A dog playing with toys

One of the most enjoyable aspects of dog ownership is watching them play with and enjoy toys. Most dogs enjoy having an assortment to choose from, and love those that require interaction from their owners. 

To help you choose the right toys for your dog, the team at Animal Medical Hospital & 24-Hour Urgent Care is here with some tips before you buy. 

Tips for Choosing the Right Toys

From fuzzy and plush to rubbery and tough, dog toys come in a wide range of materials and styles to choose from. The possibilities are endless, and not all toys are the same. Each is designed to do different things and challenge your pet in different ways. 

Because toys are a big part of your pet’s general exercise and well-being regiment, choosing those that get your pet moving and happy is a must.

Chew Toys

Dogs have a natural instinct to chew on bones, but they aren’t safe for dogs (due to splintering), so what are some alternatives? Selecting a chew toy for your dog depends on its materials, the size of your pet’s mouth, and whether or not they are easily digested. 

Rawhide is cheap, but many pets can choke on or not be able to digest the pieces. Opt for some durable flavored chews, often made out of non-edible ingredients that don’t wear down or a digestible chew like Greenies.

Chew toys are not suitable for pets with missing or loose teeth due to dental disease, or a tendency to swallow toys or chew through even the most durable ones.

Tug Toys

Tug of war is a great form of exercise for dogs because it gets their whole body into it. Tug toys give your pet plenty of exercise and a chance to bond with you, since it requires your participation. These types of toys can come apart under strong jaws, however, so choose one with strong, durable fibers.

Soft and Plush Toys

Plush toys are ideal for young puppies until their adult teeth develop, or for older dogs or those who play gently. Durable stuffed toys with squeakers inside are popular, but dogs must be supervised when they are in use (those squeakers can be swallowed!).

Plush animals are perfect for a game of fetch and tug-of-war, and can be soothing to some pets who carry their stuffed animals around like a baby.

Toss Toys

From balls to Frisbees, these traditional dog toys never go out of fashion. Balls are a great choice for dogs who need a lot of exercise. Durable plastic throws are ideal for bigger dogs who love to chew and roughhouse, while soft or malleable toys are good for smaller pups. 

Challenging Games

Food dispensing puzzles and other forms of enrichment can be a game changer for dogs who spend a lot of time alone. This helps avoid bad behaviors, like digging, by keeping your pet occupied and mentally and physically engaged. 

Getting to know what your pup likes and what toys are suitable for the age and size will help guide you to choosing the best of the best for your sweetie. If you have any questions about choosing the right toy for your dog, please give us a call.