Choosing The Right Dog Toy
Every dog is different and no-one knows your dog’s personality like you do. If you have a middle-aged Pug who loves snuggling with a bit of gentle playtime, then a plush toy with a squeaker would be perfect. If you have a young, rough & tumble Staffie that loves tug-of-war, then the plush toy is not going to stand a chance. You do get toys that are specifically geared for chewing, but 99% of toys are designed for interactive play with the pet parent.
Here are some things to consider when deciding on the best toy for you pooch:
Q: Do you have a puppy?
A: There are plenty of toys specifically designed for teething pups. The Petstages Cool Teething Stick can be frozen and will help relieve tender gums, particularly for little puppies. Nylabone offers some great chew toys for teething puppies of all sizes - something like the Nylabone Puppy Teething Keys or the Nylabone Puppy Teething Bone. Another good one is the Kong Puppy Rubber Treat Toy - this can be stuffed with puppy kibble to keep them interested.
Q: Do you have a super active dog that loves to run?
A: There are some breeds (like Border Collies) who need more exercise than most and also some dogs who just love to play fetch. A great option is the ChuckIt Ball Launcher which enables you to throw the ball much farther than you’d normally manage. This works best in a park or on the beach but an option for home use is the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher!
Q: Is your dog a super chewer?
A: The best toys for a super chewer are from brands like West Paw Design, Tuffy, Mighty, Duraforce, Ruffwear or Planet Dog. Again - these toys are designed for interactive play - not to just be left with your doggy gnawing away. Most of these brands offer a 100% guarantee, or “once off replacement” offer if your doggy manages to damage the toy. Nylabone toys are also a great option as they’ve been designed with chewing in mind.
Q: Is your dog bored or struggling with loneliness when you are away?
A: The best option here is the Kong Extreme - you can stuff it with kibble and keep your little chap busy for hours. Other good diversions are Nylabone Chew Toys or big, tough bones like an Ostrich Bone. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether your dog might be able to break it and swallow a piece, then do not go with this option.
If your dog is simply bored at home, then puzzle toys can be a great addition to the toy basket. Puzzle toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes, also varying in the level of interaction required from the pet parent. They are great as they mentally stimulate your pooch (very important) and can aid in preventing negative and unwanted behaviour.
Hopefully these pointers will assist you in choosing the best possible toy for your beloved best friend. Remember that our team at Canine & Co are always here to help, and we would be happy to assist you with personalised recommendations - feel free to pop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit - Ruffwear