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Finding the Best Dog Toys

Updated on February 12, 2018
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There are a lot of dog toys available for purchase. Each one presents a variety of features and functions. By selecting multiple toys, each for a different function, pets are sure to be entertained for much longer. Pet owners will often buy a toy, only to find their pup uninterested in the toy. On the opposite side of the coin, pet owners may find their dog is too interested and has destroyed the toy. Here are several ways to find the best toy for your dog.

Size of Dog

The first consideration is the size of the dog. Soccer balls may make bad toys for chihuahuas. Furthermore, tiny toys can be subject to quick destruction when a large dog tries to play with them. Knowing the size of your dog, both weight and size classification, can help greatly in picking out a toy. The other side of this is that a toy too small for a large dog can cause choking, while a toy too large for a small dog will cause disinterest.

Chewer

Smaller and older dogs often do not have restrictions on chew toys. However, power chewers can quickly destroy a large variety of toys. Beyond the power of the jaws, the type of mouth feel may play a significant part. Stuffed animals may result in aggressive destruction where chewing on tennis balls may not. Each dog is a little different in what they tend to destroy. At first, pet owners should only be buying cheaper stuffed animals and toys.

Mental Capacity

Some dogs can't get enough of fetch. Other dogs love tug-o-war. A number of dogs even prefer keep-a-way. Knowing the mental capacity of a dog will provide a hint into the toy to fit their needs. A higher mental capacity dog may prefer a puzzle toy. Lower mental capacity dogs may prefer a tire to chew on. Exploring the activities and complexity of those activities will give clues to what toy will fit best.

One great strategy here is to find a toy that can be incorporated into training. By playing with your dog the connection can become stronger and the dog better behaved. Furthermore, the more you understand about how your dog plays, the better toys you can select in the future.

The Human Component

The final thing in toy selection is the owner. A larger selection of toys is available if the owner is always watching and correcting behavior. If an owner needs to go to work, toys that will not lead to destruction may work best. Furthermore, some toys require human interaction to work. Tennis balls, Frisbees, and dog puzzles are all types of toys that require human interaction. Some toys may be for training purposes. These types of toys are great with clickers and whistles.

As with any toy, the key to success is watching how the dog interacts with the toy. Once an owner understands the type of toy a dog prefers, they can easily buy similar toys. Supplying a pup with a series of fun toys allows a better connection between pet and owner.

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Finding Cheap Dog Toys

New pet owners often need to try a variety of toys before discovering one that works for their dog. Here are a variety of locations that may contain cheap dog toys.

Pet Stores During Discounts

While this one is technically true, be careful. Many pet stores will claim the toy is discounted deeply, but the truth is that Amazon may have a toy at a cheaper price. Using a smartphone while at the pet store may help alleviate these concerns. Pet stores may have branded frisbees and tennis balls for an excellent price though.

Dollar Store

Dollar stores have a variety of stuffed, rope, and plastic toys for dogs. None of these are high quality, but that is not the point. Dollar stores are great for pet owners who have very destructive pets. These pet owners can give the toy to the dog to destroy without fear of losing a lot of money. Watching the dog is still essential, to ensure they do not hurt themselves.

Another potential awesome thing about these lower cost toys is if they have to be thrown away for other reasons, it is not as big of deal. For example, if the dog starts having digestion problems with strings, throwing away $5 worth of toys is way better than having to throw away $40 worth of toys.

Amazon

Amazon recently introduced the concept of "add-on" items. These are items that are not worth it to ship separately, but make sense to ship as a set. These items make great additions when several toys are included together. Often time, the owner may find a toy they like in a retail store and buy the toy through Amazon because of the lower price.

Make Your Own

Kiddie pools with tennis balls, stuff toys tied to sticks, and empty water bottles may make excellent toys for a dog. All of these toys can be without much cost.

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My Dog's Favorite Toys are

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What toys work best for your dog? What brands would you recommend to buy or to stay well away from. Feel free to fill out the survey or leave your comments at the bottom of this article.

Hint!

Some toys may be outside toys and some may be inside toys. Separating these two may increase their lifespans. The trick with this approach is making sure the dog leaves each toy in their respective area.

When to Replace a Dog Toy

As with any dog toy, watching how the pup plays with the toy is key. Destructive dogs may explode a toy quickly, which can lead to harmful pieces being swallowed. Other dogs will ignore brand-new toys in favor of specific favorites. Here are some hints on when a favorite needs to be replaced.

Stuff Toy (minus the stuffing)

If a dog has pulled all the stuffing out of a toy, the time may be to replace that toy. Some dog owners will put the stuffing back in and sew the toy up, but destructive dogs will negate this repair quickly.

Knotted Ropes (minus the knots)

When a dog has left a rope in a pile of pieces, it is time to replace that rope toy. Another indication is that if the dog could swallow the knot on a rope toy, it may be time to replace that toy.

Cut flying disc

While a frisbee may still fly with a cut in the side, these cuts may indicate replacement time. Dogs can have their gums bleed from chewing on sharp edges, so prohibiting these broken toys may be best.

Parts Missing

If a toy has parts missing, it may be best to replace that toy. Many times dog toys require caps or tops to operate properly. When these are cut, additional biting surface space may appear. This additional area may lead to quicker destruction and possible bits being swallowed by the dog.

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    • daxamite profile imageAUTHOR

      James Livingood 

      4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Glad to help! Thank you for your article earlier about becoming a pro writer!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good information and I thank you for it. I'm sure our two dogs will thank you as well. :)

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