Which toys are best for your dog and why?

Choosing a toy for a busy pup isn’t always easy and sometimes they end up playing with the packaging more than the actual toy. Each dog has a unique personality and energy level and will therefore have a unique preference for the type of toy he or she likes to play with. However, there are certain traits similar in each dog that can aid the process of choosing a toy.

Dogs look at their toys the way wolves look at prey.

They tend to prefer toys that taste like food, can be torn apart, and/or make a noise.

Dogs are interested in new things.

Often, toys can be very interesting at first but once they become familiar with them, they can lose interest. To avoid this, you could have a variety of different toys, and rotate them on a weekly basis.

Dogs are more interested when you participate.

Dogs are social creatures and therefore become more excited when we’re excited. Engaging a dog in play using toys is much more engaging than playing alone. For example, a tug toy is not very much fun if there isn’t someone on the other side.

Source: The Toys Dogs Like Best and Why

squeaky dog toy hot dog - Photo © Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

These are some of the best options:

Balls – A ball toy is a must-have for any dog that loves to fetch. When choosing a ball for your dog, pick one that is large enough for your dog to carry without accidentally swallowing it. The basic tennis-ball size works fine for most dogs, but there are also extra-large balls for giant dogs and mini balls for tiny dogs. In general, avoid leaving tennis balls around for your dog to chew on. Believe it or not, the material in tennis balls can cause the teeth to wear down and pieces can lead to choking or gastrointestinal obstruction if ingested.

Discs and Various Retrieving Toys – Also good for dogs who love to fetch, but are a little more versatile, as you can vary speed and direction, which can be a good challenge for your dog.

Plush Toys – Dogs often love to have plush toys. Some pups can treat them as babies, while others treat them as prey. Make sure to supervise play with these, as your dog could swallow stuffing which is potentially detrimental to his or her health

Squeakies – These are very entertaining for canines, and are relatively inexpensive, however they don’t tend to last very long

Rope Toys & Tug Toys – Chewing a rope toy can be good for your dog’s teeth, as it creates a brushing-like action. Dogs love to play tug of war, whether it be with their owner or with another dog. Always ensure the toy is durable and not going to break in the middle of a tug of war, as someone could get hurt

Floating Toys – These are great for if your dog loves to swim

Food Dispensing Toys – These offer great mental stimulation and are a good way to funnel your dog’s energy.

Source: Dog Toy Styles

Playing with you will always be best, but if you hope to keep your dog engaged on his or her own, toys that can be easily manipulated are more likely to keep interest.



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