Different dogs like to play with different types of dog toys. Likewise, different dogs will have different needs when it comes to playtime. Some pets will like to play fetch, while others prefer tug of war, while some dogs may only enjoy chewing. In order to make sure your dog is entertained, it’s important to have a variety of toys that your dog will enjoy. There area few different categories that you can choose from.
Stuffed toys are great for dogs who like cuddling or light playing. Many dogs will adopt these toys as their own “little spoon,” so don’t be surprised if you find your pet snuggling with a stuffed animal in his bed. However, it’s important to make sure your dog doesn’t eat the stuffing from the toys, as it can be harmful to them. Some “stuffed toys” are simply plush on the outside, and do not have stuffing inside.
Tennis balls and other, smaller versions of them are great for dogs who like to chase things. Since they are easy for the dog to carry back and forth, these are ideal for playing fetch. Some toys even include a “thrower,” which is perfect if you don’t want to touch a slobbery tennis ball after your dog’s been playing with it for a while.
Dogs love the squeaky noise that some toys make. Morbid as it may sound, it has been said that it has something to do with the shrill tone mimicking a dying animal, and the dog’s natural instincts to kill their food come into play here. If that creeps you out, you’re not alone—but most dogs like chasing these toys and flailing them around. They key here is to find one with a squeaker that isn’t too annoying to your ears.
Tug of War Toys
Practically self-explanatory, tug of war toys are meant for playing tug of war with your dog. They are typically rope, and have two ends for easy play for two dogs, or with you and your dog.
Chew toys are great for puppies or dogs who tend to get bored. KONG makes great toys for keeping your dog occupied, due to their durability. It’s important to make sure to supervise your dog when they’ve got a chew toy, however, because if they’re a strong chewer they might tear the toy apart and try to eat it. Particularly in the case of rubber bones that are meant to smell or taste like chicken, this can be very dangerous for your dog.
“Thinking,” or Reward Toys
Some treats are like chew toys in that they keep dogs entertained and busy, but in such a way that the dog has to work harder or solve a problem in order to get a treat. These toys are great for dogs when you need to do something like mop the floor or vacuum, particularly if you just want them to mind their business for a few minutes while you get something done.
In order to keep your dog happy, it’s ideal to have an assortment of toys on hand, as they won’t always want the same kind of entertainment.