Toys aren’t just a luxury for your dog, but a vital component to their well-being! Toys help cure boredom when your dog is left alone, provide comfort when they feel nervous, and are even used to prevent your dog from developing problematic, negative behaviors. Dogs tend to be less picky about their toy preference vs cats, which means as their owner, you’ll have to put thought into what toys you choose to occupy your dogs needs to keep them safe, happy, and entertained! Here are some tips on how to choose the perfect toy for your pooch.
1. Make sure the toy is ‘dog proof’.
What makes a toy ‘dog proof’ you ask? A dog proof toy is a toy that lacks the dangerous details that can sometimes be most attractive to dogs, such as string, ribbon, rubber bands, or other items that could potentially be swallowed.
2. Make sure the toy is perfectly intact.
When your dog’s toy starts to break down or gets torn, it’s a good idea to discard the toy immediately. This is because as a toy begins to tear or fall apart, the parts of the toy could possibly be ingested by the dog as they chew it.
It’s also important to be aware of what’s inside of the toy. Some problematic fillings inside plush toys include nutshells and polystyrene beads, but even fillings that might be considered ‘safe’ are never really digestible. A good way to look out for a safe toy filling is to check the label and make sure it claims to be safe for children under three years of age.
3. Consider the size of your dog
The goal here is to choose a toy that's big enough so that your dog can’t work it all the way back to their mouth/throat. A lot of dogs are avid chewers on toys and will attempt to tear or shred the toy with their rear molars. A toy that’s too small for a bigger dog could potentially get caught in their throat or even swallowed. Scale the size of your toy to the size of your dog following this logic, and you’ll find a toy that’s a match made in heaven for your pooch.
4. Consider how your dog likes to play.
You should pick the right toy for your dog based on their exact play style. If your dog is a big tug of war fan, maybe invest in a pull toy so the two of you can play! If your dog is more of the chilled out type who just likes to have a comfort toy by their side, invest in something soft and cuddly. Your dog will appreciate that you read their needs and desires and gift them with a toy that works best with their style.
5. If you smell something suspicious, ditch it.
Trust your gut and your scent when it comes to choosing a toy for your dog. Strong smells of chemicals can indicate a multitude of toxins leftover from the production or packaging process which could seep into your dogs mouth as they lick and chew on the toy.
While it may seem like an unimportant detail, the choice of toy for your dog can have serious effects on their health and well-being! Choosing the perfect toy for your dog is extremely important for their happiness, and appreciation for you- an owner who knows how to make your dog happy.