Dog Toy Comparison
Dog Toy Buying Guide
There are several things that you should consider when you are researching different toys for your dog. We have listed the considerations you should factor in before purchasing a dog toy.
- The Age of Your Dog – Keep the age of your dog in mind when you are searching for dog toys. Young puppies have their baby teeth still so soft rubber toys or plush toys that are snuggly are good choices. From about three to nine months puppies are teething so you will want to avoid hard rubber but you should stock up on as many chew toys as you can to help fill his need to chew on things. A lot of toys will keep him distracted from the things he shouldn’t be chewing on. After the teething phase is over, the dog will be able to handle the hard rubber toys and will have a lot of energy and jaw strength for rope toys and balls. If the dog is a senior (over 7) give him softer toys that will keep him active and occupied but that do not require the jaw and tooth strength that they have as adult dogs. Senior dogs lose some of that as they age and the hard toys can damage their teeth or jaws.
- Size and Texture – The size and texture of the dog toys you choose are important things to think about before you actually purchase them. You want to be certain that you match the toy to the personality trait of your dog as much as possible. If they destroy every toy they are given, look for super durable, hard rubber toys that can be stuffed with treats and things to distract them from tearing the toy up. Instead, they will be intent upon getting the treats out of the toy. Little dogs need smaller toys and large dogs need to avoid small toys due to the potential choking hazard. You should pay attention to the kind of toys your dog seems to like the most and get different varieties of that type. Dogs have preferences just like humans do. The dog toys you purchase will get a lot more use if you choose toys that they like.
Types of Dog Toys
There are literally hundreds of dog toys on the market. Trying to choose one or two good quality toys from this overwhelming amount of choices can be a real challenge. There are four basic varieties of toys that the majority of dogs will gravitate toward most of the time. We have listed these four types below a long with their characteristics.
- Balls – There are many different kinds of balls that dogs love to play with. These include plush, tennis, squeaker, foam and more. Some balls are designed to bounce in different ways to keep the dog guessing and other balls glow in the dark. Most dogs love to fetch balls and some will even toss them around on their own even when you are not playing with them. There are a few things that you want to make sure of when it comes to purchasing a ball for your dog. Make sure the ball is not too big or too small for your dog. A large dog can swallow a small ball and choke on it. A small dog can become frustrated with trying to get their mouths around a large ball. Fit the size of the ball to the dog and they will be very happy. Look for balls that are durable and long lasting. Soft rubber can be easily torn so if your dog is a chewer, this is not the ball to get for them unless it is made of super hard rubber.
- Tug Toys – Dogs enjoy a good game of tug of war with their owners and even other dogs. Some trainers feel that tug of war can develop aggressive dogs but if the game is played properly and the dog is trained well, this should not be a worry. If you are looking at tug toys as a potential toy for your dog, you will want to ensure that it is made from durable materials that cannot be torn into little pieces. Tug toys can be made of plush material, leather, rope or even fire hose material. If you notice that the dog toy is ripped or torn, it is time to get a new one and not let the dog use it. Never rip the toy out of the dog’s mouth while you are playing tug of war with them. It could end up hurting their teeth or mouth.
- Plush Toys – many dogs love plush toys and will carry them around everywhere but unfortunately they can be more unsafe than they are good for the dog. Once a plush toy is ripped, the dog can ingest the stuffing and it can get lodged in their throats. Plush toys are great when they are tony pups or after the teething phase. If you decide to purchase a plush toy for your dog, look for styles that are as durable as possible and pay attention every day to any rips or tears that may show up.
- Chewables and Treats – Any toy can be a chew toy for a dog, but there are some toys that specifically designed to be chewed on. These are almost always made from nylon or hard rubber and are made to last through a lot of hard chewing. Some designs can be stuffed with treats so the dog has to work to get them out. This is a great way to give your dog some mental exercise as well as physical. Adjust the size and strength of the dog toys you bring home as the dog gets older and bigger.
Taking the time to choose the right dog toys for your dog will ensure that they have a safe and fun time playing. Toys can be used to help a bored dog with mental stimulation, and can also be used as training devices. There are even cause and effect toys that are filled with treats and the dog has to move specific things on the toy to get the treat out.
There are so many different dog toys on the market that it is impossible to list them all. Remember when looking at different dog toys to consider the age and size of the dog as well as their personalities and activity levels.
Also take into consideration how much chewing the dog does. Just like with children, dog toys will change as the dog goes from a small puppy to young dog to adult dog to senior. Always consider your dog’s safety when choosing toys and look for age and size appropriate toys that will be safe and fun for them to play with.
- KONG – https://www.kongcompany.com/
- West Paw Design – https://www.westpawdesign.com/
- The Natural Pet Company – http://www.thenaturalpetcompany.com/