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Choosing the right toy for your dog can be overwhelming with the volume of choices available, but get the right one to suit your pup, and they are bound to have lots of fun and enjoyment, making for a happier dog.
Dog use toys for a range of reasons ranging from active play to minimise boredom to burning off excess energy and fulfilling their natural instincts to hunt prey. Most of all they love fun and playful toys while interacting with you, their beloved Pawrents!
Just like us humans, each dog can be different in what they like to play with quieter dogs enjoying the squeaks and feel of a Plush Dog Toy to the more active play dogs who love the challenges of a Dog Puzzle Toy or Suction Tug Toy for their mental stimulation. Others may be more food orientated with dog treat toys where they play to get a positive reward for further enjoyment. Some may like the challenge of ripping into and tearing apart a dog rope toy or give them a non-toxic rubber dog toy, while not indestructible, can give longer play time compared to many cheap dog toys.
Pick one or grab a few from a variety of Dog Toy Types to see which one works best with your fur baby.
Certain dog toys may have harmful and toxic materials or additives such as bisphenol A - also known as BPA - which is used with plastics and vinyls to make them elastic. Always look out for ones that are BPA free or made from natural materials.
If chewed up into small enough pieces, the toy piece may be able to pass through the digestive tract with little or no health or safety consequences. If unsure or like a professional opinion, contact your local vet for further advice.
We always recommend supervising your dog during play time to prevent them eating or swallowing any bits of toys they may chew off.
For many puppies, chewing can relieve the pain associated with teething and soreness while growing. Your job as a responsible owner is to provide something your puppy can chew on to soothe their sore gums, helping make the process a little more comfortable for them. By doing so, you’ll be helping prevent them from finding something on his own to chew, like your new shoes or the couch fabric, even the human kids toys.
Just like the best selling dog toys, puppy toys come in a range of different types and sizes, making it worthwhile investing in a few different options to see what your little ball of fluff likes the best.
Whether you’re helping your puppy through teething, teaching good behaviors, or just enjoying playtime, good quality, age- and size-appropriate toys are as important to dog development as training and exercise.
For teething puppies that love to chew, try a dog rope toy or even a multi functional rope and plush toy in one as the rope fibers act like doggy dental floss aiding in dental hygiene and healthy gums. For the stronger puppy chewer, these non-toxic rubber toys provide a soft and gentle toy alternative while still be strong a durable. Clever and cunning little fur balls can benefit from a puzzle toy giving them the challenging mental stimulation they crave.
As dog’s generally use their mouths to play with their toys, it’s important that their toys be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis, killing off bacteria and other germs while washing away dirt and grime from those slobber-laden, dragged through the dirt, tugged-on, chewed-on, and loved to the max dog toy.
Most plush dog toys even ones with stuffing, squeakers or crinkle filling can be put into the washing machine to clean.
Use either a pet-safe detergent or avoid detergent all together. Stick with cold or warm water over hot to help prevent any damage to the toy. For tougher more durable toys, normal cycle is fine, while gentle / delicates cycles for the softer more fragile toys.
Consider washing toys inside a mesh bag to prevent them from taking too much of a beating from your washing machine. If you don’t have a mesh bag, you can use a pillow cover as a back up option.
If you prefer to avoid the washing machine, hand washing them using a half-water, half-vinegar mix is a natural and safe alternative.
Dog Toys can be dried either in a low-heat cycle or hung on a line to dry. To speed along the drying process, squeeze any excess water out of the toys before drying or hanging.
Toys that are played with frequently should be washed at least once a week or earlier if they are covered in slobber, dirt or grim that may allow for bacteria and germs to build up and spread easily.
If your dog seems uninterested when it comes to playing with their toys, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to play. In some cases, a dog might not like certain toys or play, and that's okay too!
There are two common reasons that your dog may not be interested in his toys:
One - You haven’t found the right toys yet.
Two - He simply doesn’t understand what he’s supposed to do with them.
1 - Keep dog toys stored out of sight when not playing. Keep certain special toys put-away and only bring them out when you can play with your dog. If a toy or many toys are always available, it can lose value since it's just always there and becomes boring! Bring them out and play together showing them ones that squeak or throw that ball across the yard so he can see it bounce. He won't know all of the fun things his toys can do unless you show him and play alongside him. Don't use toys as a replacement for you though, as your fur baby adores you and wants to interact with you.
2 – Act SUPER excited about a toy when you bring it out.
Sounds simple enough, but making a big deal about it! For example, oohing and aahing over it, talking in a excited shows their toy is important. move it around quickly, make it squeak if it has a squeaker, or bounce it around. Play a little bit of keepings off with them to make it seem like a huge win when they do get the toy.
3 - Keep play sessions with their dog toy short.
As you build up interest in their new toy, don’t over play with it and put it away before your dog starts to lose interest or gets distracted by something else. By keeping it "new" helps continue making it fun whenever you bring it out to play.
4 - Fill it up with treats:
Sometimes your fur-baby may just need a little bribe to play with his toys while you're getting dinner ready for the whole family. There are a great many treat dispensing dog toys that give perfect spot to hide treats that’ll have them working hard to get the food out, keeping them busy and teaching to interact with their toys.
When dogs chew on toys during play and exercise, endorphins are generated and a from the dog's pituitary gland into the brain giving them sense of calm and happiness while helping to relieve stress along with exercising their body and mind.
The sound emitted by a dog squeaker toy gives them instant feedback that their bite is nice, strong and effective lighting up the pleasure centre in their brain.
Your dog may also learn that if they squeak their favourite squeaky toy around you, that you might join in and play with them. If every time you hear your dog playing with their squeaky toy you join them in their play, your dog will quickly make a correlation between "squeak toy" and "my pawrent plays with me." Some folks may jokingly call this their dog training them, but if your dog is asking you to play with them, who are you to say no?
Licking of toys and licking in general is often considered to be a form of self soothing and affection. It’s their way of relaxing or getting ready for beddy byes.
Answer: There is never too many! Generally the more options you have, the more relaxed they’ll feel, plus having a variety helps keep their minds active and avoiding boredom by having the same old same old toys over and over.
Squeakers, stuffing, and even rubber pieces can be hazardous if your dog were to eat any. It's important to always supervise your dog with a new toy. Toys should be checked regularly for any rips or tears that may break off or potentially be eaten.
Plush toys that have holes in them should be thrown away, or you can sew the hole closed to prevent your dog from ingesting any stuffing material. Damaged plastic and rubber toys should be disposed of.
Toys that are very hard plastic can get rough edges after being chewed up which could potentially injure your dog, should also be thrown out.
It’s vitally important to always supervise your dog when playing with any toy, not only for their health and safety first and foremost, but also to avoid encountering any hefty vet bills.