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Dogs can be very playful in nature and can benefit from having an exciting collection of toys. Many toys mimic your dog’s natural behaviour, and they can help to keep your dog stimulated.
Toys can prevent your pooch from getting bored, help them burn off excess energy, and also keep their mind active. When you leave your dog on their own, give them a safe toy to chew such as a rubber Kong, and hopefully they will chew that instead of your furniture!
Some dogs adore all toys and will play with any toy you throw their way, whereas other can be a bit choosier over what toys they will interact with. It’s best to try out different toys for dogs to see which ones your dog likes to play with the most.
A Complete Guide To Dog Toys
With so many dog toys on the market it's hard to know which ones will be best for your dog. Play is an important part of growing up and it provides important mental stimulation for dogs. Not all dogs are highly motivated by toys and that's OK, they might just need a little more encouragement. You just need to find a toy that pushes their buttons and that they feel comfortable with.
Other dogs love toys so much that they destroy them in seconds and it's impossible to find a toy that lasts. This guide will provide you will all you need to know about dog toys, and provide you with the information to enable you to select the best toys for your dog.
Getting Your Dog Started With Toys
Before you start buying Dog Toys you need to think about what type of dog you have. Consider the following things:
What type of toys might go well with the breed characteristics? For example Collies may like retrieval games.
Is your dog toy, small, medium or large? You need to buy toys that are the right size for them.
How big is your dog’s mouth? Make sure you select a toy that they can easily get their teeth around.
How old is your dog? Older dogs may not have as much energy for some of the more demanding toys. Young pups may be more interested in things they can chew to help them get through their teething stage.
Different Types Of Toys
You can get toys that are specifically made for young pups who need to learn how to play properly and burn some energy. For example puppy Kong toys that are smaller and more suitable to juvenile dogs. For our full range of Puppy Toys, click here.
If you have a dog that likes to destroy everything, including all their toys then you need something extremely tough. It’s almost impossible to find unbreakable dog toys but there are some that will last a lot longer. Toys such as Nylabone dog chews are built to last. Some of the more durable toys tend to be a bit more pricey but it’s worth it in the long run as you get much more use out of them.
Some toys are made to satisfy your dog’s urge to chew. They can provide hours of fun for your dog and they also help to keep their teeth clean and healthy. It’s always useful to have a few chew toys your dog can chomp on instead of your furniture!
Kongs are great because they are very durable and you can hide treats inside them for your dog to try and get. There a loads of different Kongs to try including classic, dental and genius toys. Load your Kong up with treats and watch your dog enjoy playing with it and trying to get the treats out.
Some dogs are highly motivated by retrieval games and love playing with retrieval toys. If your dog loves to fetch then you are in luck, there are lots of fun retrieval toys for them to chase after. You can get balls, ropes, frisbees and flying rings that all provide plenty of entertainment.
Tugs of war toys are toys that your dog can grip onto with their teeth and pull while you hold them. They are excellent for releasing energy and can be great fun. However, owners should be careful with tug of war as dogs need to be taught how to play tug of war safely and not be aggressive in any way. Tug of war can also be played between two friendly dogs.
Many dogs absolutely adore a squishy soft toy that they can chew on, cuddle up to or fetch. Some dogs can destroy these toys in seconds but others will keep them for a long time and enjoy gently playing with them. If your dog chews through the soft toy and starts breaking it apart take it off them in case they swallow the stuffing or parts of the toy.
Dogs simply can’t resist loud, squeaky dog toys. Dogs get satisfaction from the noise the toy makes when they chew on it. It’s not so much fun for us humans though. There are some toys with silent squeakers that only dogs can hear for people that find the squeaky noises a bit too much.
What Are Toys Good For?
One of the best things that dog toys is good for is getting rid of boredom. If dogs are left on their own for long periods or do not get much interaction then can become very bored. Toys can give them something fun to do which will help distract them and keep them occupied for a period of time.
Different dogs are motivated by different things when it comes to training. Some dogs are mainly food orientated and will do anything for a treat, whereas others prefer to be rewarded with their favourite toy. You can use toys to reward your dog during training sessions and to reward them for good behaviour.
Dogs need to be able to behave naturally and exercise their inborn abilities in some way. Some toys give dogs the opportunity to do this. Toys can help encourage dogs to mimic natural behaviours such as chasing, retrieving, playing and scenting.
When your dog is playing with their toys they are burning energy. Certain toys provide more exercise for dogs than others but most toys will give dogs the chance to burn some pent up energy.
As mentioned at the beginning of this guide, toys are particularly important for mental stimulation. Dogs need to use their mind and be able to engage in tasks that actively engage their brains.
The more you play with your dog the stronger your bond will be. Lots of dogs love interaction with their owners. Some dogs are even more motivated by toys that involve their owners, not just toys that they can play with on their own. Playing with your dog is a brilliant way to spend quality time together.
Learning how to play safely is an important part of growing up for dogs. They need to learn to be gentle and play safely with humans but also how far to push the limits when playing with other dogs.
What games can my dog play using toys?
Here are some ideas of games to play using toys to get you started:
- Tug of war
- Find the toy
- Fetching specific toys
- Put your toys away
- Which box is the toy hidden in
- Catch the ball
- Find the treat in the toy
What if my dog starts guarding toys?
If your dog places too much value on their toys they can start to guard them. Dogs can sometimes be quite possessive of their toys, particularly ones they are very fond of. They may not be willing to share their toys with other dogs. If your dog shows any sign of aggression or becomes too possessive of a particular toy then take it off them (if it is safe to do so).
How can I encourage safe play?
Safe play should be encouraged from a young age. Try and teach your dog to ‘drop’ and ‘give’ their toys on command. Encourage your dog to be gentle when playing with toys, especially when playing with people.
How often should my dog play?
As much as they want. Try and play with your dog regularly by setting aside a bit of time each day for them to have some fun. Occasionally dogs can become overstimulated or get too excited by toys and may need some time out from playing.
General tips and advice for playing games
- Don't play games too soon after feeding your dog. Leave at least an hour.
- Don't force your dog to play games for too long. If your dog loses interest or appears to be tired give them a rest and play again later. Dogs can only concentrate for a limited amount of time before they switch off. The last thing you want to do is force your dog to play games and make them completely exhausted.
- How long your dog likes to play games for will depend on their age, breed and personality. Dog breeds that have more endurance when it comes to playing games include Border Collies, Labradors and Golden Retrievers, although it still depends on the individual dog.
- Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean water while playing games.
- Try not to have too many distractions such as other people or dogs if you want your dog to stay focused.
- Don't expect them to do too much too soon. If they haven't played games before start off with very simple games and you will slowly progress.
- Have treats and toys ready to give your dog as a reward or use a clicker if you prefer. Use whatever your dog values the highest. Some dogs want nothing more than to get their tennis ball as a reward whereas others are purely motivated by food.
- Take care if your dog has any injuries. Speak to your vet about what physical activities they are allowed to do and don't play any games if it will make their injury worse. There are some games you can play that are more mental than physical.
- Don't play overly energetic games in very hot weather as your dog could get heat stroke.
- If you are playing games outside on a particularly cold day, make sure your dog is warmed up properly first to prevent them from pulling any muscles.
- If your dog doesn't do very well at a game never punish them, always use positive reinforcement. Shouting at your dog and punishing them can lead to fearful aggression and nervousness.
A Complete Guide To Dog Games
Games are a great way to provide mental and physical stimulation for dogs. All dogs can play games, but some dogs will show more interest than others. Games are a key part of a puppy's development and can help them learn various useful skills. Start playing games with your dog from a young age if possible.
Many owners make the mistake of thinking walking their dog every day provides them with everything they need. Games and play activities can be another great activity to do with your dog, you don't need to rely on the same old dog walks day after day. Games can also help to strengthen the bond between you and your dog and improve your relationship.
No matter what dog you have there will be some suitable games for them to play. There are so many different games to try. We have included a few examples and a wide range of games you can play. There are lots of books that have plenty of games for you to try. For example, 'Brain Games For Dogs' by Claire Arrowsmith or 'Games To Play With Your Dog' by David Sands. Here is our complete guide to playing games with your dog.
Search and retrieve games
You can play search and retrieve games at home or out and about. Teach your dog to find a particular item and bring it to you, such as your car keys or a toy. One of the easiest games to play is hiding treats around your home and getting your dog to find them. Other ideas include hiding toys or treats under pots and getting your dog to figure out which ones they are hidden under.
Games to play in your garden
Your garden is another fantastic place to play games with your dog. Some games you can play include making obstacle courses, getting your dog to jump through hoops and playing in a paddling pool during the summer. You could set up an agility course in your own garden with jumps and tunnels. More complex games include football where you teach your dog to push around the ball with their paw and nose. You can even teach them to score goals! Other games that require equipment include swing ball where a ball is attached to string or rope and even skipping.
Games to play in your house
The list of games you can play with your dog inside your home is endless. Even if you don't have much space you can get creative. Put together a basic indoor obstacle course or play hide and seek around your home. Another fun game is where you teach your dog to sit on a box, this can easily be done inside. Puzzles and interactive games are ideal for indoor play as they don't take up too much room and focus on mental stimulation rather than physical exercise.
Games to play in the park
If your garden isn't big enough for games then you can always go down to your local park. Fetch and frisbee are popular games to play in the park. When you are in the park or out in the countryside you can use nature to create an obstacle course. They can jump over logs, walk along the top of trees and leap over streams as long as it's safe to do so.
Games for less active dogs
Does your dog like to snooze a lot and doesn't show much interest in active games? Some dog breeds and older dogs will struggle with the more complex and physically demanding games. That's OK, there are plenty of alternatives they can play. They can play simple games such as balancing a treat on their paw and searching for Toys.
Bored dog? Grab these dog toys and get their tails wagging!
Just like us humans, dogs can get bored from time to time. Unfortunately whilst we may just turn on the TV or grab a book; your dog might choose to entertain themselves by ripping apart the sofa or perhaps chewing up all your shoes.
Bored dogs can be naughty dogs and this is why it is important to ensure that they are stimulated. Of course you cannot always be there to play with, so one of the best ways to entertain your pooch is to ensure that they have a variety of dog toys on hand for when they feel bored!
As an owner you might wonder which toy is best for your dog; perhaps you are looking for one that is ideal for chewing, one that they can play with alone or even one that you can enjoy together. To help you make a decision on which dog toys are right for your dog, here at Time for Paws we have put together some of the different dog toys there are out there and just what makes them so appealing to our pooches.
Chew dog toys
One of the most popular types of toys that people purchase for their dogs has to be chew dog toys.
They come in a variety of sizes and shapes; and many of them even come in different flavours too!
Chew toys are a great choice because not only do they stop your dog from chewing on your precious sofa, but it also helps to clean their teeth too and healthy teeth are vital for a healthy dog.
Stuffed animals are a popular choice for dog owners to give to their dogs, especially for puppies.
Dogs will throw a stuffed toy around, sleep cuddled up to them and of course chew them and whilst they do make great toys they can have their own hazards.
The materials within a stuffed toy can be hazardous to your dog and should never be ingested. If your dog is chewing and ripping apart a stuffed toy then you may want to re-think whether or not you give them these in the future.
Rope dog toys
Playing with your dog is great fun and one of the best ways to do this is with a rope toy. Rope toys are not only suitable for chewing but they are also ideal for tug of war, one of a dog’s favourite games to play.
Rope toys come in a variety of thickness, lengths and colours and some even feature other toys so that you can get multiple ways to play.
One word of warning is to ensure that any bits ripped off of the rope by your dog goes into the bin so that they don’t eat it!
Dog Toy Balls
There doesn’t seem to be a dog around who doesn’t love catching a ball. Whether it is a tennis ball or perhaps even a football; chasing these bags of air around a park is one of the greatest pleasures a dog can have.
Make sure that you pick a ball that is the right size for your dog; too small and they can swallow it, too large and they might lose interest when they realise that they can’t pick it up. For the more proficient ball catchers out there you can buy ball throwers which will not only help you to throw further but also stops you having to pick up a wet, slobbery ball during play time!
Remember when it comes to choosing a dog toy it is important to keep safety in mind as well as fun. Check over the toy before you give it to your dog and always pick one that is suitable for the size and age of your pooch!
Types of dog toys:
Most toys are suitable for a variety of dog breeds, but it’s important you get toys to suit the size, age and energy level of your canine companion. Interacting with your dog using toys can also help to strengthen your bond and build trust between you and your pooch. Take a look at our selection of toys now or find out more information below.
We also have a special range for adorable puppies who are being introduced to the concept of play time. If you aren’t sure which toy to get, give our experts a call and we can suggest suitable options to try. Sometimes it just a requires a bit of trial and error until you find the right one. Visit the following page for Puppy Toys.
Balls; These are the mutts nuts!
We have a wide selection of dog toys to keep your dog happy. We stock toys including balls, tug of war toys, dental toys, Kongs, fluffy toys, squeaky toys, interactive toys, indestructible toys, rubber and latex toys, fetch toys and frisbees for dogs.
Tough, Indestructible dog toys
Dogs can be quite destructive and you really don’t want to keep on buying more and more toys. This is why indestructible toys are ideal. It will satisfy his chewing instincts in a safe way which also prevents him from destroying home furniture. Furthermore, the chewing help to clean his teeth and remove harmful tartar.
Super soft dog toys
Discover our fantastic range of Soft and plush dog toys. Find the perfect cuddly toy for your doggies’ playtime. We have a huge range of soft dog toys which are perfect for dogs who prefer a nice cuddle to playful tug toys.
Dog squeaky toys - warning, they may get on your nerves!
Keep your Dog amused and alert with our superb range of squeaky chew dog toys. Engage their natural instincts with squeaky dog bones and balls. The best dog squeaky toys for your pup will first and foremost be safe toys! We offer a wide range of squeaky toys suited for different breeds and size of dog.
Interactive dog toys and puzzle toys: keep your pooch entertained!
Like humans, your dog needs to be stimulated both mentally and physically to remain to good health. That is why we offer a great range of interactive dog toys which requires your dog to use their intelligence or solve a puzzle to get the treat. Moreover, these interactive puzzle games keep dogs occupied while improving their mental and physical abilities.
Cheap toys for dogs - watch the pounds
Stocking up on lots of toys doesn’t have to be expensive, as we can offer competitive prices. Take advantage of amazing online deals with Time for Paws. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media for exclusive deals and special offers. Shop online today and treat your dog to some plush new toys.
Here is a fantastic article from Purina about the different types of dog toys available. Happy reading!