Are you struggling to find the perfect toy for your pup? Some dogs prefer specific toys depending on their personality or behavioral quirk. Whatever your dog’s situation, toys are a great way to meet his or her most dire needs, and even enhance playtime in the process!
Toys are essential in helping dogs channel their natural instincts, defeat boredom, and are a great way for owners to bond with their pets in general. However, it’s always important to prioritize toy safety.
You should make sure to supervise your pup the first few times they play with a new toy. This could help you catch any hidden safety risks such as plastic eyes on plush toys and other possible choking hazards. You will also want to make sure a new toy is appropriate for your dog in size and texture. In general, bigger, stronger dogs will be happier with bigger, tougher toys, and vice versa.
Now, let’s dive into some common behavioral issues in dogs, and how to solve them with toys!
Dealing With High Energy Dogs
While our fur babies would love it if we played with them all day long, it can be tough to reciprocate most of the energy they have. That’s why fetch or retrieval toys need to be in your dog’s toy rotation. Tennis balls are great for dogs who have endless energy. Best of all, they require minimal effort on your part! All you need is an open area, a throwing arm, and an excited pup. Just make sure you don’t leave the tennis balls out for your dog to chew on 24/7, as this can cause dental problems.
If you think your pup is ready for more of a challenge and energy release, a frisbee has greater variation in both direction and speed than a tennis ball, which can help tire out even the most energetic of dogs. If your pup STILL has a ton of energy after all that playtime, maybe it’s time you consider hiring a professional dog walker to come administer a universally favorite activity for all pups.
Addressing Pup Anxiety
Plush toys are a great way to offer comfort to a pup that gets nervous or has separation anxiety. Many dogs will carry plush toys around with them when being introduced to a new person or pet. Plush toys vary in size, material, and most have squeakers in them. Make sure to consider your dog’s size when looking for their perfect plush companion; and remember, sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find that perfect toy that will make them feel safe and secure.
Boredom In Dogs
There are lots of ways to re-energize a bored dog; so don’t lose hope! The first thing you should do is limit your pup’s access to all of their toys at once. Put most of the dog toys in a bin or container with a lid, and leave only a few of their toys out at a time. Switch up which toys you choose to keep out of the bin as often as you feel necessary. This will make old toys feel new again and keep your fur baby from getting bored with any toy too quickly.
If you’re looking to introduce some new toys into the rotation, you might consider interactive or puzzle toys. These toys are designed to provide mental stimulation, teach cognitive skills, and offer your pup a challenge. These toys can involve food or treats, such as the Kong or a hollow bone, which is great for food or treat-motivated pups. However, there are a ton of other great options that will keep your pup entertained without them adding on any extra pounds.
Toys are a great way to connect and bond with your dog. Whether you’re caring for a new puppy or your life long best friend, you want to make sure you’re getting the best toys for your fur baby’s specific needs. It’s about finding that one toy that really puts a smile on his or her face and at the same time, suits their behavioral quirk and/or personality as closely as possible.
Does your pup have a favorite, go-to toy? Tell us about it below!