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A pet parent's guide to fun & must-have toys for dogs

Just as "behind every great man, there's a great woman", behind many doggy tail wags and playful jumps are fun dog toys. (And let's not forget treats‚ÄĒthe cherry on top of the playtime sundae! ūüėĄ)

See, toys turn a mundane afternoon into an adventure; they transform your living room into a playground and your backyard into a training arena.

That's the magic of a dog's toy box! It's more than a collection of playthings. They're pet parenting tools that entertain, enrich, and shape a well-adjusted canine companion.

But there's a vast and vibrant world of dog toys at your pup's paw tips, so choosing can be challenging. Let us help you navigate and discover must-have dog toys for your furry friend.

The joy of toys

Toys are a treasure trove of mental, physical, and emotional benefits that enhance your pup's quality of life‚ÄĒat every stage!

  • Socialisation: They teach bite inhibition (controlling the strength of their bite), broaden puppy comfort zones, boost confidence around new stimuli, and help stem resource-guarding behaviours.
  • Training: Fur babies learn listening skills and commands via play.
  • Relaxation: Toys offer companionship, distraction, and an outlet for excess energy.
  • Relationship-building: Playtime strengthens the doggy-human bond.
  • Activity: Mental and physical stimulation are paramount for overall well-being and may delay dog dementia.

Understanding your dog's play needs

There are a few things to remember when picking toys.

  • Age-related differences: Puppies, adults, and senior dogs have different priorities, preferences, and energy levels.
  • Breed-specific tendencies: Understanding doggy traits and instincts helps you choose appropriately engaging toys. For example, retrievers may naturally enjoy fetching toys, while herding breeds might gravitate toward toys they can chase.
  • Doggy frame and play style: Toys should be the appropriate size for your dog's physique‚ÄĒand habits! This is essential for safety.
  • Functional limitations: There's the matter of physical factors and space constraints. For example, teething puppies versus seniors who may have lost their teeth. Or a home with a backyard versus a high-rise apartment that needs a pet-proof balcony.
  • Enrichment: Ideally, toys should appeal to a dog's natural instincts (chewing, digging) and five senses: Smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch.

Types of dog toys

A well-rounded toy collection caters to all aspects of a dog's growth. It also prevents playtime from becoming predictable or boring. Top dog toys include:

Chew toys

A prime pick for the young, the restless, and aggressive chewers.

From dental chews to chew challenge toys, this multitasking toy provides stress relief, boosts brain (memory) function, distracts your dog, redirects destructive chews to more constructive use, and even cleans tartar from doggo chompers!

Fetch and tug toys

Active-play toys for energetic dogs who love a good game of catch or a spirited tug-of-war session.

Classic balls, Frisbees¬ģ, rope, and floating toys help burn off pent-up energy and promote a state of contented exhaustion. Precisely how a healthy, happy dog likes it! ūüėČ

Plush toys

The perfect toy for play and comfort. (Or biting-and-shaking "prey"!)

Whether a nap-time snuggle or the thrill of rip-apart plushie features, these soft companions cater to comforting, nurturing, and hunting instincts.

Tip: Plushies + our cozy doggy blanket = canine bliss.

Interactive toys

These toys and games are ALL about quality time together!

Interactive toys include strategy games, herding balls, rubber toys that bounce erratically, and agility courses. They keep your pup busy, stimulate the mind, and (best of all) build your bond with Fido. ‚̧ԳŹ

Puzzle and treat-dispensing toys

Toys where you hide treats inside or that require your pup to solve a challenge to earn their reward.

Snuffle mats, licking mats, and intricate food puzzles‚ÄĒthese toys stave off boredom, work the brain, encourage nose and paw work, and can be levelled up to higher difficulty levels for your dog's utmost satisfaction!

Smart toy shopping

Here’s what to focus on.

  • Physical attributes: These include product size/dimensions, texture, material, and durability.
  • Safety: Choose non-toxic materials and avoid small pieces that dogs can swallow or choke on.
  • Variety: Aim for around 6 to 8 different types of dog toys per pet to encourage diverse play styles, prevent boredom, and adapt to a pup's mood/energy levels.

Toy care and maintenance

We have three friendly reminders:

  • Pet toys harbour germs, so it's good practice to clean and sanitise them regularly using a pet-safe disinfectant like Healthy Habitat. For machine-washable items (e.g. plushies), tackle odours, slobber, stains, and germs with Eco Laundry Liquid.
  • Check for wear and tear after playtime‚ÄĒdamaged toys can harm your pet!
  • Keep most toys in storage when not in use, especially those that need supervision. Storage also ensures that toys don't lose "value" (in your pup's eyes) too quickly.

Wrapping up...

Armed with the proper toys, you'll spark endless fun and growth for your furry companion. So choose wisely, play heartily, and let the good times roll! ‚ėļÔłŹ

 

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