To prevent boredom, provide stimulation, and keep your dog from chewing your own belongings? You will need to provide them with a decent assortment of toys. But how do you know which toys are the best?
Puppy or senior?
When shopping for toys, the first factor you need to consider is the age of your dog. Just a pup? Older dog? Somewhere in between? A teething puppy will be constantly looking for something to chew on and will turn to your shoes, table legs, or other inappropriate objects to satisfy their need to teeth. Most toys are generally appropriate for adult dogs. However, senior dogs may be lacking enough teeth to chew certain types of toys and may need something softer that is more gentle on the mouth.
What breed do you have?
Some breeds of dogs are more high strung and need to be occupied more than others. Do you have a lazy bulldog? Or a high energy Border Collie that always needs to be occupied? Some tiny toys are inappropriate for a Great Dane, whereas your Chihuahua may not be able to fit a giant sized bone into their mouths. Some toys also are more mentally stimulating, which may be better suited to a working breed of dog.
Is it safe?
Some things are just not meant to be consumed by a dog because they are not safe. Something made from wood may leave splinters in and cut their mouths. Cooked bones may cause choking and be life threatening. Make sure that the toys you give your dog are actually made for dogs to play with, or it could be hazardous to them.
Is it durable?
How easily can your dog’s new toy be ripped to shreds? Have you given something fragile and cloth to a big breed puppy with a big set of teeth? Some toys last longer because they are more chew resistant. After all, while some dogs may cause minimal destruction, some may do just the opposite.
That is why the most important tip to buying toys is to know your dog. If you do, you will be able to provide the best possible toys for him.