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Dog Toys 101

August 15, 2023

Does your pooch come running up to you when he wants to play? Fido is always super cute, but he’s extra adorable when he feels frisky. It’s important to take time to play with your pet. You’ll also need to offer him lots of toys he can use by himself. A Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on this below.

What Toys Will Keep My Dog Busy?

Dogs sometimes get into mischief when they’re bored, especially when they are home alone. Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys are great for keeping your canine buddy occupied.

What Kind Of Toys Are Safe For Dogs?

Safety should always be your first concern when choosing Fido’s playthings. Pick things that are the right size for your pooch. Large breeds can choke on products made for smaller dogs, while little ones can hurt themselves on things that are too big for them. You’ll also want to look at the material and check where the toy was manufactured. In general, avoid things made overseas. Some countries have very loose quality and safety standards for dog toys. In fact, one study showed that an alarming amount of pet products—particularly rubber and plastic toys— contained harmful substances, such as BPAs. 

What Dog Toys Are Indestructible?

Does your furry buddy tend to demolish his playthings? Many of our canine pals make pretty quick work of destroying stuffed animals. This can be dangerous, as some pups will try to eat the stuffing or squeakers, which are definitely not safe. Don’t give Fido any stuffies that were made for humans. Your best bet is to choose toys at pet stores, where you can check the material. Or, if you’re shopping online, search for durable toys and check reviews.

What Dog Toys Are Good For Puppies?

Puppy owners should look for chew toys that will hold up to Little Fido’s gnawing. Kong toys are likely the most popular option. These are also good because you can stuff them with yummy treats and even freeze them. Just be sure to choose treats that are safe and appropriate for your pup. For more information on what foods to share (and avoid) with your furry friend during the holiday season, check out our article on Fido’s Thanksgiving Meal. Don’t get anything that could break off into small pieces. Rawhide toys, for example, can be dangerous because of this. Ask your vet for specific advice. If you have questions about your puppy’s diet or need help managing their weight as they grow, our Veterinary Nutrition & Weight Management services can provide personalized recommendations.

How Do I Clean My Dog’s Toys?

Most stuffed animals can go into the washing machine. Use a gentle detergent, and hang dry. Rubber and plastic toys can usually be hand washed or put through the dishwasher on a hot cycle with no  soap. Check label instructions.

Our Advice on Dog Toys in 2024

What types of toys are effective in keeping dogs entertained when alone?

Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys are highly effective in keeping dogs entertained when alone. These toys stimulate a dog’s mind, encourage problem-solving skills, and reward them with treats, making solitary time more engaging. Chew toys, especially those that can be filled with treats or peanut butter, provide long-lasting entertainment and satisfy the natural urge to chew. Interactive toys that emit sounds or move unpredictably can also captivate a dog’s attention, reducing boredom and potential destructive behavior. Choosing durable, safe toys tailored to your dog’s size and chewing habits is crucial.

How should safety be considered when selecting toys for dogs?

When selecting toys for dogs, safety should be the primary concern. Choose toys appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing strength to prevent choking hazards or ingestion of small parts. Avoid toys made from harmful substances, such as BPA-laden plastics or toys with toxic paint, especially those manufactured in countries with lax safety standards. Regularly inspect toys for signs of wear and tear, discarding any that are frayed, broken, or could break into tiny, swallowable pieces. Consulting with a veterinarian can also provide guidance on the safest toy options for your specific dog.

Are there any dog toys that are considered indestructible?

While no dog toy is truly indestructible, some are designed to be much more durable and long-lasting, especially for heavy chewers. Toys made from tough rubber or durable, non-toxic materials are often marketed as indestructible. Brands like Kong and GoughNuts have products specifically designed to withstand aggressive chewing. However, it’s essential for pet owners to regularly inspect these toys for signs of damage and replace them when necessary to ensure their dog’s safety. Always choose toys based on your dog’s size and chewing habits for the best match.

What considerations should be made when choosing toys for puppies?

When choosing toys for puppies, select items that support safe chewing and aid in dental health without posing a choking risk. Look for toys made from durable, non-toxic materials designed to withstand vigorous gnawing. Avoid toys with small parts or those that could break into pieces and cause intestinal blockages. Chew toys that can be cooled in the freezer are excellent for soothing teething pain. Always consider the size of the toy in relation to the puppy’s mouth to ensure it’s neither too small nor too large. Regularly inspect toys for wear and consult your vet for recommendations tailored to your puppy’s specific needs and growth stage.

How can dog owners safely clean their pets’ toys?

Dog owners can safely clean their pets’ toys by following material-specific guidelines. Stuffed toys can often be machine-washed using a gentle detergent and then air-dried. Hard toys made of rubber or plastic can be washed by hand with soap and warm water or placed in the dishwasher without detergent on a hot cycle for a deeper clean. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the cleaning method is safe for the toy. Regular cleaning not only removes dirt and saliva but also helps prevent bacteria buildup and keeps the toys safe for play.

Do you have questions about picking dog toys? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal hospital today!

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