Dog toys, just like childrens toys, can vary in quality and price. Some toys now have additional benefits such as being interactive, tough, stuffing free, teeth cleaning and even dishwasher safe. It can be confusing for pet owners to say the least.
Often as pet owners we end up purchasing a toy that appears cute, this may not be the toy that best suites your dog. Factors to consider when choosing a toy include age, breed, the amount of time that you can spend with the dog and the amount of time that the dog spends by itself. So if cute and quirky is not the best way to choose a toy, what should you take into account when choosing the toys that will be best suited to your pet.
Your Dog is 99.4% wolf!
That’s right even your fluffy lap dog shares that much DNA with their wild wolf ancestors. Put simply, the toys our dogs like the most, can hold food in them, have squeakers, have fur on them or can be torn apart. Your dog will look at toys in much same way as a wolf will look at prey and all of these features in toys are very attractive to dogs.
Tough toys last longer but is it because they don’t get any use?
It can be frustrating to buy a toy and have it torn apart in few days or even hours. We then search out tougher toys, but if the dog can’t break the toy or find other stimulus from it (taste or sound) it may become bored with quickly. If you are looking for tough and long lasting, choose toys that can have food added to them, or hard toys that make a sound.
No one likes to play alone.
Tell your child to kick the ball around outside and it may last for a few minutes. Join in with them and it may last much longer. There is nothing like having a buddy to play and explore the world with and your wants to play with its extended pack (that’s you and your family). Interactive toys such as tug ropes are great fun for dogs and most dogs can be taught to fetch from a young age. If you can’t throw very far, don’t worry get yourself a ball chucker and that will send the ball many metres and save your shoulder to!
Toys for all ages
Puppies often like to have a fluffy cuddly toy especially when they first come home. These are a source of comfort for the pup after it has left its litter mates. If possible ask the breeder to place a soft dog toy (avoid children’s toys as they may have parts that could swallowed if chewed by your pup) with the pups in the litter before you pick it up. The scent of their mother or siblings on the toy can make settling in much easier.
As your dog ages, its energy and interest will also change so make sure that you take this into account when choosing new toys for your pet.
Nothing lasts for ever.
There are certainly some dog toys that last a long time, but make a habit of always inspecting the your dog’s toys regularly for signs of damage. Toys that break up may cause choking or intestinal blockages in your pet, if in doubt, throw it out!
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