Buying the Best Dog Toys

Does your dog need mental and physical stimulation? You can’t entertain your dog every minute so it’s important that you give him a way to stay occupied. Good dog toys can play an important role in keeping your dog mentally and physically satisfied.

Selection of dog toys isolated on white

But how do you know which ones to select? Here are some ideas for helping you navigate through the overcrowded world of dog supplies and choose the best dog toys for your particular canine companion:

Consider safety first

You certain don’t want to select a dog toy that’s going to potentially do harm to your dog. If your dog has a strong jaw and a tendency to be destructive to his dog toys, avoid buying squeaky toys made up of parts that when swallowed can cause serious health problems. Squeaky toys have a squeaker inside which can be ingested by your dog and potentially cause an intestinal blockage.

If a toy is easily shredded, your dog could also choke on some of the material used to make the toy. For purposes of safety, go for firm, solid toys as opposed to hollow toys with internal components. One popular dog toy which is super durable is the Kong. It’s made of solid rubber and you don’t have to worry about inside parts such as squeakers when you purchase this product.

Only buy toys specifically made for dogs

Sometimes well meaning pet owners shop for dog toys in the children’s toy department. This practice should be avoided since children’s toys aren’t designed to be chewed by a heavy jaw and are usually easily shredded. There are so many unique dog toys in pet supply stores these days, you should never have to go elsewhere.

Go for durability

If your dog is an aggressive chewer, he can probably destroy toys pretty quickly. If you don’t want to pay a weekly trip to the pet store to replace your dog’s toys, consider investing in only high quality, tough toys. Some examples would be the Kong mentioned above and the Hurley, a toy which bends, bounces, and floats. These toys may cost a little more but will pay for themselves in longevity.

Add a little variety

Dogs can quickly lose interest in a single toy which is why it’s good to buy a variety of unique dog toys to prevent boredom from setting in. There are a variety of dog toys on the market designed to mentally tease and stimulate your dog. These toys usually have a hidden space where you place a dog treat and your dog has to perform certain manoeuvres to retrieve it. Some of these toys include the Buster Cube and the puzzle box toys. Dogs find this type of unique dog toy particularly intriguing.

Multipurpose toys

Some dog toys work double duty by helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean and removing tartar from his gum line. These include Dentabones and Greenies. As a bonus, they also help to keep your dog’s breath fresh.

Dog tugging on rope toy held by owner
Money for old rope? Dog toys need not be expensive

Making Your Own Toys

All dogs need some type of toy to reduce boredom and burn off some excess physical and mental energy. But dog toys from the pet store can be so expensive. Plus, even the toys that are designed to be rugged and durable may not last long with an aggressive chewer. Fortunately, there is a way you can save money and still provide your dog with recreation - by making your own homemade dog toys. It’s really quite simple to put together inexpensive dog toys if you use a little imagination and creativity. Here are quick and easy ways to make dog toys your canine will appreciate:

Think out of the box

A dog toy doesn’t necessarily have to be a bone or a ball. Something as simple as a piece of fruit can keep your dog entertained. Fill up a big pail with water and drop a fresh apple into the water .Now watch your dog entertain himself while he participates in his own game of bobbing for apples. Plus, you don’t have to worry about safety. If your dog destroys the apple by eating it, the only thing he’ll only get is a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Avoid using clothing or shoes as toys

Some well meaning dog owners will give their dog an old shoe that they no longer need for chewing purposes. Unfortunately, your dog may generalize from that old shoe to other shoes you wear on a daily basis and steal one of them for his chewing pleasure. It’s best to reinforce with your dog that all shoes are off limits.

Use your sewing machine to make inexpensive, homemade dog toys

This can be as simple as taking scrap, heavy duty fabric such as canvas material and cutting it into squares. With the wrong side of the fabric facing outwards, sew around the edges of three sides of the square. Turn the fabric inside out so the right side of the fabric faces outwards again. Now stuff the fabric pocket you’ve created with soft stuffing material and sew the open edge closed. Give it to your dog to enjoy.

Give new life to your dog’s old bones

Sometimes a dog will chew on a bone for awhile and then become bored with it. You can renew interest in those deserted bones by flavoring them with a small amount of peanut butter. This works well for bones that have a hollow interior where you can place the peanut butter to make it challenging. Dogs will sometimes lick these bones for hours to savor that last hint of peanut butter flavor.

Recycle an old rope

If you have a large rope laying around the house, tie several knots at each end and you have a perfect homemade dog toy for chewing and fetching. This is a simple and inexpensive dog toy that can go a long ways towards relieving dog boredom.

With a little imagination your dog can stay happily occupied and you can save some serious money by learning to make fun and stimulating homemade dog toys. Why not give it a try?

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