Best dog toys - fun and safe toys for canines

The best dog toys are interactive and fun. For dogs, toys are a necessity, not a luxury. Toys fight boredom in dogs when left alone, providing them with comfort. Toys also help dogs especially puppies to develop social and physical skills which will help them navigate life. 

Buying toys for dogs is tricky. If a toy is too complicated they will lose interest and if it is not durable enough, they will shred that toy to pieces or worst – they swallow a toy and have said toy lodged in their throat. 

tips on buying safe toys for dogs

Multiple factors contribute to a toy’s safety standards, and a number of them depends on the size of your dog, its activity levels and preferences. Another factor would be the dog’s environment. Here are tips on buying safe toys for dogs:

Dog-proof toys

Things that attract dogs the most tend to be things that are most dangerous. Dog-proof your home by removing string, ribbon, rubber bands, children toys, pantyhose and anything that may be mistakenly swallowed. Toys should also be appropriate per the size of your dog. Balls and other smaller toys can easily be swallowed or lodged in your dog’s throat. Discard toys that have started to break or are torn.

Squeaky toys

Be wary of toys containing a squeaker. Your dog may be compelled to locate and destroy the squeaking source and may ingest it during the hunt. Do supervise dogs playing with squeaky toys.

Plush toys

Look for stuffed toys that are labelled as safe for children under three years of age that do not contain dangerous fillings. Avoid problematic fillings such as nutshells and polystyrene beads, which are indigestible when accidentally swallowed. For hygiene purposes, ensure all soft toys are machine washable.

Leathers & skin

Regarding rawhide, be sure to check with the vet about which ones are safe and appropriate for your dog. Because such toys can be choking hazards, do supervise your dog when playing with toys made of leather. Opt for hard rubber toys, which are safer and more durable.

recommended toys for dogs

Active toys

Very hard rubber are fun for chewing and carrying around, plus they are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. “Rope” toys are available in a “bone” shape with knotted ends. Tennis balls are great dog toys, but ensure it isn’t one that can be chewed through; discard them should this occur.

Distraction toys

Toys, especially filled with treats, can keep a dog busy for hours. Only by diligent chewing can your dog attain the treats, and even then, only in small bits. Check with your vet regarding whether or not to mesh peanut butter with said treats. “Busy-box” toys are large rubber cubes with treats hidden within. Only by moving the cube with its nose, mouth and paws can a dog get to the treats inside.

Comfort toys

Some dogs prefer carrying around soft toys, so pick a small enough one. Others rather shake or ‘kill’ their toys, so pick one that is large enough to prevent accidental swallowing, yet sturdy enough to withstand dog attacks. Dirty and unused laundry like old tee shirts, pillowcases, towels or blankets can be very comforting to a dog, especially if the items smell of you!

how to get the most out of dog toys

A smart selection of dog toys allow you to enjoy tons of fun with your dog, while conditioning its behaviour positively too! Get started here:

Tip 1

Rotate toys weekly, making only a few accessible at a time. Keep a variety of toy types easily accessible, and if your dog has elected a favourite, you may want to leave it out all the time. Variety is of the essence- keep at least a carry toy, a “kill” toy, one to roll with and one for the dog to “baby”.

Tip 2

“Hide and Seek” is a fun game for dogs. “Found” toys pose more attraction than others, and this interactive game makes for a great activity for your dog, expending its energy without the need for a lot of space.

Tip 3

Interactive toys are important in developing social skills. Such toys require active “people time” which also enhances the owner-pet bond. By focusing on specific tasks as a result of such games, your dog can expel pent-up mental and physical energy within a limited amount of time and space. This greatly reduces stress caused by confinement, isolation and boredom.

For younger dogs who possess high-energy, albeit with lesser training, interactive play offers opportunity for socialisation, helping them develop appropriate social behaviour.

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