Dog toys don’t just exist so we can spoil our pups. According to RSPCA Victoria, they’re actually crucial for dogs’ health, happiness, and development. But there are so many toys to choose from! It’s so easy to get distracted by the cuteness factor that you forget to focus on the function. For a well-behaved and well-rounded dog, here are the four best dog toys to have:
1. Chew Toys
Chew toys are most crucial for teething puppies as well as dogs that are new to your home. Using these toys, you can keep your pup from developing destructive behaviors. That means, they’ll direct all the chewing to their toys and away from your stuff. In all other situations, chewing can be a healthy way to relieve boredom or even some anxiety. Besides, it helps keep teeth clean and jaws strong.
Although they all have the same purpose, chew toys come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. While chew toys for small dogs could be made of cotton rope and similar materials, toys for heavy chewers need to be made of tough rubber or a combination of rubber and plastic.
2. Play Toys
Play toys help you interact and bond with your pup. They’re toys you bring out for dedicated play times and take away when you’re done playing. The best examples of these are balls to play fetch and rope toys to play tug.
The type of play toy you choose really depends on what kind of games you like to play with your dog. For fetch, tennis balls with rubber cores and polyester fiber coverings are best. For tug, it’s best to stick with ropes made of cotton. Just make sure you set them aside when you’re not playing since these toys are not meant to withstand constant chewing.
3. Plush Toys
For most dogs, plush toys provide both physical and emotional comfort. They treat these toys like companions, cuddle with them, and bring them around wherever they go. When you choose one, make sure it’s small enough for your dog to carry around in their mouth.
Typically, plush toys are made of fuzzy fabric and filled with polyester fiber. They’re generally safe for as long as they’re intact. Once it’s torn or even shredded, make sure you keep it away or your pup might attempt to swallow the fiber.
4. Interactive Toys
There are a wide variety of interactive toys from the extremely simple to the most high-tech. No matter the type, these serve to provide mental stimulation as well as fight off boredom. They also help your pup be more independent since they learn how to play on their own and keep themselves entertained.
Some of the best dog toys are interactive treat dispensers and puzzle games. These types of toys promise treats for pups that can perform specific tasks, so they really do help keep dogs stimulated.
If you’re like any other pet parent, you can’t just stop at having one of each type. Don’t worry! We all understand the difficulty of turning away from a new find. But to make the most out of your dog toys, the US Humane Society recommends that you rotate them weekly. That will keep your pup interested and will also let the toys last longer.