AnnaliseArt (CC0), Pixabay

With the pet market exploding with new marketing and up and coming pet companies, you have thousands of toy options for your dog!

Toys are one of the best parts of being a pet parent and choosing the right toy for your pet can really enhance your relationship with your pup. When choosing a dog toy there are a few important things to keep in mind: your dog’s activity level, age, size, and personality.

This may be a trial and error test, but you will soon learn what your dog’s favorite play toys are and what will keep them healthy and active!


Why do Toys Matter?

Toys are mentally and physically stimulating, and they help your dog fulfill their need for mental and physical activities. Even though dogs are mostly bred for pets they still need something to do or a job to complete. If a dog does not get enough stimulation, they might take out their boredom elsewhere, such as chewing the couch.

Toys help encourage active play and exercise, this reduces the risk of destruction and attention seeking behaviors. Toys can also serve different comfort purposes for your dog. Trainers recommend having six to eight toys for your dog and to rotate your toys to keep them interesting and effective.

Considerations when Choosing a Toy:

  • Age: Different breeds of dogs mature at different rates and it is important to keep your dog’s mental and physical age in mind. A young puppy (under eight weeks) would benefit from a soft rubber or plush toy. A puppy will teeth from three to nine months and it is a good idea to find a toy that will hold up to lots of chewing!
  • Size and Texture: There is going to be a big difference between a large dog and a small dog. A Bernese Mountain dog might not do well with a miniature fluff stuffed bone toy. They need a toy that will stand up to their jaw size. This is a safety concern and an overall happiness concern. Rather than spending money on small stuffed toys that will get destroyed by a Great Dane get them a toy that will stand up to their jaw power.
  • Breed: This might be a surprising factor to think about, especially when thinking about buying toys. Look up what your dog was originally bred for. Many dogs were bred for a certain purpose and still have characteristics of this. For example, a bird dog might still have a natural need for catch and release! One of the toys you can try is a ball. Finding out what your dogs was bred to do can help you pick out toys they may like.

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Cathy D. Evans
Life-long fan of all dogs including Finnegan pictured here. He's a Chinook about a year old with the most wonderful personality. Please enjoy this dog website and its content. “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.” —Cesar Millan (dog trainer)


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