Toys are more than just a way to entertain your beloved pup; they’re essential tools for things like exercise, mental stimulation and preventing boredom. Just like kids have their own favourite toys, so does your furry friend. They can form some strong bonds with plush toys, tug toys or even chew toys depending on their needs and preferences. Whether they’re an indoor dog or outdoor explorer, there’s a whole host of dog toys that you can choose from.
Keeping a dog entertained isn’t always easy, but you also need to make sure they stay safe, too. Whether you’re looking to help teething puppies soothe their sore gums or prevent boredom in senior dogs, there’s a wide range of dog toys suitable for needs of every kind.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Dog Toys
The way that dogs interact with their toys can be traced back to their wild ancestors, the wolves. Wolves hunt prey, focusing on things such as texture, size and taste. As a result, dogs love toys that focus on these traits. With such a huge range it can be difficult to choose toys that work best for you and your pup’s needs. Whether you’re after interactive dog toys, puzzle toys or ball throwers to give your arm a rest, there are plenty of options out there.
Size and Safety
One of the first things you should start with when looking for a toy for your dog is its size relative to the toy. A toy that’s too small for a larger breed can become a choking hazard fairly quickly, while a larger toy for a small dog could be hard to play with and frustrating.
Squeaky toys appeal to a dog’s instincts by using high pitched sounds. But while they’re often super fun for your pup, squeaky dog toys can come with their own risks. Some dogs become so obsessed with finding the source of the squeak that they tear the toy apart and potentially swallow harmful parts. If you make sure that the size of your pet toy matches your pooch, you shouldn’t have any of these issues. Remember to always supervise playtime, especially with new toys, to keep your dog safe.
Types of Toys and Their Uses
With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to keep track of all the different types of dog toys. From interactive toys to plush dog toys and everything in between, there are almost too many to list. Here are just a few:
- Hard Rubber Toys: These are best for active play sessions. Durable and usually strong enough to resist aggressive chewing, these toys can give your dog hours of entertainment while withstanding the test of time.
- Treat Dispensing Toys: Shaped like rubber cones or balls, these toys can be filled with delicious treats. As your dog plays, the treats are dispensed slowly, giving them both a challenge and a reward. They’re excellent for keeping your dog occupied, especially during times when they’re alone.
- Comfort Toys: Soft, plush toys often fall into this category and if your dog loves theirs enough, they might carry them around, sleep with them, or even try to nurture them. It’s not uncommon for a dog to have a favourite plushie, much like a child’s beloved teddy bear.
- Teething Toys: Puppies go through a teething phase, a lot like human babies do. During this period they tend to chew on anything and everything in sight, so a teething toy will give them relief and help massage their gums.
- Toys for Blind Dogs: These are specially designed to cater to dogs with visual impairments. They might make noise, have a distinct scent, or offer unique textures, making sure that your dog can engage with them fully.
Tips for Finding a Pet Toy for Budget-Conscious Owners
For pet owners on a budget, getting the most out of every toy bought is essential. One of the best strategies is to rotate what toys you give your dog. By giving them one toy at a time and switching it out, each one seems new and exciting for a longer period of time. This not only helps to prolong each toy’s lifespan, but it can really help you keep your dog engaged.
Toys aren’t the only way to keep your furry companion engaged though. You can and should take them out on frequent walks or runs, too. Interactive games like fetch are also great exercise for your perfect pooch and if all you use is a stick, you won’t need to buy a thing.
Otherwise, you can find plenty of pet supplies on Gumtree, with plenty of listings for other essentials such as dog beds, enclosures and more available to browse. If you can’t save money on a dog toy, you can always save money in other areas instead.
Keeping Your Dog Happy & Healthy
Buying dog toys isn’t just about preventing boredom for your pup, it’s about their long-term health. They need exercise to stimulate their brains and, depending on their age, it helps massage a teething puppy’s gums.
Another way to keep your dog healthy is to take them on regular trips to the vet. Check-ups help you stay informed and make the best decisions for your dog’s care, but they can become costly. Pet insurance is a great way of saving money, while also making sure your furry friend is kept in safe hands always.
Build Your Bond & Play Together Today
Toys are a great way to stimulate your dog, prevent them from getting bored and to give them the exercise they need. They’re also perfect for helping you two form a deeper bond and enjoy your time together.
Now that you’ve got all the basics locked in, it’s time to enjoy a fun shopping trip. You might even be able to bring your furry friend with you into your local pet store and pick out something you both love.
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