Playtime with your pooch is an important part of your daily regimen. It allows for exercise and mental stimulation, and of course, it brings you and your dog closer together. An important part of playtime is the toys. Without good toys, playtime can be a bust!
What’s the most important quality in a toy? Any owner will tell you that the answer to that question is durability. A durable toy can lead to more fun during playtime, and it can lengthen the life expectancy of the toy itself.
What To Look For in a Durable Toy
When you’re looking for a toy for your four-legged friend, you’ll want to look at a few key things. Most importantly, you need to look at the following aspects when considering a new toy for your dog.
- Preferred materials
- Materials to avoid
- Toy design
Each one of these qualities is important for the health of your pet and should be kept in mind when purchasing toys.
When looking for a durable toy, there is a list of durable materials to live by. These materials are tested and proven to be safe for your pooch while also letting them put up a fight during playtime.
Rubber is one of the most tried and true dog toy materials. It’s incredibly durable but isn’t so hard that it can cause damage to your dog’s teeth. Often, toys can be found in natural rubber compounds that are an excellent choice when purchasing a toy.
Additionally, if you’ve got a pup that’s teething, soft rubber can be a great choice for durable toys, too. If looking for a teething toy, you want the edges to be smooth with a little bit of give, perfect for a pooch who really needs to gnaw on something.
Rope is a fantastic material for dog toys when it fits the bill. Ideally, the rope will be thick in nature and will be made from a strong cotton braid. Cotton rope toys are durable, easy to clean, and safe on your pup’s teeth.
When looking for a new rope toy for your dog, the material the rope is made from is imperative. Cotton is a natural material, and in the off chance that your dog is able to tear the rope toy into strands and consume it, cotton will be the least harmless material available. We’ll cover fraying later on, though.
Materials To Avoid
While the list of preferred materials is shorter than our list of materials to avoid, this is for a good reason. Knowing what can harm your dog is crucial, so we’ve outlined what materials can make a toy safe.
Hard and Soft Plastics
You may be wondering why rubber is a preferred material while plastics are not. Simply put, plastics are either not durable enough, or they’re too durable.
Soft plastics are prone to tearing or breaking, which ends up becoming a choking hazard. Hard plastics are just as harmful but in a different way. They can be so hard that they’ll break your pup’s teeth. Avoid plastics and stick to rubber.
In most cases, while it may be cute to watch your dog go after a plush toy, they aren’t really suitable for your four-legged friend. They’re easy to tear and rip to shreds, and as such, can be swallowed, possibly causing digestive blockages.
Avoid painted toys in all cases. In the best of situations, your dog will inevitably chew the paint right off of the toy and ingest it, causing an upset stomach. In the worst of situations, the paint will be toxic and can prove fatal when ingested. Avoid paint.
Toy designs are an important part of their durability. With design comes strength, and with strong toys comes durability. When looking at types of toys, keep in mind the following while determining if they’re safe for your canine companion.
Chew toys should be made with rubber and should have soft edges. Sharp edges could cause harm to your dog’s gums. Additionally, treat-dispensing toys need to have two holes. If not, the action of compressing the toy and letting it expand again could very well suck in your pup’s tongue, causing problems.
Rope or Tug Toys
When selecting a rope and tug toy, you want to be sure that the rope is made from natural cotton and that the rope braid itself is thick. There are also reinforced ropes that are stitched for extra strength. You want a thicker rope than not to minimize the likelihood of choking.
These are most commonly tennis balls but can be any number of things. Fetch toys should be made from one of the preferred materials above and be safe for your pooch to chew on.
They need to be large enough so that they can’t be swallowed, and if they’re a ball, they need to be undamaged. If a ball can be compressed, it can pose a choking hazard or a hazard similar to a toy dispenser with only one hole.
Durable Doesn’t Mean Indestructible
As much as we’d all like a toy that cannot be destroyed by our four-legged friends, it’s just not possible to do without possibly harming them. Hard plastics, which still aren’t indestructible, are the closest thing we can get to, but they can harm our pup’s teeth if they like to chomp hard.
As such, it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s toys and replace them when necessary.
Dog Toy Maintenance
When working with dog toys, you need to pay attention to the overall health of the toy. Pay attention to the following indicators for each type of toy.
Any marring, gouging, or tears in rubber can mean that your pooch may run the risk of ingesting the material as it wears. If this begins to happen, it means that the toy needs to be taken away from your four-legged friend.
Fraying rope toys are a sign that the toy is nearing the end of its life. Fraying rope, so long as it’s made of cotton, is not particularly harmful to your dog in small quantities. Still, it should not be consumed by your pup, and as the rope begins to fray and tear, you know that the time to take that toy out of rotation.
Fetch toys need to be paid close attention to, as they typically fit in your pooch’s mouth just the right way as not to be swallowed. Should the toy be torn or starting to wear thin, the toy needs to be retired to prevent injury to your pup.
When looking for durable, safe toys for your dog’s enjoyment, be sure to check out Wild One. Wild One’s toys are made from high-quality materials and are designed in such a way that they are safe for your dog as they play with them.
When you want an exemplary dog toy that’s durable enough to stand the test of time, pick a toy made by Wild One; you won’t regret it!