Like anything else, the dog toy industry seems to be constantly trying to outdo itself. Bones weren’t enough; so now there are stuffed animals but even the stuffed animals have a range of options: some make noise, some have water bottles in them, and some are even interactive. With all these new options, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed when you do go shopping for your dog. Sometimes it may just seem easier to buy a range of options and test them all out in order to see what type is successful with your pooch. However, this may prove counterintuitive because you might inadvertently end up overwhelming your dog, just like you were when you were trying to decide in the store.
First it is important to note that different toys serve different purposes. For example, bones and chew toys are often looked at as distractions, or something you would give your pet if you don’t have time to play with them. Conversely, there are interactive toys, like tennis balls, that require your participation in the play. These are a great way to bond with your pet on a day off or when you have more free time. Not to mention, interactive toys typically require more energy from your pet, which makes them a good way to tire her out, as well. Then there are comfort toys which are typically plush, cuddly toys.
Once you know the different purposes of different toys, you can more easily select ones that best suit your doggo’s needs.
There are also things you can do to insure that your dog doesn’t get bored. For starters, try to have one toy from each of the above categories (distraction, interactive, and comfort). This allows three different types of play that you can alternate as needed because doing the same old thing all day everyday is boring, even for pets. If you can, it might even be worth the investment to have a couple toys from each category that you rotate around. Many people have toy boxes for their pets that are at their pets’ disposal. This is a double edged sword because while it does give your dog the opportunity to choose what she wants to play with, it also runs the risk of overwhelming your dog, if she has too many options. A good indicator of your dog being overwhelmed is if she is excited to play and looks through her toys but walks away without one. She might also start pacing, panting, or whining. This is especially true for already nervous or anxious dogs.
When shopping around for new dog toys, it also important to consider the safety of them. If you know your dog likes to chew and rip things apart, avoid stuffed toys with attachments that could be hazardous like eyes, strings, buttons, and even squeakers. Squeakers can be especially incentivizing for dogs to rip apart plush toys in order to get to the noise source. Try to make sure the toys are appropriate for your dog as well; giving your pet the wrong sized toy can be particularly dangerous. Big dogs playing with small toys run the risk of choking, and small dogs with big toys run the risk of hurting themselves. Lastly, wash the stuffed toys every now and then.
Check out the BullyFamBam shop for some good options that your four legged friend is sure to love!