3 Things to Consider When Picking Toys for Your Dog
Picking Toys for Your Dog is more of a necessity than a luxury. Dog toys facilitate mental and physical development, help prevent boredom and the development of behavioral issues, and can even comfort your pup when they are feeling scared or nervous.
A number of factors determine whether a toy is good for your dog. Dog toys must be safe, fun, durable, and aligned with your pup’s personality. Other than that, you must also consider the kind of environment in which your dog spends the bulk of their time.
In this article, we will discuss the ways you can factor in the above aspects when choosing toys for your dog.
Things to Consider When Picking Toys for Your Dog:
1) Safety when Picking Toys for Your Dog
Sometimes, the toys most attractive to dogs are also the ones most detrimental to their health and safety. Here are a few examples of such toys:
There have been more than a few instances where latex or rubber balls with just a single hole have gotten stuck to a dog’s tongue or lips. Since these balls only have one hole, they are suctioned to the dog’s mouth and offer no way to release this pressure. High suction on a single area – especially over an extended time period – can lead to oft-irreparable tissue damage.
To prevent this issue, make sure your dog’s rubber balls either have multiple holes or none at all.
Rawhide is another common but potentially-problematic dog toy. As long as your dog is merely chewing on the rawhide and not eating it, it is unlikely to cause any problems. However, if your pup tends to chew off large pieces of the rawhide – particularly the ends of the bone – this toy can prove to be rather dangerous. If swallowed, the rawhide begins to absorb water and start swelling in the stomach, which makes it hard for dogs to pass them through the intestines. In this situation, foreign object surgery is the only way to remove the rawhide chunk from the body.
Pressed rawhides are a much safer option since they dissolve inside the stomach. Regardless of the kind of rawhide you pick, it is best to supervise your dog as they chew on the toy.
Marrow bones are one of the most popular dog toys. Moreover, the fact that they can be bought at any butcher shop for a mere few dollars makes them a big hit among dog owners as well. If that is not enough, marrow bones are quite durable and offer an excellent chewing surface that prevents the accumulation of tartar in your dog’s mouth.
Unfortunately, marrow bones are also quite risky. For one, the fatty marrow in the center of these bones can cause pancreatitis in sensitive pups, which is why you should always remove the majority of the center before offering a marrow bone to your dog.
Another thing to remember is that marrow bones should always be given RAW; cooking an animal bone alters its composition and can cause it to splinter upon chewing.
Finally, shorter-cut marrow bones can become stuck to a dog’s canine teeth, often requiring surgical intervention. To prevent this problem, always buy marrow bones longer than their snout.
Excessively small toys can pose a choking hazard. These toys are often small enough to be swallowed but too large to safely pass through the intestines. Larger toys that have been torn or broken apart produce the same risks and dangers. As we mentioned, the only way to remove such foreign objects from the body is through surgical procedures.
To prevent this situation from occurring, make sure to pick toys that cannot be swallowed; at the same time, promptly collect and discard any toys that have been broken, shredded, or torn.
2) Durability when Picking Toys for Your Dog
Durability is always an important consideration in dog toys. However more so if your dog tends to rip apart their toys within days or even hours of getting them.
Look for toys made using more robust materials like hard rubber or nylon. Solid rubber toys are usually the most durable and resilient. Some rubber toys are reinforced with nylon fibers to enhance their durability.
Soft toys, while okay for less-aggressive chewers, may not be able to stand up to the vigor of stronger dogs. Besides, plush toys contain stuffing that may be harmful for your dog if swallowed. So, if your dog loves to chew, soft toys are likely not the best option for them or you.
As implied above, not every toy is suitable for every dog. For instance, if your dog is strong or high-energy, they would likely enjoy hard toys made of rubber or/and nylon. Rope toys are almost always loved by dogs that enjoy playing fetch.
If your dog prefers mental stimulation over physical, you should consider getting puzzles or treat toys. Such toys can keep your dog occupied for hours on end. Only through specific and diligent chewing can the dog access the treat, and even then, only a small bit at a time.
Puzzle toys work particularly well for super-smart dogs or pets that tend to get bored easily. Such toys allow you to hide dog treats inside various compartments. Your dog then has to figure out where the treats are hidden and how to get to them. These toys often offer multiple difficulty levels; if you feel your dog has excelled at a certain level, you can always take the challenge up a notch or two. Playing with puzzle toys is absorbing and mentally-stimulating for dogs, and hilarious to watch for pet owners.
Wrapping Up on Picking Toys for Your Dog
To sum up, in order for a dog toy to be successful. It must pose no or minimal safety hazards. Should be strong and durable enough for your dog. It needs to be in line with your canine companion’s temperament and preferences.
To explore our full range of safe, interactive, and high-quality dog toys, please feel free to visit our website.