A common mistake that new puppy owners make when shopping for essential dog supplies, is not paying enough attention to their playtime needs. Just like children, puppies need the appropriate amount of entertainment and stimulation to help them grow into well-rounded dogs.
One of the best ways to encourage this type of development is by providing them with durable and safe toys for puppies. But giving them just any old toy won’t do – you need to make sure that it’s the right type of toy for their age, size and chewing habits. Let’s take a closer look at how you can make the best decision for your furry friend.
What are the Benefits of Dog Toys?
First thing’s first, it’s important to understand the wealth of benefits that dog toys can provide. After all, puppies are notorious for putting just about anything in their mouths – so you want to make sure that what they’re chewing on is actually good for them.
It’s no secret that dogs need daily exercise to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. But sometimes it’s hard to find the time (or energy) to walk your pooch every day. Plus, not all dogs enjoy walks – some prefer to simply run around and play instead – which is where dog toys come in.
By giving your pup a toy to fetch, tug or chew on, you’re providing them with the exercise they need to keep their bodies functioning properly. This is especially important for smaller breeds who often don’t get enough exercise because they’re not able to walk long distances.
In addition to physical activity, dogs also need mental stimulation to stay sharp. They’re intelligent creatures who get bored easily, so it’s important to give them things to do that will help them use their brains. This is where puzzle toys come in – they provide a challenge for your pooch and help to keep their minds active.
Some popular puzzle items for dogs include Kongs (which can be filled with treats), snuffle mats (which are great for sniffing dogs) and interactive feeders (which make mealtime more challenging).
Toys can also be used as a bonding tool between you and your pup. Playing together is a great way to build rapport and create a strong relationship – but it’s also a lot of fun. From fetch to tug-of-war, there are plenty of games you can play together that will strengthen your bond while giving your four-legged friend some much-needed exercise.
Last but not least, certain types of toys can actually help to keep your pup’s teeth clean and healthy. Chew toys, in particular, are great for massaging the gums and removing plaque and tartar build-up. This is vital for maintaining good oral health throughout their life.
Chew bones, rubber chew toys and dental sticks are all great options for keeping your pet’s choppers clean and healthy. Just make sure they’re made from strong materials that won’t break easily – you don’t want your pup swallowing any small pieces.
What to Consider When Choosing Dog Toys?
First of all, it’s important to understand that not all toys have the same features. Depending on your pet’s size and personality, some items are safer as well as more fun than others. And just because a specific product is available in a pet store doesn’t mean it’s a good pick for your pooch.
To choose the safest toys for puppies, consult with your veterinarian and other pet owners. When it comes to specific brands, look at the company’s methods, materials, ingredients, and customer happiness. Other things to consider include:
Toys with strong chemical odours should be avoided, as should colourful materials that may contain harmful colours. Some items contain dangerous levels of lead, phthalates, and other hazardous substances, so do your homework before purchasing toys. You’ll also want to stay away from anything that includes essential oils or other herbal medicines because animals are sensitive to various plants and herbs, some of which can be fatal.
Toys for dogs featuring ribbons, loose thread or yarn, fancy eyes, or buttons might cause choking or stomach problems. Feathers and bells appear to be entertaining, but many pets can readily remove them.
When choosing a stuffed toy, make sure your pet can digest the filling in case they break into it. Keep an eye out for stuffing that contains beads, nutshells, or other tiny objects that are bad for your pet’s stomach.
Rawhide dog toys can potentially cause intestinal problems and choking. Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog rawhide chews to ensure that you select the safest alternative.
Dog Toys Pet Owners Recommend
There are several products that are highly valued in the pet community. They’ve been tried and tested by other dog owners and animal lovers, and have proven to be both safe and fun for pups of all shapes and sizes. Some of the best include:
Interactive toys require your participation. Fetch and rope toys are great examples of these kinds of items. Many dogs like pursuing balls and flying disks. Rubber products with unusual shapes bounce unpredictably and add to the enjoyment of the game.
Flying disks are available in a variety of forms and sizes, including soft ones that are gentler on the dog’s mouth. And ball-throwing gadgets lengthen the distance the dog must run to retrieve the toy.
These are toys that keep your dog entertained when you don’t have time to play with him. Examples include:
- Food Delivery Toys – These items are designed to be used with kibble or small treats, and the dog must handle the toy with his mouth and/or paws in order for the food to fall out.
- Chew Toys – Hard rubber products with holes at both ends are excellent chew toys. To make them more appealing, fill them with kibble or snacks. Put a little bit of peanut butter or cream cheese inside the toy to stimulate chewing.
- Dental Chew Toys – Hard toys that dogs may nibble on while safely ingesting tiny particles. You should keep an eye on your dog to ensure that he does not break off and consume huge parts of these items.
- Chew Challenge Toys – These make it more difficult for the dog to devour an appetizing chewy.
Soft plush playthings can be useful for a variety of functions, but they are not suitable for all breeds. The plush toy should be small enough for your puppy to carry around.
In order to make the most of your puppy’s toys, consider rotating them on a weekly basis by only allowing four or five items to be available at one time. Keep a variety of them on hand. If your dog has a favourite comfort toy, leave it available all the time.