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How to Pick the Right Toy for Your Dog

by Dennis ODonnell on April 29, 2020

Have you ever walked down the dog toy aisle of a pet super store?  It can be a bit overwhelming.  There are so many colors!  And shapes!  What are they all for?  Will any choice do?  And finally the question every dog owner has asked themselves; Will my dog even LIKE the toy I get him!?

It might surprise you to know that when it comes to dog toys, one size does not fit all.  Each dog has a specific set of play needs and preferences, which means the right toy will provide hours of entertainment, while the wrong toy will sit collecting dust.  But don’t let this intimidate you from entering that colorful, squeak-filled aisle, just follow these easy steps to ensure you pick a toy your dog will love.

Age

Young pups love to chew and generally have more energy than older dogs, making them lovers of playing fetch or tug with indestructible rubber toys.  Older dogs will be less prone to chewing, making soft toys that they can nuzzle a better choice.  Pick a toy that is inline with the activity level and abilities of your dog.

Size

This might sound like common sense, but be sure to buy toys that are proportionate for the size of your dog.  Large toys will be unwieldy for smaller dogs, contrarily tiny toys will be difficult for a big pup to manage under large paws and could potentially be a choking hazard.

Where

Along with age and size, whether the toy will be used indoors or outdoors, is key in determining what dog toy to choose.  Outdoor toys will be made of durable materials meant to endure the elements, while indoor toys come in more varieties and can incorporate technological features.  Don’t make an amateur mistake and let a rain storm trash your dog’s new favorite indoor toy.

Instinct

Do you have one of those dogs who loves to scratch and bury his head into the couch?  Or perhaps one who likes to retrieve socks from the laundry and bring them to you?  These behaviors are not just goofy quirks, they are clues that indicate the dominate instincts in your dog and, consequently, your dog’s preferred style of play!  The couch-scratcher would love a toy that allows him to dig, burrow and sniff, while the laundry thief needs some babies to call his own and gather.  Watching how he plays with another dog is also a good way to determine his style of play.

Chewers, chasers, tuggers and snugglers, all pups like to play a little bit differently!  We are confident that if you are mindful of your pup’s age, size, natural instincts and the location of play, you are sure to bring home something he never wants to put down.  And if you don’t…  you can always donate unwanted toys to your local pet shelter, and pick up something else from the never-ending selection of dog toys on the market! 

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