No doubt, choosing the right toy for your dog can be a lot overwhelming. With thousands of options available, picking the right toy for your dog is no walk in the park.
Most dog toys that a dog owner chooses on a whim usually end up in dust. Therefore, it’s wise to follow a guide, like ours, before getting a toy for your dog.
In this guide on choosing the right toys for your dog, we will answer the following questions;
- What are the main factors to consider when choosing the right toys for your dogs?
- What Are Some Different Types of Dog Toys?
- When Should You Introduce Dog Toys?
- Is It Okay to Use Dog Toys Made of Rawhide?
- How to Get Your Dog Accustomed to the Toys?
How to Choose the Right Dog Toy?
Choosing the right toy for your dog depends on the main factors like the dog’s age, size, energy level, temperament and natural preference.
Let us have an overview of the main factors;
Age of The Dog
The age of the dog plays a significant role in choosing the right dog toy. If you are getting a toy for a puppy, make sure it is made up of soft rubber. At that age, your dog would have baby teeth, which won’t be able to chew through hard, interactive toys.
Once your dog gets past the puppy age, you can get interactive toys that would keep your furry friend active and full of energy.
Size of the Dog and the Toy
Another crucial factor is the size of the dog as well as the toy. A large size ball would not be ideal for small-sized dogs. Similarly, a tiny ball would not work for large breeds as they will swallow it.
Therefore, whenever you choose a toy for your four-legged best friend, make sure you consider the size of both the toy and the dog.
Your dog’s energy level also determines which toy would be the perfect fit for him. For example, if your dog has a high energy level, then active dog toys would suit him. Toys like hard rubber chewable and tennis balls are mostly liken by high-energy breeds.
However, if your dog has a lazy couch personality, try giving him some loud, high-pitched toys. Such toys are most likely to arouse their attention.
Dogs with gentler personalities should be offered different toys than rougher personalities. Soft chewable toys or plush toys should be your main focus when shopping for a gentler breed.
However, for dogs who like to rough play with toys and chew out everything, try to get them hard rubber chewable, balls, and other interactive toys.
One thing you need to be highly cautious of is the squeaker buried deep inside the plush toys. Dogs who like to play rough may likely destroy and consume the squeaker. Therefore, always try to opt for stuffing-free dog toys.
What Are Some Different Types of Dog Toys?
The good thing is that a significant number of dog toys, each having their specific traits, are being manufactured every day to cater to your dog play needs:
Dog Chew Toys
It’s not uncommon to find dogs chewing on things they aren’t meant to. Dogs have a knack for chewing, and for the very same purpose, chewable toys are made.
Usually, chewable toys are composed of rubber or latex with a squeaker hidden in the center. The squeaker emits a sound that urges dogs to bite them more often.
For dogs who like to play rough, make sure you get them a hard-rubbered chewable toy. It will last much longer than the normal one.
Chewable toys are also recommended during your pup’s tooth change cycle. The milk teeth of puppies typically change to adult teeth during 12-14 weeks of age.
Dog Fetch Toys
Fetch toys are the absolute best when it comes to playing with your dog. Unlike other toys, fetch toys can be chosen for dogs at any age.
Whether it be a puppy or an adult dog, both love to catch things. Among fetch toys, frisbees and balls are the most beloved by dogs.
Fetch toys not only serve as a means of play but also are a great way to train and exercise your dog. You can even use sticks to start playing fetch with your four-legged best friend.
Dog Plush Toys
Want your dog to have a cute companion side-by-side? Then give your dog a plush toy. Dogs love to carry plush toys around, beat them up, and cuddle with them.
Plush toys are generally soft toys that can be quickly disintegrated into pieces if handled roughly. Therefore, they are only recommended for light chewers because dogs who play rough will destroy the toy in seconds, leaving behind a huge mess.
Ensure that whenever your dog plays with his favorite plush toys, no part of the toy is bitten and swallowed. Otherwise, it can cause damage to your dog’s stomach.
Dog Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys or treat toys are a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated. They usually come in the form of interactive feeders.
Puzzle toys are the ultimate boredom-buster for many dogs, especially smart canines.
What you need to do is fill the interactive feeders with treats and then just sit back and relax while your furry friend hunts his way to the treats.
What’s more, except for fun, such toys are ideal for fast-eaters who like to gulp down food. Treat toys present a puzzle in front of your dog that, on its own, slows down the speed at which your dog eats.
Dog Tug Toys
Tug toys are perfect for dogs who like to pull or love to have 1-on-1 contests with their owner or other dogs. Tug toys are a great way to relieve stress while providing the daily exercise dogs need.
One thing you need to make sure of is that you only choose these toys when your dog’s bite is formed, which usually does after a year and a half.
When Should You Introduce Dog Toys?
After choosing the right toy for your dog, it’s wise to understand when you should get your pup to familiarize with toys. The rule of thumb is that puppies start playing with objects at 4-5 weeks of age.
At that time, you should introduce plush and chew toys as they also help during your pup’s tooth change. Then, between 2 to 6 months of age, you should start playing fetch with your dog.
Once your pup grows older, toys like interactive puzzle feeders become more suitable for them. After one and a half years, you can also introduce toys like tug toys
Is It Okay to Use Dog Toys Made of Rawhide?
No, it would be best if you always avoid rawhide dog toys. Rawhide toys like bones and chews can cause a choking hazard if swallowed by the dog.
With chewing, rawhide becomes soft and can quickly be stuck into your beloved dog’s throat.
How to Get Your Dog Accustomed to the Toys?
If it’s your first time introducing a toy to your dog, depending on the above factors, make sure to buy every possible dog toy that fits into the category.
Introduce all the toys one by one. In this way, you would be able to find out your dog’s preference. Put the toys, which your dog took the least interest aside. After a while, when your pooch gets bored of the old toys, reintroduce them again.
We urge you not to haste whenever you think about entertaining your pets with toys. Take your time to avoid possible risks.
Explore more about toys here.