Play is an important part of a dog’s life. Not only does it make you happy, it also helps your physical and mental development. Playing involves exercising and this activates the dog’s metabolism and prevents cardiovascular diseases and obesity. To do this, you must look for safe toys for dogs.
The importance of play for the dog
Toys are a great tool to give your dog quality of life. With them you can both gain independence by playing alone and bond with you if you play together. However, not all toys are good or suitable for your dog.
Safe dog toys
We can differentiate two types of toys: those that can be enjoyed alone and those that need our collaboration . For example, there are dogs that can entertain themselves with a ball. Instead, most dogs expect us to throw it for them to catch. Whether of one type or another, we must be aware of the composition and condition of this toy. And above all, the first days must play under your supervision. This will help you see how he reacts to the toy, whether he likes it or not , and the resistance of the toy .
All toys must be special for dogs and of quality. The health of our dog depends on it. A poor quality or inappropriate toy can cause such things as intoxication or choking. That is why it is very important to know what toys should be for your dog. To choose the perfect toy, you must consider the following.
Things you have to keep in mind to choose a safe toy
The age of the dog
Very young dogs do not yet have strong jaws. You must be very careful with toys such as teethers, ropes, and balls. A puppy could lose baby teeth prematurely with a bad gesture. Toys that are too hard are not recommended either.
The size of the dog
The size of the toy should be suitable for the size of the dog. What could be an ideal size ball for a Chihuahua could cause a Great Dane to suffocate. Whatever the type of toy, you must make sure that it cannot be swallowed. Similarly, a toy that is too big for your dog is not suitable either. Although it cannot cause serious damage as in the opposite case, the dog would not be able to play well with it and would soon lose interest.
The material of the toy
This is perhaps the most important point to keep in mind. That is why we will dedicate a section later where we will go into details. In general, toys made of hard rubber or hard rubber are the most recommended. This material is hard and difficult to fall apart. This makes it durable and resistant to bites and prevents it from falling apart into smaller parts. The hardest and heaviest are best for adult dogs as they are difficult to break. In the case of puppies, stuffed animals are perhaps best because of their weak teeth. But you will have to be careful that it does not break it, since it could eat the filling.
The dog’s preferences
There are dogs that are more rope and there are others that are more of a ball. Little by little you will see how he reacts and enjoys one and the other toys. They will also depend on the independence of the dog. If you spend a lot of time alone, it is best to find toys that you can enjoy alone. If this is your case, it is even more urgent that you look for safe toys, since you will not be there to monitor him and make sure that nothing happens to him.
Types of toys
The choice of toy is, sometimes, a pool. Whether your dog loves it or leaves him indifferent is a matter of luck. Each dog is different, and their tastes are very diverse. Therefore, it will be a matter of trial and error, until you find the toy that you like the most and help its development the most.
You have a huge variety of toys at your disposal to choose from. We will name the most popular ones so that you can choose which one can be best for your dog.
Toys to search
These are the most purchased and the most typical as well. Perfect for the most active dogs and those who run the most. The star toy of this group is the ball . In every house there is a ball for the dog. Even if the dog has made it clear that going after a ball is not for him. It is the first thing we buy when we bring a dog home: the food, the bed and the ball. That’s how it is. But the ball is not the only toy that can drive them crazy. For running they can also have a frisbee, for example.
With this type of toys they have fun, entertain themselves and exercise. Thus they develop, maintain and improve their physical condition. In addition, they improve agility and gain strength . It is the best way to keep them in shape. Of course, you will have to be there to play with them. A ball loses its grace if it has no one to throw it. Which has its pros and cons. If your dog spends long hours alone, it will not be put to much use. But if you have time, it will help you have a good relationship, spend quality time together and bond.
The best models are those made of rubber, soft so as not to damage the teeth, but not too much so that it does not come off. And its size should always be appropriate, depending on the size of the dog. They should be large enough so that they are not choked and small enough so that they can be held well.
If you have ever found bitten shoes at home, better get one of these toys. There are dogs that are like piranhas, that bite everything that crosses their path. And when they destroy the first thing they catch, they look for another. For these dogs there are toys to chew on. These toys are very resistant, so that they do not fall apart. If they were of poor quality, they would fall apart and risk suffocation or food poisoning.
There are also them for puppies. When their teeth come out, their gums hurt a bit. Chewing on things can give you some relief.
These are very loved by large dogs. It is a game of who can do more. It is certainly not a toy to play alone. The most typical is a rope with a knot at each end, or round figures or sturdy stuffed animals. So your dog pulls on one side while you or another dog pulls on the other.
This type of toy is not recommended for puppies. His teeth are not strong enough yet. Dogs that enjoy these toys are often quite stubborn. They jerk and jerk to get them off you. In one of these shakes they could injure themselves and lose a tooth prematurely. Homemade toys can be a good option for puppies.
If you are looking for one of these, make sure the rope does not unravel into strands. If they bite, they could eat them, causing stomach damage and also expelling them. Check it from time to time and if you see any loose strands, cut it off.
Toys to develop their intelligence
They are toys very similar to toddler toys. In them they have to join pieces or fit figures. These toys are great for developing the intellect. They are also ideal for bonding, as they must always play under our supervision . Many of these toys contain small parts that they could choke on.
In addition, they can be somewhat complicated, so it is recommended that you help him a little the first time. Ideally, you will reward them when they do well. You can congratulate him and give him caresses and pampering or you can give him a treat . That way they will know what they can achieve, and they won’t get frustrated so soon. Still, there are dogs who don’t like it and there are others who just can’t figure it out. Remember that there are races more intelligent than others . The idea is that they have fun. If your dog does not listen to him, do not insist: this game is not for him.
Food reward toys
These toys are like “surprise eggs.” We can hide a reward inside, like the candy that they like the most. He will have to chew on the toy, shake it or open it to get this reward. Like the previous type, it is great for developing our pet’s intellect.
It is true that it is not the most successful game among dogs. If they don’t get their reward quickly, they could lose interest. So we must find something that they love. For example, a sweet smelling bacon.
It is also ideal for those dogs that spend many hours alone, since they do not need anyone to play. These toys are sturdy and cannot cause any danger. On the contrary, it will keep your dog busy and entertained for quite a while.
More and less safe materials
The material of a toy is an important part of determining how safe it is. Depending on whether it is for puppies or adult dogs, one or the other will be more recommended. The durability of the toy also depends on the material.
Plush or stuffed toys
These are more well thought out for small dogs or puppies . It would not take two minutes for adult or large dogs to tear them to pieces. But for puppies it is ideal, since they will not damage their teeth. In addition, in case of breaking them and ingesting their filling, there will not be much danger since their filling, cotton, cannot obstruct the intestine.
They are soft but more durable than the first ones. And if they are made of 100% latex, there is no risk of poisoning by ingestion.
These toys are designed for adult and large dogs. They are heavy toys, of great durability. However, you must make sure that its composition is 100% rubber. This material is not toxic, but it is very common to find recycled rubber toys with artificial substances. This can be dangerous for your dog. Luckily, it’s easy to spot: if it smells like a tire, throw it away or don’t buy it.
These toys break easily, so they are not recommended . When they break, they leave loose parts that can be easily swallowed. And if they break at the moment of the bite, they could hurt your dog’s mouth.
If the animal is under our supervision, we can use other toys such as tennis balls. But if it breaks, even just a little, we should throw it away immediately.
These are also perfect for large dogs, due to their weight and stiffness. Although its material is indigestible, it is very difficult for a well-made vinyl toy to tear or fall apart.
Low quality equals high risk . The toy must not only be of quality. It must also be appropriate to the age and size of the dog . Otherwise, the consequences can be quite serious , from choking and suffocation to stomach perforation or poisoning. And this, of course, applies to other accessories for your dog, such as anti-parasitic leashes or collars. When in doubt, check with your veterinarian and ask for a recommendation at a specialized store. And forget about everything at a hundred. Your dog’s health is worth much more than that.