Toys are essential for your dog's health and well-being. Dog toys can help stop boredom, provide comfort, and improve behavior.
The best dog toys are those which are suited to your dog's size, age and temperament. But get it wrong and the toy could be dangerous for your dog.
Here's how to ensure that you find the best dog toys for your particular pooch.
You should always choose dog toys that are suitable for your dog's size.
Big dogs could easily tear apart toys meant for small dogs and choke on small parts, and small dogs given toys designed for big dogs might damage their teeth.
Most toys are labeled to show which types of dogs they're suitable for. If you're not sure if a toy is right for your dog then ask your vet or dog trainer, or get in touch with us with any questions.
If the toy is right for your dog's size, what about quality? If it's a soft toy, check for small parts or dangerous filling that can easily be swallowed.
Getting the best dog toys for your pet also depends on their personality.
An interactive toy will nurture your dog's cognitive thinking, but a boisterous dog might quickly destroy it.
Plush toys are perfect for dogs that eat gently, but if your dog's an avid chewer then you'll need to get a toy with a hard rubber base.
Toys can also be used to improve behavior. Dogs that eat quickly or get bored alone can benefit from a food-dispensing toy, where they're encouraged to work for their food.
It's also important to think about the purpose of the dog toy.
Do you want it so that you can play with your dog, or do you want a toy to keep your dog entertained when you're away?
Using a toy to play or exercise with your dog promotes the human-dog bond and helps them (and you!) avoid obesity and related illnesses.
Playing tug-of-war with a chew toy is great for most dogs, while playing fetch with a Frisbee will keep your dog fit and happy.
These are likely to be the toys your dog plays with when they're alone, so they need keep your dog entertained but also be sturdy.
Chew toys filled with food work well to keep your dog entertained, or look for a treat toy with added vitamins to boost your dog's physical health too.
Dogs prefer toys which are easily manipulated so make sure that your dog can chew into it, and if it makes a noise then even better!
Many dogs find soft stuffed toys comforting, but they need to be small enough for your dog to carry around.
If your dog is more the 'search and destroy' type, then find a soft toy that can stand up to attacks.
Most dogs will benefit from a variety of toys to keep them entertained, healthy and happy.
Remember to check for dangerous small parts, and be sure to keep your dog's size and personality in mind when shopping for the best dog toys.
What toys does your dog enjoy playing with? Let us know by commenting below.