Whether you have a new puppy or you have a dog in your family for years by now, picking the best toy for your dog is always a difficult task. It's one of the greatest things to be a parent of a pooch, and for them chewing and playing are natural behaviors, and choosing the right toys for them is one of the most important things in your relationship.
The dog's toy options are endless and to make the right decision can be overwhelming because when you choose the right toy that matches with your dog, you have to consider many things such as the dog's age, chewing habits, or personality.
It can be fun if you take your Fido to the pet store and let her pick the toy that she wants, but to find the right one is not always easy. It takes a little longer before you will find the one that becomes her favorite.
Let's dive into and pick the best toys for your dog.
Toys for your dog's age
You always have to keep in your mind your dog's age. A 3-month-old puppy has baby teeth, so make sure that you choose a plush or a softer rubber.
Between 3 and 9 months, your pooch will be teething, so try to avoid the hard rubber; and he will be chewing on anything that he will find with his paws, so make sure you will have a good variety of toys that will keep distracted him from your favorite slippers. When the teething is over, your Fido will have strong enough jaws to chew on harder rubbers and will have lots of energy to play around with rope pulls or balls.
By the age of 7 years or so, your dog won't have as strong teeth had when he was younger, but it still important for him to have softer chewing toys and to keep him active with sticks or easy-toss-toys. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on the store shelves, specifically made for dogs with certain ages; also, these toys match with your dog's size and personal chewing habits.
Toys' sizes and textures for your dog
Even if it's an adult dog, the small Yorkshire Terrier is not going to chew as harshly as a big Saint Bernard, but they will always need toys that are made specifically for their smaller teeth. Also, if the toy is too soft, it can break into small pieces, and then it can cause gastrointestinal blockages. When you see a sign that starts to show damage, such as a broken squeaker or breaks, it's time to replace the toy.
The right-size of the toy is also important because if it's too small, your dog can swallow it easily. Ultimately, you will need to decide which toy will occupy fit the best for your companion because just like we humans, dogs are also able to indicate which toys they prefer most of the time.
Toy types for your dog
Wandering among the aisles in the pet store is always confusing, but when you shop for your pooch, and if you already know her chewing habits, age, and size, you will be able to pick the best toys for your dog.
A ball toy is always a must-have for any dog. You will find many options such as rubber balls, tennis balls, plush balls, foam balls, squeaker balls, and more. Some of them even glow in the dark or float on the water; these balls are really helpful on the nighttime routine, or if you have a pool. When you find the right-sized ball for your dog, make sure that the material is strong enough for her teeth and that she won't chew it into pieces in minutes. Most of the dogs love to play fetch and catch, so as a dog parent, you will be able to get involved in the game. This also helps to make the bond stronger between you and your beloved pup.
Many dogs' favorites are the plush toys: they usually carry around them in the house like the babies. Almost all these kinds of toys contain squeaker and poly-fill. They are very easy to be ripped apart by a dog, and then the stuffing goes everywhere. Before your Fido hits her teething phase, plush toys are great options to snuggle up with at night, too. Always supervise your pup when she plays with the plush toy in order to keep her away from swallowing the squeaker or the stuffing. This kind of toy won't last as long as the stronger chewing toys, but on the other side your dog can have plenty of fun with them.
Non-plush squeak toys come in many different sizes and shapes. Usually, their material is plastic, rubber, or vinyl. According to your pooch's chewing habits, choose wisely. The thicker rubber is usually the better for aggressive chewers, and the plastic or thinner vinyl version is the best for the mild chewers. Also, the thinner vinyl squeak toys are much cheaper than the rubber ones, but they won't last that long because of the material.
These toys are made from braided rope, and usually, they have plastic or rubber parts as well. They are great to be used for simply chewing, play fetch, or play tug-of-war. Most of the dogs love the rope toys, and it's also very healthy for your pooch's teeth because when she is chewing on it, it creates a brushing action. Unfortunately, if your dog is an aggressive chewer, the rope will be easily shredded, and the pieces will be everywhere, and they also can lead to serious gastrointestinal obstruction. So, never leave your dog unsupervised when she is playing with her rope. When you notice that the rope begins to unravel, it's time to replace it.
Most of the dogs love to play tug-of-war with other dogs or with their owners. Playing with this kind of toy is a healthy display of a dog's predatory nature, and it is a great physical and mental exercise as well. You will find many types of tug toys on the shelves in various sizes, materials, and shapes. When you choose, make sure that it's comfortable for you to hold it in your hand and to pull on. Also, tug toys should be durable to last long enough to hold their strength when your dog's pulling. If you notice that your pup's tug toy is worn or fraying, it's time to replace it, so it won't break in the middle of the game, and won't hurt someone.
Toys always provide enjoyment and fun for plenty of hours for our pets. They also can be used such as training devices or treats. Picking the best toy for your dog does not only provide a toy for your beloved Fido that she truly loves to play with, but the right toys will also support her dental health and relieve her boredom.