All dogs like to play with dog toys. It keeps them occupied, plus it is good for their teeth from the chewing aspect. But how do you decide what sort of toy to get for your dog? There are many to choose from, from the small rattle toys to those immense rawhide bones.
What size dog do you have? That is the first question. Very large dogs, such as German Shepherds or Great Danes require different toys than the smaller types such as poodles or pugs. Even a ball may be dangerous for a large dog if there is a chance of him swallowing it.
Secondly, how does your dog play with a toy? Is he rough with it? If so, you need something durable that will stand up to the beating he will inflict on the toy. Or if your dog just likes to bat the toy around or cuddle with it, a much less durable item will be suitable.
Safety is also an issue here. Read the label of the toy and see what it is made of. Are there any toxic chemicals present in the toy or will the toy fall apart easily? In any case, keep an eye on your dog as it plays with the toy. If the toy begins to fall apart, take the toy away from the dog.
If you need to leave your dog alone for some time, try to give it a toy that will keep it interested. Something that makes a noise or has a hidden treat inside will work very well.
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With a new toy, be sure that you remove any labels or tags that the dog could choke on.
Consider a simple toy for your dog. A piece of rough rope often works well. The dog can work on that for a long time with no damage to the toy or the dog. I used to have a German Shepherd, and I gave it the sole of an old tennis shoe. She loved that, and it was very durable.
You may want to consider rotating the dog’s toys. Take the summer ones away for a while and bring out the winter ones. This will give your dog some variety and keep the dog interested.
Hard rubber toys are great. They are strong and durable and will give your dog a real workout. If you have a large dog, however, watch to be sure that he does not chew pieces off of the toy.
Check your dog’s toys periodically and remove the ones that are chewed up or damaged. If necessary, throw them away if the chewed up ones look dangerous. Also, try and wash your dog’s toys once in awhile in mild soap.