Category Archives: dog toys

Which Dog Toys are the Best?


By Linda Cole

Pet toys dangle from prominent displays in pet stores, supermarkets and drugstores in every city. There are balls of different sizes and colors; some that light up when they bounce, and some that are florescent and glow in the dark. There are stuffed chew toys to delight and entertain even persistent and aggressive chewers, and tough rubber “treat” toys to keep your dog from becoming bored and attacking the couch while you are away. With the multitude of different types and sizes of dog toys available today, how do you choose the best ones for your pet? Trial and error, mostly.

My first dog was a polite American Eskimo named Jack. He never got on the furniture or bed and turned his nose up at every toy I gave him. He wanted to wrestle and didn’t have time for some stupid toy. He would fetch a ball if he was in the mood, but that game only lasted for a couple of throws.

Thinking he would like some pals to play with while I was at work, I made a decision to adopt Bear and Mindy, a brother and sister Irish Setter/Collie/Great Dane mix. I quickly discovered they loved playing with dog toys. As it turned out, their favorite toy was the throw pillows on my couch. I came home from work shortly after they came to live with us, and walked into pillow stuffing covering the living room floor with the pillow carcasses buried in the middle of the mess. Jack wandered out of the kitchen and gave me a disgusted look. Bear and Mindy scampered out of the bedroom, through the pillow debris with smiling faces and eager eyes. All I could do was laugh as a vision of pillow stuffing flying through the air filled my head. It became obvious I needed some dog toys, and I needed them now.

My dogs like tug-of-war type toys and “treat” toys that bounce erratically when they toss them in the air. Not only do they get the fun of cleaning out the peanut butter treat on the inside, they can attack the odd shaped rubber toy afterwards. Balls are always a favorite as are Frisbees, but some dogs do have to be taught how to play with these.

A collection of brightly colored stuffed dog toys have come and gone over the years. Most of them were ignored and I finally gave up buying the cute little squeaker toys. My dogs are a lively group and the ones not ignored were quickly destroyed as they dismantled the poor thing to find that annoying little squeaker hidden inside.

Dogs are a bit like kids when it comes to toys – sometimes it’s the packaging that’s the most fun! An empty plastic pop bottle can give dogs hours of enjoyment. Just make sure to remove the cap, the ring around the top and the label before letting your dog play with an empty bottle. However, if your dog wants to eat it, don’t let them play with a bottle.

Some dogs love playing with dog toys and balls and haul them around like security blankets, while others scoff at the notion of playing fetch. One reaction I’ve gotten is a look that says, “You threw it, you go get it.”

Chew bones and tough rubber toys serve a need that allows your dog a way to satisfy his need to chew without destroying the couch or table leg. Dog toys also give your pet a way to entertain themselves or find comfort when home alone. Finding the right toy may take some time, but it’s worth the effort if it can save even one couch pillow from going to that great pillow factory in the sky.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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How to Pick the Best Dog Toy

Today when you walk into your favorite pet shop there are many more toy options for dogs than there used to be. There are a few things to consider when buying toys for your dog. Do you need toys for a puppy, or adult dog? There are a few things to keep in mind when buying dog toys.
First of all you want to buy toys that are age appropriate. For example, if you have an older dog that loves to tug and is trained to “drop” their toys, by all means buy them a tug. However, this is not a good choice for a puppy starting out, because they may not want to let go of the tug when you want them to. The problem this presents is that if the puppy has the TV remote or your cell phone, you need to be able to recover them from the puppy without too much fuss.
Another thing to consider is buying toys that are size appropriate. If you have a 120 pound Bullmastiff you wouldn’t buy a toy that is more suited to a Pomeranian. You don’t want to get a puppy toy for a full grown dog, no matter how cute it is. The reason I say this is that a puppy’s teeth will not usually do the same damage to a toy as an adult dog’s teeth. An adult dog can make mincemeat of a puppy toy pretty quickly, because their teeth are fully developed while a puppy is still getting their teeth. On the other hand, getting a toy a puppy can grow into is not as farfetched as it sounds. Puppies can grow very quickly and that toy that you brought home last week may be too small next week.
You should also gauge the activity level for your dog when considering a toy. If you have a couch potato with a low activity level that loves to chew, you don’t necessarily want to get them a Frisbee that will take a lot of activity to chase around. While I agree exercise is great for dogs, you need to determine their activity level before getting them a toy that may be too far above their current activity level. Just as we need to work up to a certain activity level, so do our dogs. So if you want to get that Frisbee go ahead, but remember that you should start with 5 to 10 minutes of activity if your dog is not used to any at all.
Last but by no means least you should consider the chewing level of your dog when buying them a toy. I have had American Staffordshire Terriers since 1981 and thought I was well-versed in their tricks with their toys. However I learned something that I have been telling my customers for years, “Every dog is different”. While I knew this myself, I got a refresher lesson, courtesy of Skye.
I made the mistake of buying Skye a rope bone with two tennis balls on it. I was going to toss it and she would go catch it and bring it back to me, at least that is what I thought. Skye had another idea. The first time we got to go outside to play with it, I threw it, and Skye went and got it. So far so good, however Skye decided to test out the strength of the tennis balls. She put her foot down on one end of the tug to hold it still and grabbed one of the tennis balls in her mouth. The tennis ball “popped” like a balloon, and that was the end of one of the tennis balls on Skye’s new rope bone. The toy now resides in the toy box, and I’m not sure I even want to give it to her again. While Skye was pleased with herself, I was worried about how quickly the tennis ball came apart and how many pieces she made of it in less than a minute’s time. I would not want her to swallow one of those tennis ball pieces if I give her the toy again, so in the toy box it stays until I figure out who has a dog small enough to gift it to.
If you remember these easy tips by buying toys that are appropriate for the age, size and activity level of your dog, not to mention their chewing level and ability; you will save yourself time and money and have a few less headaches in the bargain.

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.