Dog toys fulfil a variety of needs
Dog toys fulfil a variety of needs, including entertainment, comfort, training, dental health and more. But not any toy will do. It’s important to choose the right toy for your dog’s breed and size, as well as your home.
What toys do dogs like?
Every dog has his or her own preferences, but in general, studies have shown that dogs prefer toys that taste like food, can be torn apart and that make a sound. They find harder and quieter toys less interesting. Most importantly, dogs like toys and games that you can participate in.
What to avoid
Avoid toys with ribbons, strings, eyes or other parts that could be chewed off and swallowed. Although dogs love squeaky toys, make sure he or she doesn’t swallow the squeaker.
What toys should I choose?
- Hard rubber toys from Nylabone® or Kong® are fun for chewing and carrying around. Many of them allow you to insert treats inside, so that your dog can enjoy a reward for playing.
- Dogs love to play tug, so a rope toy can be a great addition to the toy box.
- Balls are always a favourite for training and exercise. Just make sure they are the right size for your dog, and throw them away if they are chewed through or broken.
- Frisbees make playtime fun for both you and your dog, but make sure you put it away somewhere safe between rounds.
- Most dogs love soft toys, but when choosing one, make sure it is safe for children under three years of age and doesn’t contain dangerous fillings like nut shells or polystyrene beads.
- Dental chew toys will keep your dog occupied and give his or her teeth a good cleaning. Ask your vet to recommend the best one for your dog.
- These days there are a lot of fun, interactive toys that challenge your dog’s brain and keep him entertained. There are a number of ‘puzzle toys’ on the market that require your dog to solve a puzzle in order to release a reward in the form of a treat or a toy.
Get the most out of your dog’s toys
Like children, dogs become bored easily and need new distractions. We recommend keeping a toy box and allowing your dog to play with only a few toys at a time. This way you can clean and rotate toys so that your dog doesn’t lose interest. When you introduce new toys, play a game of ‘Hide and Seek’. Toys that are ‘found’ are much more exciting for dogs than those that are simply handed over.