Choosing the Best Toys for Your Dog

Chewing and playing are natural behaviors for almost all dogs. Playing gives dogs a chance to exercise and is an easy way for owners to help them maintain good health while bonding and having fun. However, some toys are better for certain breeds and ages than others. Personal playing style and chewing habits are some of the factors to consider when choosing dog toys. What works for one dog may not work for another. There are many dog toy options available, so it’s important to choose the ones your dog will actually play with and enjoy.

Rope Toys

Rope toys are made of braided rope and may be knotted or have rubber or plastic features. You can choose from countless fun shapes and designs, such as football, tire, and bone tug toys. Many dogs naturally enjoy playing tug-of-war and fetch. Fighting over a rope toy taps in on instinctive actions and movements for dogs and is thought to improve confidence, build impulse control, and strengthen the bond between dogs and owners. Rope toys are great for dogs that enjoy engaging in active play. Dogs that are aggressive chewers, however, might benefit more from a different type of toy, as ropes can unravel and be pulled apart. If your dog tends to pick at things, tear at carpet fibers, and destroy toys and other items, a rope might not be ideal. Chewing on rope toys is great for dogs who are not destructive chewers, and it can even help keep their teeth clean, as the threads can act like floss.Image of a dog with a rope toy jumping in the air

Play Balls

Balls are essential for dogs that love to run and fetch. Since most breeds like to run, they are a universal favorite. Siberian Huskies, English Setters, Boxers, Border Collies, and Staffordshire Terriers are among the many breeds that especially enjoy running. Since dog breeds range so widely, there are some types of balls that are more suitable than others. Choose a ball based on your dog’s size. Your dog should be able to easily pick up and carry the ball. If you choose one that is too large for your breed, for example, they might not be able to hold it easily in their mouth. Medium-sized to large dogs often like heavy duty play balls they can chase and chew on without it tearing or breaking

Plush Toys

Soft plush toys are a great choice for many dogs. While some dogs may be more destructive with them, others enjoy playing with them without pulling out the stuffing. If your dog is more interested in cuddling and playing fetch than chewing, a plush toy might be the perfect choice. They are easy to clean and usually come with specific care instructions. There are countless fun designs and materials to choose from, depending on your dog’s preference. Try a few out and see which ones they naturally gravitate towards more.Image of a dog with a toy

Squeak Toys

Some plush toys have squeakers inside. Many dogs hear the squeaking sound and instinctively think of the toy as “prey.” According to Dr. Matthew McCarthy, “Lots of breeds have histories that involve chasing and catching such small animals. Watching your dog tear into, shake silly, and disembowel a stuffed squeaky toy until it is ‘dead’ certainly is evidence of this theory/mechanism at work.” Accordingly, dogs with histories as hunting breeds, such as Bloodhounds, Beagles, American Pit Bull Terriers, Golden Retrievers, and Jack Russell Terriers, may be especially interested in squeak toys. Squeak toys may not be the best choice for aggressive chewers, but other dogs of all ages can enjoy them. They are a great way to easily entertain an energetic dog or puppy.

Chew Toys

Durable, strong toys made of materials like nylon and rubber stand up to destructive chewers and often last years with good care. They come in all kinds of fun shapes and sizes and keep your dog chewing on their toys and not on things they shouldn’t be, like shoes and furniture. You can even choose spike chew bones that work to clean your dog’s teeth and strengthen gums while they are chewing and playing. Chew toys are generally super easy to clean and come in various weights and sizes for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. They come in varying hardness to stand up to dogs with anywhere from passive to aggressive chewing habits.Image of a black puppy with a chew toy

In Conclusion

There are lots of different types of toys available for your dog. Many dogs like to play with a variety of toys and play lots of different games, so it’s a good idea to try a few different types and see what they like. All dogs are different, so the best way to choose what kind of toys to get is by learning how your dog likes to play. Consult with your vet if you are not sure about what type of toy to choose for your dog or if you have any concerns about their chewing habits.

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RexiPets offers a wide range of quality cat and dog toys for virtually every breed, in addition to grooming products and other accessories. Contact us to learn more today.