4 Tips for Picking a Toy for Rover

finding dog toysThank goodness you can take your dog into most pet stores and at least get an idea for what interests your dog in the toy isle.  But if you can’t take your dog there are some tips that may help you find a toy that passes their tough scrutiny. Be careful in trying to meet form to function.  While they try to make “healthy” toys for teeth, most dogs will find them as interesting as a kid given zucchini bread.  Get toys to be toys and teeth cleaning products for cleaning teeth.

There was a study conducted in “Animal Cognition” on a Labrador and toys that showed what many dog owners already know about dogs and toys, but here they are.

  1. Dogs like toys that remind them of the wild.  Not that they remember the wild, but that they still have needs like chasing, catching and tearing up.  So it’s no surprise they tend to love toys that taste like food, can be torn apart, and/or make a noise.
  2. Yes, noise and the softer the toy and the louder the noise the more fun it is for them.  In other words, shop like I do.  Pick the toy that will drive you crazy in two minutes and you will have a winner.  Be careful with squeaky toys that they are well constructed.  If it is a rubber ball that it is thick enough to be durable but not so thick it’s hard to squeak.  And for plushies, be sure the squeaker cannot be easily removed by the dog and pose a choking hazard.
  3. Just like young kids, dogs lose interest so you will need to find two or three toys your dog loves and hide all but one.  When they lose interest, just switch them out and your dog will be thrilled with his new toy.
  4. And finally, dogs love it when you play too.  Dogs are very social animals and for some a stick will become the best toy on earth if you think it is and play with them.  And really, how much fun is a tug toy if there is only one tugging?

Some favorite toys in a recent poll were chew toys, rubber toys, ropes, tug toys, balls, socks, stuffed toys and plastic bottles.  Experiment until you and your dog find toys he loves and you can tolerate as well as interact with.  Once you find that perfect toy or two, you may want to grab two or three of them so you always have a new one on hand.

Some safety notes:  If you give your dog a plastic bottle be sure to remove the lid and band before giving it to your dog.  Also, be sure to monitor toys, especially new ones, and remove them when they become torn or broken to avoid your dog swallowing pieces.  Dogs have been known to eat items such as rags and socks, so be sure to watch how your dog interacts with toys like that.  Sticks too can cause damage if it splinters and they swallow them.