Howl! Things You Should Consider When Buying Dog Toys

a golden dog playing with laika dog chew balls on floor

Dogs love playing with toys is the fact that no one can deny! Balls, Frisbees, chew toys, there are so many options that can be your canine’s favorites; this can make choosing the perfect toy for your pup a challenging task. Hence, do you know how to pick up the right dog toys? There are things that can guide you to the best dog toys for your “howl baby!”

What to Look for in Best Dog Toys?

There are certain things you should keep in mind when choosing toys for your dogs. Here is a list, so you don't miss out on something important.

  • Safety always comes first

Your dog’s health and safety should be your number one priority at all times. When buying toys, most owners assume that it'll be safe for dogs, which is the case usually, but not all the time. Certain materials can be toxic for dogs. Some of them are used in toys. When ingested by the dog, the toxic material affects their immune system and can even cause cancer. Some of these poisonous materials are:

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Phthalates
  • Lead
  • Chromium
  • Cadmium

The list does not end here. So whenever buying dog toys, please be very careful. Do your research, make sure that wherever you are getting the dog toys from is a trusted place. Or your carelessness might cost you in the future.

  • Size matters a lot

The toy you take should be of a proper size according to your dog. If you have a small dog, and you get a big toy that they won’t be able to hold, they won’t really like it. Likewise, if you get a tiny toy that can be swallowed by your dog or get stuck in the nose or throat, that won’t be good as well. So find something that is the right size, so your dog enjoys it, and so you don't have to worry about any obstructions.

  • Hardness 

This might be common knowledge, but if not, we will tell you. Hard toys can damage your dog's teeth! Some dog owners don't even realize that the toy they have taken for their beloved pet with so much love can actually ruin them. It’s not that you shouldn’t buy any hard toys; on certain occasions, you can. But the thing with dogs is that they like to chew on everything, and if they chew on hard toys, well, you can guess what will happen to their teeth. So instead, stick with dog toys that are softer so your doggo can enjoy it without damaging anything.

  • Durability 

Unless you want to spend all your money on dog toys, again and again, you need to find dog toys that are durable. Your dog will throw, chew, and wrestle around with the toy, so the toy should be strong enough to withstand all the… love from the dog. If it's a toy with many bits and pieces joined together and is not durable, there is a high chance that once the toy breaks, your dog will swallow the small pieces. And we don’t have to explain why that’s a bad thing. And for soft dog toys, they can tear apart really easily. So it's better to invest in some toys made up of non-toxic rubbers, so they can chew on them, but they will be durable as well.

  • Understand Your Individual Needs

Not every owner has the same intention when giving their dog toys. Sure, they want their dog to enjoy them, but some also want these toys to serve a different purpose. So the dog toys you get also depend on that as well. For example, for training, many owners like treat-dispensing toys to train dogs. Not only do they act as a reward, but they are also great for dogs that get bored easily or eat their treats very quickly.

Similarly, many puzzle dog toys are used to stimulate the dog's brain. Plushies are also used as a reward for dogs for them to cuddle and play with. Some owners also teach their dogs to use plushies when they get really excited or when a visitor comes, teaching them an alternative to barking or jumping around.

  • Care for your dog's preference

This just might be the most important thing you will need to keep in mind. Because no matter how much research you do or how much time you spend looking for the best dog toys, it will all go to waste if your dog doesn’t like it. It might take some trial and error, but there will be certain toys that your dogs will enjoy and certain toys they will not even touch. Once you understand what they like and dislike, toy shopping will become so much easier.

Toys You Should Avoid

Now that we have talked about things you should keep in mind when buying dog toys, let’s talk about things you should avoid.

  • String Toys

Although dogs love chewing on the rope, it is not the best thing for them. Many companies claim that dog toys with rope are made up of cotton, but that’s not the case most of the time. They are usually made up of materials (you guessed it) that are bad for the dogs. They also swallow these strings, which is also really bad for them. So it’s better to avoid toys with strings and ropes altogether.

  • Stuffed Toys

Two words: CHOKING HAZARD. Your dog can easily swallow the fillings of the stuffed toys, and they can choke on them. Most of the time, the toys tear apart in mere minutes, leaving the stuffing everywhere. So save yourself the trouble and worry, and don’t buy stuffed toys.

  • Rawhide

Many people say that rawhide is suitable for dogs. And that is, of course, not true. The dog's stomach does not digest rawhide; and instead, it swells up and causes digestive distress. There is also the risk of contamination and choking hazard.

Squeaky Toys for Dogs FAQ

  • Do Dogs Love Squeaky Toys?

Short answer, yes. Most dogs like squeaky toys because it stimulates their prey drive. By Tory drive, we mean their instinct to hunt. Many people think it’s impossible for their little floof balls to have that prey drive, but it’s how they have been built. (This does not mean that all dogs are aggressive and hunters. It just means that although many dogs are tame and loving, squeaky toys itches a scratch for them that they otherwise would not dwell into). Some dogs also get immediate gratification when playing with squeaky toys because of the noise.

  • Can I use a squeaky toy for training my dog?

It might work in some instances, but squeaky toys are too stimulating for dogs. The prey drive we talked about. So they won’t be paying attention to the training; instead, all their focus will be on the squeaky toy.

So here you go, all the dos and don'ts of dog toys. So next time you go shopping for your precious doggo, keep all of this in mind because your future self (and your dog) will thank you. Enjoy your floofer enjoying the toys!

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