A toy made especially for dogs to play with is known as a dog toy. There are many types of dog toys, such as dog bones, puppy toys, balls, tug toys, training aids, squeaky toys, discs and frisbees, plush toys, and sticks. But do toys really help your dog?
Dog toys serve different purposes. Puppies need toys they can chew on when they are teething because doing so helps to soothe their sore gums and jaws. In addition to benefiting the dogs’ general health, stimulating their minds, preventing problem behavior brought on by boredom and excessive energy, and promoting dental health, playing with various toys encourages exercise in the dogs.
The Advantages of Different Types of Dog Toys
Choosing the ideal toy for your best friend can be complicated and overwhelming because so many different dog toys are available. So let’s examine some of the popular dog toys on the market and the breeds they are most appropriate for.
Dogs who enjoy chewing, playing tug of war, holding objects, and other activities will benefit most from playing with rope toys for dogs. All dog breeds can benefit from rope toys, but working breeds and retriever types particularly love them. In addition to helping to promote good dental hygiene, rope toys are useful for exercising your dog’s mouth and jaw.
For most dogs, particularly teething puppies and dogs who enjoy chewing, toys that encourage chewing are beneficial. Giving our canine friends dog chew toys gives them a chance to chew appropriately because chewing is normal for them. Inappropriate items like furniture, clothing and household items can be kept out of your dog’s reach by doing this.
Food Puzzle Toys
All dogs love puzzle toys, but working breeds especially enjoy them. These toys can be filled with treats or food. In addition to giving you mental and physical stimulation, they also help you pass the time. These toys range in difficulty; those that are easy are best for young puppies and more senior dogs. You can gradually introduce harder variations to keep your dog on their toes as they become more adept at solving these toys.
Most dogs enjoy playing with squeaky dog toys, particularly terrier breeds and dogs who like to bite and shake their toys. Dogs’ predatory instincts are triggered by squeaky toys, which give the behavior a suitable outlet.
Washable, long-lasting plush toys are a popular option for dogs of all ages. Young puppies love soft plush toys because they give them a sense of comfort, especially after being separated from their mother and other puppies in the litter.
Adult dogs and many older puppies still enjoy playing with plush toys, and they frequently carry them around, snuggle up to them, and sleep with them. Heavy chewers may not be the best candidates for plush toys.
As you can see, various toys are suitable for multiple dog breeds. Additionally, many dogs have preferences for particular toy categories. You can choose the best toys for your dog by being aware of their unique preferences and natural behaviors.
As with anything, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your dog while playing with various toys to ensure they’re appropriate and that your dog isn’t ingesting any of them.
What are the Benefits of Having Dog Toys?
Purchasing a toy for your dog is one of the most crucial things you can do as a pet owner. More than taking your dog for a solo walk is required. Many dogs have destructive tendencies, which don’t need complicated fixes. Given how active puppies are usually, this is not surprising. Such harmful behaviors emerge when they are left alone with nothing to do.
Dogs must play, enjoy themselves, and engage in other activities to burn off energy. They require a form of diversion to drain their energy, even when you don’t have time to take them for a walk. Toddlers require toys to keep them occupied in the same way; there are toys for new puppies that can keep them interested and make them smile. Additionally, it is crucial to their development as individuals and as people.
It is also safe to draw comparisons between puppies and children regarding behavior from birth. However, puppies grow their teeth at the appropriate time, so they seek out objects to chew on. With a toy, you can easily stop them from chewing on various items and damaging furniture and cushions. Puppies typically have a natural curiosity and explorer instinct that causes them to run, jump, play, bite, and attack. With dog toys, a pet owner can occupy and divert them, controlling any potentially destructive behavior.
There are a lot of reasons why you should think about getting your dog a toy. Beyond just being fun, toys have many advantages. Here are a few benefits:
Resolve Behavioral Issues
The majority of dogs have a lot of energy and easily become bored. Since they must use so much energy, this can lead to destructive behavior if not appropriately stimulated. Toys offer a way to stop these behavioral problems.
Pet toys are the ideal way to train your dog to behave, as dogs require different types of exercise. Instead of letting her decide how to have fun, which might not sit well with you, do this instead. A bored dog will act out and become distracted excessively. This will show itself in various ways, including disobedience, chewing, running around, chasing after things, backing and digging, etc. However, you can introduce them to a variety of fun with dog toys.
Dog Toys Can Help Reduce Anxiety
Humans often become anxious when they are not doing anything. The mind tends to become fixated on various problems over which it has no control when there is nothing concrete to do. It applies to dogs as well. It is disastrous to leave a dog suffering from separation anxiety alone. Such a pup will display any number of destructive behaviors as they become anxious about the circumstance.
But by giving such a dog a toy to play with, you can divert their attention from their boredom and keep them from acting out destructively. For such a puppy, a food puzzle is a great diversion.
Provides Physical Activity
Like humans need to exercise, dogs must also be trained to maintain good health. Exercise is enjoyable and rewarding and floods the brain with serotonin. It has also been shown to help people stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight. But not all dog owners have the time for regular exercise. But doing this is crucial to keeping your dog in good mental health.
Depending on their age, weight, level of activity, breed, etc., dogs require varying amounts of exercise. For example, a Huskie needs at least 4 hours of training daily to stay healthy and content. Investing in a top-notch interactive dog toy can give your pet plenty of exercise time. Such toys do an excellent job of keeping them active and occupied even though they might not be particularly intense.
It Keeps Their Teeth Clean
Not only humans but also dogs require dental care. However, some difficult-to-reach areas in the dog’s mouth might require regular tooth brushing. Rope toys and rubber dog toys can be useful in this regard.
The thread in the toy acts as a tooth floss for the dog as it chews on it, helping to clean their teeth. These toys are useful for massaging their gum and removing food residue lodged inside. In the end, this prevents dangerous bacteria from growing on the teeth.
Dementia Prevention in Older Dogs
Without the proper mental stimulation, even people are highly susceptible to dementia. In connection with that, senior dogs experience memory loss, dementia, and other mental health issues typical of aging. However, engaging toys can help older dogs from losing their mental capacity.
Brain stimulation provided by interactive toys ensures the dog uses reasoning abilities to solve problems. To accomplish something, the dog must use his brain. Even as we age, using our brains keeps it active, sharp, and healthy. Giving your dog toys can be a simple way to maintain their mental and physical activity for an extended period.
A Kind of Companionship
Dogs can experience loneliness, mainly if you are overly busy and leave them alone. But it’s bad to leave a dog home alone. The likelihood of character disorder rises even if he does not experience separation anxiety.
In such circumstances, the toy can act as a calming aid, much like how a toy calms a child. For the most part, dogs consider their toys to be precious and enjoy caring for and playing with them. For instance, a strong dog toy for the summer will hold up to all types of use and withstand wear and tear.
Your dog will be happier and healthier if he has toys, improving his ability to handle times when you aren’t around. Such toys make it simple to assist them in developing the mental challenge they require to survive and control their behavior. The toy will endure the test of time as long as it is robust and made of long-lasting materials.
Toys Promote Intelligence and Mental Stimulation
There are intelligent dog breeds that benefit from both physical and mental stimulation. Such species must engage in complex activities to maintain their mental acuity. They will fare better with toys that present a mental challenge.
For example, one of the best puzzle games rewards players with treats after completing a task. Such toys are excellent for mental stimulation and training.
How Can You Keep Your Dogs’ Toys Clean?
If your dog is like most canine companions, they likely have a favorite toy they like to chew on all the time. They may carry it outside and rub it in the dirt and other debris as they walk or run in the yard. It could be starting to smell funny.
Why is Cleaning Dog Toys Necessary?
If you need more motivation to clean your dog’s toys, consider this: Dog toys can harbor staph bacteria, yeast, and mold. According to NSF International, they are among the top 10 “germiest” items for the home. Dogs ingest any bacteria their toys collect because they play with them primarily in their mouths. Your dog may transmit that bacteria to you if it is a heavy smoocher.
How to Clean Your Dog Toys
It is, without a doubt, dangerous to your home to leave your dog’s contaminated toys out. Cleaning dog toys can, however, introduce additional risks if you need to be more careful. According to Dog Experts, products with high chemical concentrations, such as bleach, phenols, and some detergents, can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and severe chemical burns.
Fortunately, there are lots of cleaning products that are safe for pets. Your best option is to confirm that a cleaner is secure by speaking with your veterinarian or a pet supply specialist. But if you’re feeling particularly creative, you could mix up a homemade, all-natural mixture using equal parts water and white vinegar. To wash your dog’s toys in a dishwasher or washing machine, use this mixture or any other cleaning solution safe for dogs.
Cleaning Plush Toys
Use a pet-safe detergent, or refrain from using any detergent at all when cleaning plush toys. Soft toys can also be washed by hand using the vinegar and water mixture. Afterward, let the toys dry naturally outside or put them in the dryer (without using dryer sheets).
Before giving plush toys to your pet again or putting them away, ensure they are completely dry to prevent mold.
Cleaning Chew Toys
To prevent cleaning agents from entering chew toys when cleaning them, make sure to tape over any holes. Be aware that with some chew toys, there may come a time when the item is too worn for your dog to use safely. Get rid of a toy as soon as it tears or develops holes to stop your dog from unintentionally consuming plastic or fabric.
Think about separating the two groups of your dog’s favorite toys and washing them separately regularly. Toys in group No. 1 could be washed during the first and third weeks of the month, while toys in group No. 2 could be washed during the second and fourth. By doing this, your dog will always have a favorite new toy to play with.
To maintain your and your dog’s health, dog toys must be cleaned. Make sure you set aside time to clean up your dog’s mess after a long day of playing. You’ll both benefit from this.