Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Choosing the Right Toys for Your Dog

By Lisa Mason

Your dog will become bored playing with the same old toy day after day. The toy will lay there untouched and he will look at you mournfully. This means he has lost interest in that toy and needs another one. Multiple toys of different shapes, materials and textures will allow your dog to choose the right toy for his mood.

Every Dog Needs a Chew Toy

Chew toys are a must for your dog. Sometimes a dog just wants to chew, and if he doesn’t have a toy, your furniture and shoes may be in trouble. Chew toys will satisfy the need to chew, and it will also exercise your dog’s jaws and help clean his teeth.

Make sure to pick a chew toy that is appropriate for your dog’s size. If the chew toy is too large for your dog to get a good grip on, he will get frustrated and find something else to chew on. If the chew toy is small, a large dog could choke on it.

Other Great Choices for Dog Toys

Balls and Frisbees should be next on your dog’s toy list. Even a small dog will enjoy chasing a ball or a Frisbee, and its great exercise for them. Small dogs that don’t play outside a lot will enjoy rolling the ball around the house and trying to capture it. Give the dog several balls in varying sizes. A ball should just barely fit in the dog’s mouth for him to carry it, or it should be larger for rolling games. Never let a large dog play with a tiny ball as he may choke on it.

Also choose a few comfort toys for cuddling. At times a dog just wants something soft and cozy when he takes a nap. Rope toys and soft plush toys are great for this. They also serve double duty as toss and fetch toys in the house. When your dog gets tired, he will grab one of his soft, cuddly toys and take it to his bed to lie down with.

Training Your Dog to Choose Toys

Dogs learn by word association, so you can easily teach him to fetch the right toy. Teach the dog the word “ball” by playing a game of fetch and repeating the word ball. Switch the toys and teach him “rope” or “bunny.” Now line up all of the toys and tell him to get a specific one. It may take a while for him to figure out which toy is which. Don’t give up. It is a fun game that will stimulate your dog’s brain.

If you are concerned about so many dog toys lying around the house, provide him with his own toy box. You can make a game of teaching him to pick up all the toys and put them away. Make sure to reward a job well done by giving your dog his favorite CANIDAE treat. Offering a variety of safe dog toys will keep your dog from becoming bored and unhappy. In the end, a few extra toys may save your table legs or shoes!

Top photo by Oakley Originals
Bottom photo by M. Anima

Read more articles by Lisa Mason


  1. We got to a point where poor Finn was bored with her toys. Now Charley loves them ALL and so she gets a little jealous sometimes. We definitely need a few more new ones though!

  2. Toys are important to dogs. My dog loves her ball and a huge stuffed bone that she carries around. Dogs love the attention and fun things to do. Take care.


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