Dog toys are not just toys

Does your dog like to chew, tug, cuddle, fetch? What type of toy does your dog prefer? Fluffy, rubbery, squeaky, bouncy, or rope are the types of options to consider in choosing a dog toy that is a match for your dog’s personality. Observe your dog; determine what it does for fun for clues to what type of toy would be a good fit.

Your dog’s toys play an important part in keeping your dog physically and mentally healthy by supplying an outlet for excess energy and an aid in the prevention of becoming bored and/or depressed. Toys for your dog can present the opportunity to encourage play, exercise, and will help keep your dog physically fit as well as challenge problem-solving skills, and alleviate separation anxiety. The mouthing and chewing activity will help keep teeth clean and healthy.

Without appropriate toys, not only can your dog develop emotional stress, its outlet for psychological relief can turn to chewing or playing with other things such as furniture, woodwork, shoes, or the garbage. Most dogs enjoy chewing and it is a very natural activity for them. If you do not provide the right outlet, they are likely to select their own.

Remember — safety comes first

What is most important is that the toy is safe and if it is not entertaining it will not be of much benefit. Not every toy will be of interest or suitable for every dog. Some dogs will enjoy and be fine with soft toys or delicate, rubber toys while others will destroy and attempt eat them.

The selection

Toys that have removable parts or pieces which could be easily chewed off, or squeakers that can be extracted, can be dangerous. The results in that case can be a dangerous gastro-intestinal obstruction. Be sure your dog is not tempted to be destructive to get to the squeaker. With any toy that you give your dog, supervise, supervise and observe until you have 100% confidence in the toy’s safety and your dog’s behavior is compatible with the toy before leaving your dog alone with the toy. Your dog’s toys should be selected based on your pet’s needs, its size and its preferences.

Can the toy be cleaned?

It is important to wash the toys your dog plays with occasionally to keep your canine healthy. A toy can collect a lot of bacteria from saliva and the ground.

Does your dog like to fetch?

Kong toys, rope toys, balls and stuffed animals are great for the retrieving game, along with ball launchers and floating toys around water activities.

Is your dog a real chewer?

Kong toys are very durable and almost indestructible and available in various sizes and weights. The rubber Kong toys are gentle on your dogs and as an added safety feature pose little risk of causing dental damage.

Is your dog a cuddler?

Stuffed animals are perfect for a cuddling dog; however, get toys designed for dogs and not for children, because they will be made with less removable parts.

Is your dog a tugger?

If your dog enjoys the tug-of-war, Rope toys and rubber balls can be the perfect interactive toy. The tug-of-war is also a good opportunity to teach the “let go” or “drop” commands. It is important that your dog knows these commands so your dog does not become too aggressive and understands the activity is play.

If two or more dogs are playing tug-of-war, they must be supervised until you are sure the activity does not develop into a contest for dominance and a fight.

Is your dog the inquisitive type?

Kong toys that are hollow allow you to stuff a treat inside so your dog can enjoy the challenge of getting them out. It is an activity they love that brings mental stimulation and physical exercise. And, after the treat is extracted, be it a cookie or peanut butter, the rubber Kong can be easily washed with soap and water.

Appreciate the time together

Use the toys to bond with your special furry buddy and not just use them as objects to occupy your pet’s time when you are not around. Play with your dog, and enjoy your time together. The time passes quickly and you will appreciate all the memories of interacting with your dog’s playful spirit.

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2 Responses to “Dog toys are not just toys”


  1. 1 Jim Woodward July 2, 2013 at 6:23 am

    i have an anomoly. i have a pit bull mix that absolutely will have nothing to do with toys of ANY kind. my shepard/retriever will play with almost everything, but, no matter what kind of toy i get, leroy just won’t touch it. i have had many dogs, and have never seen that before


  1. 1 Holiday Time, Cold Weather and Winter Conditions Pose Dangers for Pets « CalloftheDog Trackback on December 8, 2008 at 2:19 pm

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