Every dog agrees that toys are the best, whether they squeak, bounce, or are just good to chew. But there are many things to consider when choosing what to get your four-legged friend, so we've put together a short guide to help you pick!
1. What kind of toy do you want?
Is this to keep your dog calm? Is it an interactive toy that lets you play with them? Or is it just something to keep them occupied while you're busy? It is very important to consider what you want this toy for, as you can search for specialized items.
Chewy toys such as Kongs, which you can fill with treats, can keep dogs occupied for quite a while, as well as keeping their teeth strong and healthy as chewing is very important for canine health, whereas soft toys are good to calm an anxious dog down if they just want something to hold.
In any case, it is important that it is easy to clean. Make sure all soft toys are machine washable.
2. How Big?
Many toys are labelled with what size dog they are suitable for. Dogs vary wildly in their sizes and something that's perfect for your little terrier could easily be swallowed by your friend's Labrador.
Toys meant for smaller dogs can cause blockages or choking if swallowed and little dogs might hurt themselves on toys for their larger friends, as they are built to be more durable. Keep this in mind when picking out a toy.
3. What is your dog like?
You don't want to give your boisterous dog a cuddly toy when they like to rip things to pieces, or a loud, squeaky toy to a nervous dog. Consider what your pet enjoys and what they are more likely to have fun with.
Age is also an important factor when choosing a toy, as tougher toys can harm a puppy's teeth, while older dogs need more durable items. Softer items made of material such as rubber are better for puppies.
4. How strong is it?
In general, dogs tend to be quite rough when they play, so you need to find durable toys that you won't have to replace every week! However, you don't want them to be so hard that they damage your pooch's teeth. Press into the toy with your fingernail. If it doesn't give a little, it's might be too hard.
If you have any other concerns or questions about what is best for your dog, consult your veterinarian!
H/t: Consumer Reports
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