How To Choose the Right Toys for Your Puppy

A playful puppy is a healthy puppy. Playing is an essential part of your puppy's education, so it is crucial to choose suitable toys for it to play with.

Dog toys will help to keep your puppy occupied and therefore prevent it from getting into any mischief. Toys play a significant role in the emotional and mental development of your pup. They offer an excellent solution for boredom, inappropriate chewing, and anxiety (and you thought you had problems).

However, choosing appropriate toys for puppies is crucial, as some toys may only be suitable for older dogs. Read on to discover all you need to know about selecting the suitable toy for your puppy.

All dogs, especially puppies, thrive on the stimulation and enjoy playing. Puppies release positive energy when they play, and toys can help to stimulate their senses and develop their cognitive abilities.

Playing with toys can also help puppies engage with the environment and learn to interact better with others and other dogs. Sharing the fun of a toy with your dog is a great way to strengthen the bond between you both and help your puppy understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Some toys are particularly great for keeping your puppy occupied when it has to spend some time alone in the house or even in the crate, and it is often a good idea to keep some unique toys on one side for this purpose.

Like people, dogs are comforted by familiarity. So dog toys that they know and love are great travel companions. They help give your pup a little extra comfort when you're away from home or take a vacation with your dog.

Safety first when choosing toys for your puppy

When choosing a variety of toys for your puppy, it is vital to consider the size and strength of the toys and ensure that they are suitable for the age and size of your puppy. In general, the toys that dogs find most attractive are the ones that could pose the greatest danger.

  • The toys should not be so small that they could easily be inhaled or swallowed, and you should scrutinize all parts of each toy to ensure that there are no sharp edges or loose components.
  • The durability of the toys will need significant consideration, too, especially for dogs that are severe chewers. Light chewers can settle for vinyl and latex dog toys.
  • You should only provide your puppy with appropriate dog toys and avoid household items, such as ribbons, string, elastic bands, or socks, as these could threaten your puppy.
  • You should also steer clear of any items that are stuffed with beans, beads, or polystyrene balls, as these items could quickly develop holes and allow your puppy to ingest the fillings.
  • Throwing sticks for dogs is an everyday activity, but one should avoid this if the sticks cause injury to the animal's mouth. If swallowed, sticks can also cause harm to the digestive tract.
  • Tennis balls are great for some dogs but poor choices for others. Again, this is a question of size ratios. If the dog is too small to fit a tennis ball in its mouth, it can be an excellent toy that the dog will love but costs very little. If the ball can do in the dog's maw, however, it becomes a choking hazard.

Ask dog-owning friends or family members for tips. Consult with your vet if needed on what toys you should buy for your puppy.

dog playing with frisbee

Types of Puppy Toys

Some dogs love chasing things, so balls that can throw are ideal, while others thrive on vast amounts of chewing or time spent puzzling over a strange-looking toy. Finding out what would be best for your dog may be a case of trial and error.

If you notice, for example, that he seems fond of chewing your slippers, then a toy to chew would be a good starting point. If you're not sure, buy a selection of different toys and try them out one by one. It may be that he appreciates the variety and enjoys them all, or you may find one in particular appeals more.

They are so many dog toys to choose from that you may become spoilt for choice:

Interactive toys

These include puzzles and sensory-stimulating toys. Puzzle toys help challenge your puppy and can often be filled with treats that your puppy must try and remove. Stimulating toys will help to develop your puppy's visual capacity, hearing, and sense of smell.

Outdoor toys

These toys are great for getting your dog out in the fresh air for plenty of exercise. Outdoor toys include rubber balls, treat-filled toys, and dog pools for cooling your pet down in the hot weather. Playing frisbee can also provide hours of entertainment for dogs and owners alike!

puppy chewing on rope toy

Rope Toys

Rope toys are great for puppies who like to chew a lot because they can beat up the ropes without hurting their teeth. This is an especially useful suggestion for smaller breed puppies that may have issues when it comes to teething.

Many dog owners today choose to go with rope toys instead of other more common rubber and plastic chew toys because they are often safer for the young dog, as the texture is softer and does not tend to break off.

Rope toys often have knots located throughout so your puppy can pull on them until his heart's content. You should supervise your pup to make sure he doesn't chew them too much and swallow the string, which can cause an intestinal blockage.

Another positive aspect of rope toys is that if you want a toy for indoor play there are many choices available, as they are made out of different materials. Rope toys are great for playing tug of war with your puppy. 

Puppy teething toys

Your puppy will begin to get its adult teeth when it gets to around three to four months old. These toys come in various shapes and sizes and fill some cold water to help soothe sore gums. Toys made from rubber or rope can also provide your puppy with vital chewing material.

Snuggle toys

These toys can help an anxious puppy feel more at ease, especially during the night when alone. Make sure that any soft toys you buy are solid and durable.

What toys should you not give a puppy?

The best rule to follow is not to give your puppy any toys for which he could accidentally swallow a piece that would cause an obstruction in his gut.

  • Balls with holes in them
  • Hard toys made of plastic or other sturdy material, such as rubber dog frisbees, should be okay – but check the size and shape first before giving them to your pet.
  • Be particularly careful about small puzzle-type toys that can come apart into lots of pieces, or anything with beans inside them.
  • However, if the toy is strong enough, you may be able to fill it with treats and feed these out when the dog has found its way around the toy.
puppy playing with ball

What toys stimulate a puppy?

Interactive toys

Once your puppy is past teething, he will love to play with interactive toys. These can include puzzle-type games that have treats inside that the dog needs to work out how to get at. 

These puzzles give a pup lots of stimulation as they think about how to get the treat out. They also help develop mental dexterity. By getting your puppy used to these kinds of activities early on you can set in place important foundations for later learning and development.

Be sure not to overfeed your pup through these puzzles, however! You need your young pet's brain growing – not its stomach!

What kind of dog toy stimulates a puppy? It definitely depends on the individual animal and what it loves doing.

For example, a pup who loves chewing will love something that's soft and tasty. Your local pet store offers many choices for chew toys. A pup that loves fetching balls may be happy with any ball – or it might prefer a ball with its own name on it.

Giving your pet different kinds of toys to play with can stimulate his brain as well as his body, so this is certainly a good option if you're not sure what he'll enjoy the most.

Invest in great toys for your puppy today! Your pet deserves only the best doggie products, don't hesitate to buy him everything he needs to have an amazing playtime and grow up healthy!  ##

Here are some excellent interactive toys, highly recommended by many established clients:

  • Kong dog toy
  • Nina Ottosson dog toys ( different levels of difficulty ) to stimulate your pup's mind.

Make sure your dog's toys are made of safe materials

Not all toys are made for your pet, while the best toy options will not harm your dog they can be harmful too!

Here is a rundown of what to consider when buying toys for your puppy:

  • Metal is toxic – no matter how cute that shiny thing looks to you or your puppy, it's got to go. Stay away from metal objects generally.
  • Avoid anything that has small pieces as these can fall off and could get lodged in the throat or cause obstructions if swallowed. (it happened!)
  • If you have any concerns about the safety of a specific toy, call the manufacturer first and discuss this with them – preferably before purchase! This should help clear up any confusion about whether a toy is safe or harmless for your pet.

For more info, visit this site: https://www.doggiescare.com/best-toys-for-dogs.html  (very thorough article)

How to stimulate dog's brain with toys? 

vThis information will help you understand the benefits of dog toys for dogs and how they can be used in order to bring out the best in your puppy!

  • Different breeds of dogs adore different kinds of toys. Some like the classic ball game while others prefer puzzle games or simple toys that have a little squeaker inside them somewhere to make noises if bitten on (that's fun!). So keep a variety at home so that each kind of breed gets what it loves!
  • Once you know what toy your pet needs to be delighted – buy loads of duplicates because they will get lost! ALWAYS keep toys stashed away in a safe, out-of-the-way place. As much as puppies love playing with their toys, they might not always make the best choices and end up chewing on shoes or socks instead! So keep important things where your pet can't reach them if it gets out of control.
  • Most dogs adore treats – so use this knowledge to help train your pup easier. For example, when he's finished a certain number of tricks reward him with a sliver of his favorite snacks tied onto the inside of his toy; this should encourage him to complete the rules to get at his reward!
  • When your dog is having fun with his toy, it's easy to forget about him. If you're preoccupied with something or in a rush to leave and do something else, roll up this puppy adventure into a ball for him and keep it under control so he can focus on the job he has to do – don't let distractions become an issue!

How should I choose my pet's toys?

Here is some advice when choosing which toy would be best suited for your pet:

  • It may seem obvious but if you want your furry friend to play with their toys then pick one that they will like. It ought to be no big deal as your pet should be attracted to the toy in question but if you take the time to check out reviews online or ask around from people who know about dogs then you can make sure there is no confusion about what your pet likes.
  • If your dog is a puppy, then it must be said that puppies and interactive toys are not exactly friends! Interactive toys with lots of movement tend to get a pup excited and as he begins chewing on them they move even more, this could cause harm so it's best to avoid these kinds of toys for now. Stick with simple toys made from rubber or soft fabric – these will be easier for him to chew on and will satisfy his need for something interesting, without causing any damage.
  • While you should avoid toys that are too small to be treated as a whole, bite-sized treats for example, it's also best to pick out something fairly large and heavy so your pup cannot carry it around with him. Plus if he chews on his toy all day then he may not have the time or the energy left over to destroy shoes!
  • Sometimes dog owners like to dress their pets up in costumes but this is not recommended when buying dog toys. If you do end up buying a costume for your pet, make sure there are no parts where he can get caught on anything sharp at all – no exposed threads or loose straps. Also, steer clear of hats and other accessories too – they might seem cute now but if they get lost and swallowed or cause an obstruction internally, then it's not going to be anywhere NEAR as fun!
  • If you like your toys squeaky then make sure the toy is safe for your pet. Make sure there are no small pieces coming off the toy that he can chew on and swallow accidentally – if this happens he could choke. Choose a sturdy puppy toy over one with a squeaker inside; these may not last long but will give him something interesting to play with without being dangerous.
  • Lastly, do some research on the manufacturer of their toy. If at all possible buy from well-known brands who have been making toys for years – they should be able to guarantee quality which is very important when it comes to your pet. Also if you're buying online, make sure you can return the item in case there are any problems with it – most reputable sellers won't mind!
How To Choose the Right Toys for Your Puppy 1

How should I store my dog's toys?

It might seem strange but storing toys is a big deal! It can cause damage and even ruin them completely so here's how to keep their favorite things clean and ready for action:

  • If your pet plays with toys outdoors then try keeping the toy inside a baggie and putting that in his outdoor box or crate before putting him out to play. There will be no chance of his toy becoming dirty or worn out because it will already be stored safely away as soon as he is done playing with it!
  • If you have more than one dog then try storing the toys separately so no fighting will occur. This could really save a lot of strife as sometimes toys can become an issue between pets, they might be similar in color and style for example and if there is only one to go around, then your furries may get annoyed at each other when they want to play with them.
  • You should wash your dog's squeaky toys every now and again – not because they're dirty necessarily but because some dogs enjoy chewing on the squeakers as much as the rest of the toy so you run the risk of ruining the toy altogether unless you regularly brush off any saliva or stuffing that has built up inside!

Where can I buy dog toys?

There are millions of different dog shops and stores to choose from when it comes to buying your pet's new favorite playthings. They're so popular in fact, that you really shouldn't be short of choice but here are some recommendations for finding a good toy store:

  • Look online – there are tons of websites where you can order dogs' toys online and have them delivered straight to your door with only a few clicks. This is super-convenient as you don't even need to get dressed or leave the house! You could also see what other people think about certain brands or styles of pet toys by reading reviews too – this means you'll have an idea if something will be a hit or miss!
  • Check out the local animal shelter – many shelters have toys for sale that they've gotten donated by people who don't want them anymore. This is great as it means you can buy some brand new toys for your pet at a discounted price! The only drawback is that many of these toys may look a bit worn or dog-chewed but this won't really matter if your pup doesn't care and will still be just as excited to play with it as always!
  • Visit your vet's – sometimes vets will sell goods in their waiting room so if you see something you like, then this could be a good choice for finding cheap pet supplies. They won't be specific dog toys per se but anything you can do to save money is good! Don't forget that vets have a lot of experience with pets, so they may be able to tell you other places where you could find toys – it's always worth asking if you can't find what you need.
  • Shop in real pet stores – yes, these are still around and they're definitely the best option. In these stores, the staff will probably know exactly which toys have been successful in the past and it'll give them more than enough choice when suggesting things for your own beloved pet! You can also touch, feel, and try out any toy yourself before buying too so there shouldn't be any disappointment!

What should I look for in a toy?

This may be one of the most important questions you could ask when it comes to buying dog treats and toys.

After all, your dog will spend a lot more time playing with his new toys than he will with you so it's important to make sure that they're as safe as possible!

Some people think that dogs should have simple rubber or cloth squeaky toys for entertainment but others believe that giving pets different types of objects is better because their capacity for learning is increased. 

Of course, there are lots of factors involved here but there are some principles that should guide you in your search for the perfect pet toy:

  • Always check what kind of material a toy is made from – this might sound obvious but certain materials can be toxic if chewed on by dogs until you should read the small print carefully and make sure that you're not expoAlways check whether a toy is suitable for different sizes of dogs – it would be pretty silly if a 50cm ball got stuck in a Chihuahua's mouth, wouldn't it? So double-check that anything you buy will be appropriate for your furry friend.sing your pet to harmful chemicals!
  • Check what toys are ideal for puppies – they'll be stronger than adult dogs so still have lots of energy to burn so it makes sense to check out something specially made for this age group. Puppies also tend to chew more than adult animals too so make sure that there isn't stuff that could come out and cause a choking hazard!
  • Check for any external dangers – rattles, squeaky toys, or anything else which your dog might get caught on or get in his mouth should be checked before you buy. This is particularly important if you have small children around who might not know that a toy is dangerous for pets as many of them don't immediately recognize animals as separate creatures from people.

How can I keep my pet active?

 The great thing about dogs is that they'll always find a way to entertain themselves because it's how nature intended it but there are also ample ways to make sure that they don't spend every minute of the day asleep:

  • Try hiding their favorite treat or toy inside a box and let them find it – this will keep your pet entertained for hours!
  • Throw some toys into the garden and make sure you know where they are so that you can retrieve them when they're ready. They'll love running around to get their chew toys back again!

You may not necessarily need an expensive ball or specific type of treat in order to keep your dog happy – he might be perfectly content with just playing in his bowl of water or chewing on an old sock if that's what makes him happiest but it should at least give you something fun to do together, right?

It wouldn't hurt to try out more daring methods either though as these might make both you and your dog enjoy your time together with a little more!

Variety is important

It is crucial to provide your puppy with a wide variety of toys to provide all-around health and vitality.

Your puppy will inevitably get bored of certain toys after a while, so it is essential to rotate the toys regularly and buy new ones periodically. It is also crucial to periodically inspect your dog's toys and discard any worn or damaged items.

  • Very high quality, unusually shaped dog toys like Kongs (my favorite brand) are also a good choice for small dogs. Besides, Kongs can be made infinitely fascinating to your pup by stuffing them with dog treats, peanut butter, or frozen beef broth.
  • Ever thought of getting your puppy a kiddy pool? Most dogs love water and will adore chasing their toys in and out of the pool. However, small dogs need to make sure they can quickly clamber out, even when heavy and wet from the water. Ensure the sides of the pool are low and that your dog's head efficiently clears the water. Avoid pools entirely for toy dogs or teacup puppies.

Extra tips on puppy toys

  • Don't get realistic-looking toys like, say, shoes or food. You don't want them thinking that your shoes are toys or that hot dog sitting on the counter is his toy.
  • Try to buy a toy that matches your pet's size, not your size.
  • Make sure to supervise your puppy while playing with their toy; this will minimize any accidents. And then maybe later, if you ask nicely, they may even supervise you while you play with it too.

Conclusion

Choosing the best toys for your puppy will provide it with hours of fun and stimulation. Toys can also act as great training aids to make your puppy better behaved and easier to handle.

Encouraging your puppy to play regularly with toys will also help ensure that it grows into a trustworthy and well-adjusted family pet.

It is your responsibility to provide a safe and stimulating environment for your puppy in order to ensure that it grows up into the best dog possible.

A great way of keeping your pup stimulated throughout the day is by giving them toys requiring some sort of skill or effort to play with – games like fetch are one of the preferred ways of doing this. These types of toys encourage active play and give your puppy something fun to do while spending time with you.

So what are you waiting for? Go out there and get some toys for your puppy! There's a big world of goodies out there just dying to be explored together by an eager new pup and his or her dog-obsessed owner. 

(Last Updated On: August 25, 2021)
Liz
 

I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs and somehow manage to have time to pursue another of my passions - writing. I’m the primary contributor and editor of PUPPY FAQS. I love to write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local dog shelter. If you have a question that needs answering, please leave a comment below, and I will do my best to explain it.

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