Choosing the Right Toy for your Dog - Complete Guide

HOW TO CHOOSE A RIGHT TOY BASED ON YOUR PUPPIES AGE AND PERSONALITY

Dogs are not built to spend extended periods of time alone or idle. Toys help your pet in enhancing their ability to learn and help them stay active and healthy. They foster their natural behaviours such as exploring and playing. Moreover toys give your pup an environment in which they have control which helps them keep their stress levels at bay. When its you offering to play or engage with a toy, its a bonus for your fur buddies. This results in building a more positive bond between you and your pet. What's not to love about that! This blog will help you understand the utility of different kinds of toys and give a brief guide on selecting the right toy for your pup based on their breed, age & personality.

Following are some type of toys you may choose for your pet:

INTERACTIVE TOYS:

Interactive toys demand your dog's participation. These benefit your dog by providing mental and physical stimulation. These battle boredom and satisfy their natural instincts by either enabling them to retrieve or hunt for food or treats.
These toys encourage your dog to play by themselves, and can be entertaining when you can't take them out for a walk. These also help with managing your time with your pup. Learning to spend time by themselves & stay occupied helps them relieve stress & anxiety, prevents any potential separation anxiety and reduces chances of destructive behaviour.
Following are some types of interactive toys:

1. Puzzle toys: Puzzles help stimulate your dog’s curiosity. Fill the puzzle toys with some treats and then make your dog find the same. Some parents also give their dogs the entire meal in puzzle toys, as this helps to slow down their  process of eating for those who eat too fast.

Featured toys: Furbuddies Cube Root Puzzle Toys Black, Furbuddies Triangle Puzzle Toy 

2. Ball launchers: These toys keep the dog busy while boosting their mental and physical skills. These work by dropping a ball anywhere from 10 to 30 feet, the distance can be adjusted accordingly for indoor or outdoor activity.

3. Food dispensers: These are automatic feeding machines. These provide convenience. You can fill the toy up with food and keep your dog busy for hours. These can be useful for the dogs who have a habit of swallowing food fast, as it helps them to toil for the food and they are able to eat slowly. These can be used in various situations, to entertain your dog, and in relieving anxiety when your dog is left alone.

Featured Toys: Trixie Food Dispensers, Light Taupe, Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Dog Tornados Game

COMFORT TOYS:

As the name suggests, comfort toys help dogs feel calm and secure. Sometimes you may notice your dog chills with a toy just for comfort. In a physiological way these help in distressing or calms them in situations of excitement or nervousness. Generally, dogs prefer toys that smell and taste good or make certain noises. Stuffed toys can be one of them but are not appropriate for dogs as they come with a few choking hazards many times. But if your dog really likes them, you could give them once you’ve removed any potentially harmful element like buttons, plastic eyes or any other toxic material.
Instead of that a tshirt, pillowcase, towel or blanket works wonders as comfort toys as these usually have your fragrance which can be very comforting to your dog.
But be aware they may be destroyed.

Featured Toy: Catit Design Senses Comfort Zone

You can also use a companion toy for your dog to provide him comfort. These toys contain a disposable heat source and battery power heartbeat device so that your dog will feel he is sleeping next to another real puppy.
These can be helpful in time you leave your pet alone for longer than usual so that he does not get separation anxiety and makes him feel comfortable.

Here are some of the dog breeds that are genetically more prone to anxiety & depression (more than other breeds) are:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pomeranian
  • Chihuahua
  • German Shepherds

  • ACTIVE TOYS:

    Your active pets need some toys to play with because you cannot be around them all the time.
    Nicoole Ellis, a “dog” trainer says, ”many of the hyperactive and destructive problems can be solved by providing the dog with some mental exercise”.
    For their mental and physical stimulation one may use the following toys:

  • Ball launchers: These are the automatic ball throw devices. They can automatically launch the ball to anywhere within 10 to 30 feet. You may adjust the distance according to when playing outdoors and when playing indoors. These help an active dog in doing some activity when you cannot take them out for a walk. And will give you plenty of time to spend with each other.
  • Frisbee: Frisbees are specially designed so that dogs can catch them as they fly over and hold them with their teeth. But you need to be careful of the quality of the frisbee you use, as the plastic ones may break into smaller & sharper pieces that can injure your dog's mouth severely. Playing frisbee for longer periods may also have severe effects on your dog's lumbar spine, hind legs and knee joints.
  • ( Featured Toys: West Paw Zisc Toy For Dogs)
    These toys are very helpful for extremely active breeds such as:
  • Labrador Retriever
  • German Shepherds
  • Doberman
  • Great Danes
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Australian Shepherds 


  • ENSURING SAFETY:

    There are many factors that are contributing to the safety and danger of a toy. These can depend upon your dog's size, activity level and preference. Though providing safety for a specific toy is difficult, we can follow some guidelines. 

  • One should ensure that the toy is appropriate according to the size of your pet. The toy should not be so small that it gets swallowed by the dog. As it can be a choking hazard.
  • Avoid all the toys that are not dog proof. You can dog proof several items in your household and make them into toys. 
  • Things that seem to be most attractive to dogs can be most dangerous. You should remove things like stings, ribbons, and children's toys from your dog's reach so that they cannot be swallowed by the dog.
  • While your pet is playing with squeaky toys supervision is required. As they might have an urge to destroy the toy and go to the source of the noise which can result in swallowing of some part of the toy. 

  • TAKE TOYS AWAY:

    Making all the toys available to your dog all the time will result in them getting used to these toys and may take away the excitement or mental stimulation these toys are supposed to induce. So dedicate a boy/trunk for all your baby’s toys and take out one at a time.
    This will help you re-engage your pets lust for play  and will develop your bond with the pet. Limit the toys you give to your pets and you will be amazed to see their new found passion to play.

    MAKING TOYS LAST LONG:

    Make only limited toys available at a time to your dog. You might not keep the toy that is your dog's favourite with him for all the time. You should provide different toys for a lot of purposes. You might give one to carry, one to shake, one to snuggle with  and one to give comfort.
    The toys that have to be found are more attractive than the ones that are given to them. You may play a session with them in which they have to find the toys, on a rainy day or when you cannot take them out.


    “Dogs do speak but only to the ones who listen”, on that account listen to your dog's need and bring them the toys that they relish, and build a strong and fun relation with your pup.

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