities for dogs and the right toy will go a long way in keeping your dog entertained and active for years to come. Toys that zig zag around the room and talk are becoming popular because they are suitable for both small and large dogs – Choose a toy that makes your pet and you happy so you can spend quality time together.
Photo: Courtesy of Klye May