When it comes to choosing the best dog toys for our pups, the options are endless and the list never really ends. After all, we want them to have only the best dog toys in the world.
As pet parents, there’s nothing more we love than watching our dogs play and entertain themselves. Yet, we often find these toys lying in the corner catching dust as our dogs run around with a stick from the park. So, how do you choose something that your dog will truly enjoy?
Getting the right dog toys are more important than you think—partly because chewing and learning through play are inherent canine behaviours, but also:
If your dog is showing signs of behavioural problems, getting them the right dog toys can give them an outlet for their natural instincts.
Besides fighting boredom, dog toys also help with chewing/teething, howling, scratching and anxiety.
But why is play even important for dogs?
An active dog is a happy dog. Playing with the right types of dog toys not only keeps your dog physically healthy but also improves their overall balance and coordination.
Dogs not just use their bodies but also their minds when they are playing with interactive dog toys or puzzle toys for dogs. This helps them stay mentally active, focused and sharp.
- After a long workday, there’s no better stressbuster for you too, than to play and bond with your dog. As a result, both of you are happy, relaxed and get a chance to bond.
Before choosing the best dog toys
Be mindful of your dog’s safety. As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we choose the right types of dog toys for our dogs.
Dog toys that have strings, ribbons, bands, metal twines or are manufactured with chemicals and materials should be avoided. Dog toys with stuffing such as cotton, plastic and squeakers should always be supervised.
Always opt for size, age and breed appropriate toys. For instance, if you have a beagle (medium-sized dog), then they will need a medium-sized dog toy as opposed to a large toy. A puppy will need puppy teething toys as opposed to an adult who wouldn’t have the urge to chew as much.
- Playtimes must be supervised. Dog toys get damaged with use and over time, so it’s best to replace them immediately.
So, what kind of dog toys should you buy?
Balls - An all-time favourite, the best dog balls come in different, exciting forms such as tennis balls, glow-in-the-dark, squeaky balls, bouncy, etc. But remember to choose the right kind of ball for your dog. Balls that are durable and sturdy are better than those that can break into pieces if chewed over time. Playing fetch with balls is an excellent way to bond and keeps your dog busy when you’re busy. Balls that are too small can lead to choking and severe gastrointestinal damage.
HUFT recommends: Trixie Football Vinyl Dog Toy (₹157)
Bones - Just like balls, bones come in different sizes and textures. Make sure the bone is longer than your dog's muzzle to avoid accidental swallowing. Nylon, rubber and fabric bones are best for dogs who enjoy chewing. Besides helping your dog tackle boredom, they also prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar as your dog chews on them.
HUFT recommends: KONG Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Chew Toy (₹1,399)
Plush dog toys - Dog toys made of soft fabric, fleece or cotton are wonderful for puppies and older dogs. They also provide young puppies with a sense of comfort, especially if they’ve been separated from their mother or you’ve just brought them home.
HUFT recommends: HUFT Paws For Earth Animal Dog Plush Toy - Giraffe (₹699), HUFT Play Everyday Dog Plush Toy - Bingo Bunny (₹849)
Interactive dog toys - Puzzle dog toys test your dog’s focus, thus keeping them mentally active as well as busy. They also relieve boredom, stress and anxiety in your pet. Some interactive dog toys also act as a treat dispenser while others work as a fetch/tug toy.
HUFT recommends: HUFT Curious Canine Snuffle Play Mat For Dogs (₹2,299), KONG Wobbler Interactive Dog Toy (₹1,749)
Chew toys for dogs - Most dogs, especially puppies, love to chew on things. It’s a completely normal canine behaviour. However, before your favourite shoe or books become a target, introduce them to dog chew toys to channel this energy into something positive. Like bones, these also help relieve boredom and aid with dental hygiene.
HUFT recommends: Petstages Dogwood Durable Dog Chew Stick (₹1,450), KONG Classic Chew Dog Toy (₹999)
Dog rope toys - These are perfect for dogs who love tugging and fetching, irrespective of whether they are gentle or tough chewers. These also come in all shapes and sizes, so choose accordingly. Discard them once they begin to unravel.
HUFT recommends: HUFT Friendly Fox Dog Rope Toy (₹399)
Squeaky toys - These are great for dogs who love to bite and shake their toys, thus satisfying their instinct to catch or hunt prey. The squeaker inside makes a noise which keeps them entertained and busy, especially if you aren’t able to spend time with them at that very moment.
HUFT recommends: GiGwi Ball Squeaker Dog Chew Toy (₹325)
Frequently Asked Questions
Squeaky toys appeal to your dog’s natural instinct of catching and hunting prey. When they repeatedly gnaw, shake or bite the toy, they hear the loud squeak which gives them instant gratification.
2. How to wash dog toys
It depends on the different types of dog toys. Some can be washed by hand and some can be machine washed. It’s best to refer to the toy label or packaging to understand how to take care of your dog’s favourite toy.
3. Why do dogs need toys?
Playtimes for dogs are an important aspect of growing up and socialising, be it with their human family or other dogs. The right dog toys facilitate physical & mental stimulation, give your dog an outlet for their natural behaviour, help fight boredom as well as dental hygiene when they chew or gnaw on toys. Remember: Playtimes must always be supervised.
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