Why Should My Puppy Have Different Types Of Dog Toys?
Toys play an integral part in the health and happiness of a puppy. Dogs at that age have a lot of energy to spend. Your primary aim should be to channelize this energy into healthy play habits.
Different puppy toys are essential for that. If you get your puppy just one kind of toy, he or she may get tired and bored with it soon. And puppies may not like all the toys out there.
Some may dislike some specific textures or shapes. So it is essential that you buy several different types of toys to keep your puppy occupied continuously.
Choose Toys For Dogs
Not all dog toys on the market are 100% safe for all breeds of dogs. There are several factors which can affect the safety and suitability of a particular toy for your pet.
These include the individual breed. Size, activity level, personality, aggression, play environment all play a crucial role.
Be Smart When Your Choose Toys For Dogs
Even the most commonplace objects can be very dangerous for a dog. For example, certain toys with long lever-like protrusions can cause injury to their eyes.
Avoid toys with pointy edges like the plague! Choking is another primary concern, so don't give your Great Dane small toys that better suit a poodle.
Dogs grow pretty fast, so you need to pay extra attention to this aspect. Soft plush toys are perfect for small puppies who are only several weeks old. But in just a few months they will start teething and chew on everything!
Soft toys will not last for minutes at this stage. So get ready to buy a lot of chew toys. Post this phase, a fully grown dog will prefer hard rubber toys, balls, and other stuff like ropes.
This stage can last the longest in several years. But once they become old, senior dogs lack the jaw strength to tackle hard rubber. Softer toys, balls, and sticks are the best option at this age.
Size And Texture
Thanks to the effort of breeders across the world, dogs come in all sizes, from a Chihuahua to a St Bernard. Smaller breeds obvious have smaller and weaker jaws, so buy them softer toys.
But be careful though. If you get a dog toy that is too soft, it can get ripped apart and swallowed, which is a significant choking hazard. Size is also significant. A hard toy that is small enough to fit behind the molars of your pup can be swallowed.
Keep that rule of thumb in mind when looking at dog toy sizes. Soft & Squeaky Dog Toys Are Fine For Gentler Dogs. Dog aggression and overall personality is a crucial factor.
Dogs with a gentler disposition will not get in trouble if they play with soft squeaky toys. But give the same toy to an energetic and aggressive terrier, and you have a whole different story in the making.
For dogs that are prone to rough play with their toys, squeaky toys are a big no-no. The noise from the toy may compel the dog to try and “kill” it. They could end up swallowing the toy or its pieces.
Active Dog Toys For Dogs With High Energy
If your dog is a real action hero/heroine, stick with sturdy toys that are specifically designed for them.
There is a separate category of harder rubber toys for such dogs. Look for shapes and sizes that they can run around with.
Dog Treat Toys For Dogs That Get Bored
These are toys that contain dog treats and sometimes peanut butter inside them. Your dog will get these little rewards once they chew through the toy. If you get them in the perfect size for your dog, they can last for hours.
Comfort Dog Toys For All Dogs
Soft stuffed animals are often used by some dogs to mimic their “prey.” These toys can be carried around in the mouth, and shaken and “killed.” Make sure that the toy has the same size as that breed’s prey. And do not allow this kind of play to happen unsupervised.
Get The Most Out Of Your Dog Toys
When you buy several types of toys for your dog or puppy, don't make the mistake of giving them all the toys at once. Instead, keep a rotation policy in place.
Provide your dog only a couple of toys at any given time, max four or five toys. Some dogs take a particular like to certain individual toys. These “favorites” can be given an exception.
Make them available to the dog at all times to keep your pooch happy. And always try to include some toys that require human interaction. Balls and frisbees are an example.
What Kind Of Dog Toys Should I Get?
These bell-shaped toys are made of durable rubber. They are perfectly suited for small puppies. Your puppy can play around with these toys for hours alone, indulging in stuff like throwing them in the air.
The toy series includes models with varying levels of toughness and durability. As they are open at both ends, you can even stuff them with your pup’s favorite treats.
Kong toys are available in different sizes and colors as well. The toys are made from extremely safe natural rubber.
Nylabones are perfect for puppies who have entered the teething stage. These toys are made from safe plastics. As in the case with many other top-ranking toys, nylabones are available in varying grades of durability.
These toys are meant to be chewed and come in different sizes and shapes. Choose toys for dogs wisely, or you will end up with a toy that your pooch destroys in a matter of seconds.
Hollow Sterilized Bones
These are real animal bones that have been thoroughly sterilized, with all the soft matter removed. Such bones make a very inexpensive but long lasting toy.
But they can be a bit of a hit and miss, as some pups do not find them at all interesting. If your dog like it, you can expect him to spend hours chewing on this bone.
Such toys are generally great for healthy and clean teeth. And they are a firm favorite of both pups as well as adult dogs. The single main problem with these toys is the issue of fraying.
The loose handing threads or strings pose a minor choking hazard. So you have to keep an eye on your dog when you give him these toys.
Balls are old school dog toys. Most breeds love playing around with these toys. You can use any ball for a fun play session with your dog.
These include balls made from rubber or foam, plush balls, tennis balls, and squeaker balls. Just make sure that the ball is a safe size and durable enough to survive your dog’s jaws and teeth.
Tug-of-war is a game that most dogs enjoy instinctively. It is a sign of aggression, but that should not be an issue as long as your pup is trained correctly.
Tug toys are prone to damage due to the force exerted on them. So you need to keep an eye on such toys if you plan to use them.
Tug toys are made out of plush linen, rope or leather. If they start tearing, fraying or coming apart at the edges, replace them as soon as possible. Always try to keep the aggression level in check when your dog is playing with such toys.
Treats and Chewables
Chewable toys are made from extremely durable materials like nylon or hard rubber. These toys can take a lot of punishment from the jaws and teeth of a dog.
Some toys have recesses where you can stuff your dog’s favorite edible treats. This will make the toy even more attractive for a dog. Always remember to change the toy as the dog grows older.
Smaller pups need softer toys, while the stronger adults can handle the harder variants. And remember to use healthy treats, not junk food!
Though most dogs love these toys, they are not very safe in most situations. The main problem is their relative fragility. Dogs can rip apart most plush toys in a matter of minutes.
The fragments then pose significant choking hazards. They are best given to pups who are yet to enter their teething stage. Small puppies often tend to get attached to their plush toys.
These can then be used to train them when they get older. Such toys can be used as rewards to teach your certain dog commands. Take particular care when you give your dog plush toys if your household has kids.
If they also have plush toys, you will have to teach your dog to differentiate between these toys. This will help avoid any potential destructive behavior from your dog towards stuff that is not his.
Discs and Other Retrieving Toys
Balls and discs (like Frisbees) fall into this category. In this regard, discs are often considered better than balls. They are more versatile, and you can use them in different ways.
You can try changing their speeds, or make them swing in different directions. This adds more challenges to stimulate your dog and keep him on his toes.
Nonplush variants of squeaky toys are made from harder materials like vinyl or plastic. Rubber is another common option in this category, and the best option if your dog has a very aggressive chewing habit. Vinyl and plastic are suitable for less aggressive dogs as they are less durable.
If your dog loves swimming in your backyard pool, these toys come highly recommended. They are usually made from materials like foam, light plastics, and other floating objects.
Food Dispensing Toys
Such toys give your dog something interesting to focus all their attention on. So you should have at least a couple of these toys in your house. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be found in plastic and rubber variants.
Interactive Toys and Dog Puzzles
These are very similar to food dispensing toys. In fact, some people would consider food dispensing toys as a form of interactive toys. These toys have hidden compartments that can be filled with kibble or treats. They challenge your dog to figure out ways to get to the treats.
Toys help keep a dog happy and mentally alert. They are also very important training accessories. Puppies and dogs deprived of toys tend to show unhealthy tendencies like destructive and aggressive behavior. So if you have a puppy, always keep some quality dog toys around for them.