Balls, teethers, rings, stuffed animals, interactive toys, discs, … You don’t know which dog toys are the best option for your dog? Don’t worry! In Las Almenas we want to help you choose the best dog toys according to age, breed, size and characteristics. So, for example, if your dog has a lot of energy, you will have to choose dog toys that allow him to spend that excess of dynamism, as is the case of balls or discs to throw.
If you don’t want to go crazy among so many offers, keep reading our article and discover the infinity of dog toys, their characteristics and how to choose the most suitable one.
Why is playing so important for dogs?
Dog toys are not just for puppies. Play is a very important activity that your dog should practice every day. Thanks to play your dog gets to develop physical, psychological and emotional skills.
In addition, play allows your furry friend to manipulate objects by performing different movements that help him to know his limits and what he is capable of doing, which is very interesting for the development of new behaviors.
Take your dog’s play seriously because it is also an essential factor in improving his overall health. Do not forget that, depending on the type of toy, you can promote physical exercise, gum care with toys that promote chewing, clean teeth and strengthen your dog’s gums. It also develops mental abilities and strengthens your relationship.
And, of course, dog toys are a fun and entertaining option for any time, especially when your dog is left home alone and can develop separation stress.
Above all, safety
Think any rag or thing is suitable for your dog to play with? Dog toys are designed exclusively for your dog to play without problems or risks.
So, for example, if you are used to play with your dog with a tennis ball, you have to try to avoid it at all costs. Tennis balls are made with fiberglass that can damage your dog’s teeth. The same can happen with golf balls that contain toxic substances and if they break, they need to be removed immediately.
If you do not know what material the toy is made of, what kind of paint it has or if you see that it has parts that can come off, the best thing to do is to prevent the dog from playing with it.
It is better to look for balls or other specific dog toys on the market, which will provide the same fun without being dangerous. Therefore, it is important that you buy approved toys to ensure their safety.
And keep in mind that if you get your dog used to playing with anything, you are teaching him to chew on “forbidden” things.
Types of dog toys
We are going to explain to you the most common types of dog toys and their essential features:
1-Biting toys for dogs
Does your dog have a biting instinct? To keep your furniture, shoes and precious possessions safe, you’d better give him a chew toy to help him satiate that instinct.
Besides, this kind of dog toys is also very useful as positive reinforcement and incentive when you are training a puppy. And you can use them for water play because they float.
How does a chew toy have to be? Well, the material must be flexible and at the same time very resistant. Although there are also models that are especially soft, as they are designed for dogs with delicate teeth.
There are models of dog chews that are scented. You have them with scents of chicken, cheese, beef, lamb, … And even with very appetizing flavors and some are even edible, so your pet will enjoy biting them. But make sure they are approved and are made with natural ingredients and dyes.
You can also find teethers that are also treat dispensers. This way, your dog will be able to bite, play and receive a reward.
With a different effect, you will also find teethers that care for and clean the gums and teeth. They are a fantastic option, especially for dogs that accumulate tartar.
2-Balls for dogs.
It is one of the favorite toys for dogs.
Having a ball at home with a dog is an essential and inexpensive item.
Besides entertaining your dog, it promotes physical exercise and keeps him fit inside and outside the house. They are usually good for their dental health, as they strengthen the jaw. In addition, dog balls are a great option for you to play together and interact.
As for the materials, you can choose between soft rubber, hard rubber, latex, silicone, with imitation tennis or soccer balls and even with light and with funny sounds that are heard when the ball is squeezed. You’ll see what face your dog will make when he plays with one of these nice balls!
3-Cuddly toys for dogs.
As with toddlers, stuffed animals are the favorite dog toys for puppies. They are soft and squishy, yet sturdy and will keep your pup entertained for hours.
There are elastic stuffed animals that stretch, made of rag, with sounds, with strings (which are ideal to throw so that you can participate with him in the game), with thousands of shapes and colors.
In the market you will also find toys for dogs that serve to improve the mental capacities of your pet. These toys stimulate their cognitive abilities and enhance their curiosity and investigative instinct. This is the case of frisbees or discs for dogs, toys with ropes, as well as treat dispensers with which your dog will gain agility and skill.
5-Kong toys for dogs
You may have heard of Kong dog toys. They are well known and in demand for their wide variety of catalogs and different collections. Especially for the food reward toys that have a hollow inside to introduce some tidbit, kibble or cookie that your dog likes. Your pet will have to turn it, move it and chew it until he gets the prize, a real challenge!
Now that you know the types of dog toys, let’s define which ones are the most suitable for puppies.
You already know that puppies are extremely playful, but you have to provide them with training to start learning. At the same time, you have to take care of their delicate baby teeth. Therefore, you must know how to choose which approved toys are the most suitable for this vital stage.
From 3 weeks of age, puppies start to feel curious about playing. At first it will be with his siblings and his mother. Therefore, he will not pay too much attention to toys.
Once he grows up, your puppy will develop his abilities, his sense of smell with the help of play. Play will help him to control his movements, especially his bite, he will learn to solve conflicts, to know himself and to strengthen his bond with you when you play with him.
Teething toys are certainly a good choice to strengthen his jaw, relieve gum discomfort and relax his urge to chew on everything. Try to choose teethers with a soft and smooth touch.
Of equal characteristics should be stuffed animals, which are very appreciated by puppies, as well as toys with sounds.
Dog toys with strings are best left for later, as there is a risk of choking on small pieces of string. And if your puppy learns basic commands easily, you can try small balls and other fetch objects that will develop his investigative instinct.
Toys for small breed dogs
Las Almenas is a respectful breeding center for mini breed dogs and we know how important it is to choose a suitable toy for these small breeds. It is essential that you always look for small toys that adapt to the size of their jaw and that suit the dog’s activity.
So, for the most active ones, nothing better than frisbees or flying discs. It would be better to choose natural rubber instead of plastic, which are more harmful to their teeth. Also rubber balls and rubber rings are types of toys for small breed dogs.
Food dispenser toys or treats that your dog can get by chewing on them will also keep them very entertained.
Don’t forget to have in your arsenal of toys, one that is indicated to take care of and clean your dog’s bacterial plaque. There are bone-shaped or in a thousand different shapes.
Toys for large breed dogs
Basically, the toys are the same as for small breeds, but with the right size. Toys for large dogs should be larger so that they cannot be swallowed.
You should also take into account the weight of the dog. Large and heavier breeds need toys made of hard and resistant rubber.
In short, as with children, not all toys are suitable for all ages and characteristics of dogs, so you will have to look for the most suitable for yours. Now you know, look for approved dog toys and, from time to time, surprise him with a new one to increase his fun and break his routine.
Tell us, what is your dog’s favorite toy, and is there a toy that has disappointed you? Share your experiences below and help us complete this article on the best dog toys with your tips and experiences, so we all learn!