A happy dog makes a happy owner and choosing the best dog toy is a priority if you want to keep your canine healthy. It’s not just food and vitamins that you need to provide for you pups. You need to keep them preoccupied with healthy activities so that you don’t end up with a bored and irritable dog. According to animal behavior specialists, there are various reasons why dogs need toys.
Number one is to give them mental stimulation. Dogs are smart creatures and without proper stimulation, they would be bored and might resort to making a mess in your house. They also have chewing instincts and you need to address that. So toys are perfect and serve multiple purpose.
But you also need to make sure that the toys are safe. That is just one of the many factors that make a toy suitable for your dog.
Our Pick: Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel and Puzzle Plush
First on our list is the Outward Hound Hide-A-Squirrel and Puzzle Plush Squeaking Toys for Dogs. This is a set of three squirrels and a plush tree trunk that come in different sizes. There are other versions too like bird and bee. They’re durable so your dogs will have a lot of fun chewing on the squeaky squirrels. For interactive play, you can play hide and seek with your doggie by stuffing the squirrels into the tree trunk. Your dog can then try to find and sniff them out.
This will surely strengthen the bond between dog and master.
Runner Up: Kong Air Dog SqueakAir
Running second is the Kong Air Dog SqueakAir Birthday Balls Dog Toy. These are made from tennis ball fabric but they are non-abrasive so they will not wear out your precious dog’s teeth. The balls are recessed in rubber so you can bounce it around for your dog to play with and chase. It’s perfect for playing fetch.
While the balls are imprinted with a happy birthday logo, these toys can of course be used any day of the year.
Our Pets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy is also a smart choice. This toy is multifunctional since it also dispenses food. Fill the toy with treats and let your dog figure out a way on how to get them. This is perfect for their mental stimulation. You can even adjust the difficulty level of the feeding to continue challenging your dog. This is great for training.
This toy will encourage your dog not to have destructive behavior. It is perfect for small to medium sized dogs. This one is a little more expensive but because it’s multipurpose, it’s still a great value.
The Kong Cozies Dog Squeaky Toy is also a nice option. It’s absolutely cute and comes in a lot of different characters and colors for you to choose from. The squeaky property helps entice your dog to play. It has a minimal filling so it doesn’t make a big mess in your house. It’s soft but it has extra layer of material to increase strength so it’s very durable.
Another great alternative is the Classic Kong Dog Toy. This toy is also multifunctional. It allows you to put treats inside. Your dog can then try to find the treats and eat them while playing. The difference is that it bounces so you can play fetch with it with your dog. It’s made of natural rubber so it’s perfect for chewing.
It comes in a bright red color that is truly attractive for any dog. There are also different sizes to choose from so it’s great for dogs of all sizes.
An affordable toy that will keep your dog entertained is the Multipet Loofah Dog Plush Dog Toy. It’s a set of plush toys in attractive colors that come in different sizes. They squeak so it will keep your dog preoccupied and happily playing. A downside is that there is a chance for the squeaker to come out but they’re pretty easy to repair. The material is also easy to wash and clean.
How to Choose the Best Dog Toy
Choosing the best dog toy depends on multiple things. The size and age of the dog matters. There are some toys that are more suitable for puppies and some are for fully grown dogs. Dogs also have different breeds and they would have varying personalities so certain toys are better suited for different types of dogs.
Understanding the benefits of dog toys and your dog’s physical, emotional and mental needs are paramount in picking the right toy for them.
Specially for dog breeds that have a reputation of being really intelligent and highly trainable, it is important that your dog gets mental stimulation from their toy. Choose toys that require some intellectual work and challenge your dog to acquire new skills. Intelligent dog breeds become easily bored and they could be destructive and depressed when not intellectually stimulated.
Playing with toys don’t only keep dogs happy, it also promotes a healthy body. When choosing a dog toy, remember to pick one that would encourage physical activity for your dog. This will keep your dog from being obese and keep serious illnesses away.
The age of your dog determines which toys are most suitable for them. Puppies go through a teething phase. In this phase, they have a heightened need for chewing and exercising their teeth. So plush toys are probably not the best. During the teething phase, it’s recommended that you give your pups toys that have soft rubbery material. Older dogs would require more durable toys.
Playing with your dogs create a bond that lasts. Toys that are interactive promote this bond. This will also be loads of fun both for you and your dog. If you have two or more dogs, interactive toys are so much better. It’s a great way to relieve stress for humans, too. This will keep both you and your dogs healthy and happy.
Most of all, check to see if the toys are safe for your dogs. Some dogs like Labradors are known to try eat everything they come in contact with. So for those types of breed, choose toys that are not easily ingestible.