The best dog toy is one that keeps your dog active and interested. A dog who is bored or doesn't exercise enough is likely to chew your furniture, stain your rug, and engage in other forms of bad behavior. He will get even with you one way or another!
We all know that dogs love to play. Running, jumping, chasing, mouthing, chewing, wrestling, biting, and yes even riding your leg are all normal forms of play. You might want to discourage that last one, though, if you want to avoid public embarrassment.
Whatever your dog likes to use as a toy, make sure its safe.
It should be large enough that she can't swallow it or choke on it and hard enough so that chewing wont cause pieces to be bitten off and swallowed. If toys have holes or openings in them, be sure your pet cant get his tongue or jaw stuck in the opening. The tongue can get stuck when it seals the only opening in the dog toy, creating suction. (One way around this is to punch another small hole at the opposite end.) Its always best to supervise you dog for his first few days with a new toy, just to be sure he can play safely.
Dogs prefer to play with people or other dogs, but will play alone if there is no one around to entertain them. If you leave him alone for long periods of time, be sure your dog has a favorite toy to keep him busy.
Food Dispensing Toys
Dog toys designed to dispense food can provide hours of fun for the dog who's left alone. These toys require your dog to chew, push, roll and bat the toy around to get at the goodies inside. Great fun! If your dog tends to use her paws a lot in play to stop or hold a ball, sh will enjoy the one she has to push around. If not, the chew types work best. This dog toy should be properly designed for safety, so make sure you get one tough enough that your dog wont chew the toy to pieces (a choking hazard). Also be sure she cant get her jaw or tongue stuck in the opening (see above).
The treats are typically dry and in small pieces, e.g. kibble, small biscuits, small cubes of hard cheese. Long thin bits which are easier to load then to dispense back out, like pieces of beef jerky (dog or human style) about 1/4 inch wide and an inch long, work great too. There is even a vitamin-enriched paste made specifically for this type of dog toy.
Chase and Fetch Toys
Dogs love to run and chase, and some of their favorite games are tug, fetch, and Frisbee. As always, safety is your first consideration. Make sure the dog toy is large enough for safety, but not so large or heavy that its tough for your pet to handle. Avoid toys with parts that she can chew off and swallow, or toys small enough that she can actually swallow the toy itself.
This type of play is a great way to keep your dog fit and work out stress or anxiety. We all know that a tired dog is a good dog! But be careful not to overdo it at first. Before starting any vigorous exercise program, a dog should get a clean bill of health from the vet just as you would from your physician.
Some good toys for chasing and fetching are durable rubber balls, and rings, oversized tennis balls, plastic Frisbees and throwing discs.
Chase and fetch are normally not solitary sports, but there is a way to set up a solitary chase game for your dog when hes alone. You can set up a ramp (a larger one for outdoors, or small for inside) that hell learn to use for rolling a ball. I don't know of any commercially available, but you can make one by building a wooden cube about 2 feet to a side, then putting a ramp up one side and down the other. For indoors, a baby slide about two feet high works just as well.
Its worth spending some time checking out the different categories of fetch toys. Among them are Tennis Ball toys (toys made with tennis balls and tennis ball materials), Giggly Wiggly toys (they make fun noises when your dog plays with them), and Water Toys (all of them float, for good aquatic dog toy fun!).
Chew and Tug Toys
I probably don't need to tell you that dogs love to chew, especially if you own a puppy. Dogs also love to wrestle and use their mouths, so tug-of-war games come naturally for them. Just be careful that your dog doesn't have too much pent up energy or get too carried away. Dogs playing with other dogs will wrestle and mouth each other without causing any harm. When they do this with you it can be quite another story!
A dog toy that's especially popular for tugging is the knotted rope variety. You should resist making your own, since there is a danger of them coming un-knotted and frayed. Frayed pieces can be swallowed and cause obstructions in the intestines. Commercially made rope toys of good quality will resist unraveling and fraying. Keep an eye on things to be on the safe side.
Chew toys should be made of durable materials for the similar reasons. You don't want your friend to choke on little pieces. Fortunately, there are some great ones available, made in a variety of sturdy materials.
Thank you to our guest writer Kevin Davies for this great article. If you would like to read more of his blog please go to: https://petloverguy.com