Dog toys may seem like a luxury, but they are imperative for a pup’s growth, especially to combat boredom and depression. They also help develop their intelligence and provide further physical and mental stimulation.
Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, there should be a few that are perfect for you and your pooch.
Why dog toys are important?
To start with, dog toys will keep them preoccupied, especially during times you cannot be around them. You can wonder if dog toys are good for them, here are a few factors that can convince you:
- Good for puppies when their gums are sore, chew toys help to alleviate pain and keep the teeth clean.
- Soft toys can help puppies calm down and relax, especially in a new home. Some prefer to cuddle up to soft toys when tired or want to feel less alone and scared.
- Toys can also help to stimulate their minds and negate their boredom and anxiety.
- Playing with your dog with their toys will deepen the bond you two share.
- Some toys can also help them grow their muscles and get stronger.
Types of dog toys
There are a variety of dog toys available, suitable for each want and needs. Some toys are interactive and those that comfort. You can also make some on your own.
Chewable Dog Toys
Chewable dog toys are particularly good for young puppies, who have started the teething process. It helps them feel more comforted when stressed, also preoccupied when anxious.
Toothbrush toys are a great chew toy that can keep their teeth clean and healthy as well.
Scented toys are great to keep your dog busy. As dogs use their smelling senses the most, scented toys are a great way to keep them engaged in a more involved way. Some scented dog toys are also edible, but not all of them.
Plush Dog Toys
Plush toys are great when your dog needs to bond and snuggle while sleeping. They provide a lot of relief and can be called comfort toys as well.
Speaking of comfort toys, heartbeat dog toys are new to the market, that are promising for new pups. Made to emulate heartbeats, these toys can help to calm your new pup down, particularly when they miss their littermates and parents at night.
This kind of toy will help build a stronger, deeper bond with your pet. The interaction allows you to express joy and happiness with them, giving them a healthy outlet for their energy and affection as well.
Tennis balls, frisbees are a few of the most common and inexpensive interactive toys out there.
There are also treat dispenser toys AKA “reward toys” that can help with your dog’s training later on, even more so if they are the puzzle variant, for it will help stimulate them mentally as well.
Dog toys safety
Now that you know there is a huge range of dog toys and they all come from different manufacturers with different intentions in mind, you can wonder if all of them are truly safe for your dog.
Since there are yet no governmental safety regulations for their toys, most of the responsibility falls upon the pet owners themselves.
Some toys can be made from toxic materials and contain lead, BPA, and other harmful chemicals. Always avoid any toys that emit a strong chemical smell.
If you are getting a toy that has to stuff in it, make sure the material is made of something that won’t harm them in case they do shred and ingest them.
Also, make sure to buy toys that are size appropriate. Toys too small can be swallowed and if they aren’t edible, they might lodge in their throat and need complicated surgery to remove.
Training dogs with toys
You can use toys to train your pup, they can further elevate what they are learning elsewhere during playtime as well. If you are particularly looking for how you can train your dog with their toys, here is a tip –
Training your dog to share toys can also be useful later on. Teaching them to share will obviously help and you can begin with sharing their toys with you.
To do this, teach your dog the “drop” command so they know they should let go of whatever they are holding at the moment. Using a toy he likes but isn’t obsessed with will be perfect for this.
This will also be helpful when you want to teach them not to destroy their toys with the “drop” and “stop” commands.
DIY dog toys
As mentioned earlier, there are a few ways you can DIY toys for your beloved canine. You can use nearby items like socks and jeans to make something they can play with.
- How to make dog toys?
- DIY dog toys out of shirts/fleece/jeans/pants/fabric/socks?
- Easy DIY dog toys made with braid/paracord/rope – Full guide
One of the easiest yet most effective dog toys you can make yourself is with a sock and a tennis ball. Put the ball inside the sock and tie a knot above it.
You can also make a treat toy by using two socks and some dog treats. Put the treats in one sock and ball it up and pop it in the other. Seal it with a knot and now you have a puzzle treat toy for your dog.
You can also make other toys with ropes, towels, and even empty plastic bottles.
Do dogs get bored of the same toys?
Some studies dictate that dogs do get bored with the same old toys. If given the choice between an old toy and something new, most dogs pick the newer one.
This shows how they have the tendency to get bored of the same or old toys, which is why it is recommended to regularly rotate their toys.
Tips for cleaning dog toys
Since dog toys are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, keeping them clean should be a priority. Most dog toys are washable and you can put some in the washing machine as well.
Make sure to use a natural sanitizing agent that doesn’t leave behind harmful chemical residue. Also, rinse and dry them thoroughly too.
When putting them in the machine, you can use a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar, if you don’t have natural laundry detergent.
Dog toys are a wonderful way to keep your beloved companion engaged and happy. The large variety ensures there’s something out there for every dog and every occasion, investing in a few will only bring happiness for you both.