It is a natural canine behaviour to play and chew. When dogs are not provided with a proper outlet to do these things it can become problematic. Choosing a good toy for your dog can be quite challenging because there are a lot of toy options to choose from and it can be an overwhelming experience.
You must learn how your furry friend likes to play or chew so that you can decide on what to get them. At Barking Heads we have put together a list of tips that will help you choose the right toys for your dog.
- Choose A Size Appropriate Toy
The toys you get your dog should be appropriate for his current size. An example is with balls. your dog should be able to carry the ball in its mouth but it also shouldn’t be too small to avoid accidental swallowing or lodging in the throat. If a toy is not “dog-proof” it should be altered by removing the parts that could be chewed or ingested.
- Texture Of The Toy
Some dogs are very gentle with plush toys while some are not. If your dog enjoys playing rough with his toys or ripping them apart avoid soft or plush toys because they can break into small pieces causing your dog to choke or even cause intestinal blockages if ingested. If your dog is likely to chew harshly on a toy get them toys that more forgiving on their jaws.
If the toy is squeaky in nature reserve it for gentler dogs. Dogs that aren’t so gentle will rip the toy apart trying to look for the source of the squeak.
- Consider The Age Of The Dog
You should keep the age of your dog in mind while buying them a toy. Very young puppies have baby teeth, so plush and smaller toys are a good fit for them. When the puppy grows older and gets to three to nine months, he’ll be teething and will be likely to chew on anything. Providing him with chew toys will keep him from chewing on your favourite pair of shoes.
When dogs are done teething they will have very strong jaws and will require hard rubber toys, play balls and ropes to pull on. Senior dogs of around age seven have weaker jaws than they used to and need softer toys to chew on and toys that keep them active.
- How Active Is Your Dog?
If your dog is very active or has a lot of energy, toys made of hard rubber are the appropriate ones. They come in many shapes and sizes and dogs find it fun carrying them around or chewing on them. Rope toys and tennis balls are also great for high energy activities.
- Make Safe And Smart Choices
Things dogs play with can be quite dangerous. Avoid buying toys that pose a potential danger to your dog. It’s a bad idea to get toys that are sharp or pointy. Make sure to confirm that the toy is not made of toxic materials which could be unsafe for your dog. You can always read online reviews on the dog toy before getting it.
Dog toys that are appropriate for your dog give your dog a safe and fun playtime. You can use toys to train your dogs by rewarding them with the toy if they act appropriately. Remember to keep replacing the toys as the dog grows. Most importantly remember that safety and fun come first.