4 Tips for Buying Dog Toys

The best dog toys are those which are not harmful to the dog, but afford them hours of fun. Let’s look at some things to consider when buying a dog toy. Depending on the breed, size and age of your dog, they may prefer a particular toy over others. In fact, while it may not be a toy at all, some dogs may become attached to an inanimate object much like a child will hang on to a security blanket.

Squeak Toys

Generally, dogs love toys that squeak; especially as puppies. It doesn’t matter what shape or color it is, as long as it squeaks, it generally becomes a favorite. Dogs love to squeak the toy and sound will always catch their attention if you want to initiate play with them.

Dog Toy Tip #1:

* Get a toy that squeaks and is durable. If it’s a furry toy with a squeaker, it helps if it is washable.
* Avoid purchasing a squeaky toy that can easily be torn; a dog can choke on the squeaker.

Fetch Toys

Taking your dog to a dog park or other area where they can run about is an important part of their exercise regimen. As such, bringing along the Frisbee or tennis ball will give your dog hours of pleasure. To create a longer experience for you and your pup, there are a lot of choices for “fetch” toys including ChuckIt! ball launchers and Air Kong that make it easier for the human to throw the ball or toy further with less effort.

Dog Toy Tip #2:

* Get a Frisbee, tennis balls and/or other appropriate “fetch” toys for your dog’s age and size.
* Ensure that the toy is not made of hard plastic or other materials that could harm your pup.

Chew Toys

Dogs, especially puppies, love to chew on just about anything. When caught in the act of chewing on something inappropriate such as a shoe or your furniture, quickly say, “No!” and replace it with an appropriate chew toy and praise them for chewing the toy. Let them know that it’s OK to chew, but they must limit their chewing to what you deem to be OK.

While plastic bones are widely available, dogs prefer bones they can readily chew such as rawhide. There are also some great cloth and felt toys that are long-lasting and are good for teething pups.

Dog Toy Tip #3:

* Get bully sticks or bones made of vegetable material or rawhide.
* Keep an eye on your dogs when chewing these toys; remove them as they get too small and become a choking hazard.

Treat Toys

Dogs particularly love toys that have a secret compartment wherein you can place a treat. These are great to use as a

reward or to keep your pup busy during times that you want them to be occupied without your direct supervision such as when you are eating or otherwise engaged.

Dog Toy Tip #4

* Get a rubber toy like a “Kong”, a heavy duty toy with a hole in the center in which treats are placed; Kongs come in all sizes with treat types for different age and size dogs.
* Beware of cheap toys that are made of plastic or that can be easily chewed; i.e., empty water bottles or anything of a thin plastic material. Dogs can break them and choke on or cut their gums on the pieces.

The truth is, you can easily make a toy out of an old sock. Make some large knots in it and your dog will be perfectly happy. But when buying a dog toy, it is important to read the label to ensure it is safe, does not contain any lead or other toxins, and will be durable.

Purchase a variety of toys and let your dog choose the ones which they prefer.If you are a pet owner, you know from experience that once a dog is given a toy that squeaks, for example, the squeak won’t last forever. Keep a small cache of favorites and other toys and switch them up; put some away and take out others.

Remember that matter what you spend or how many toys you supply to your pet, it’s always going to be YOU that they enjoy the most.