Playing is one of the best things for your pooch to do. It lets them exercise, bond with their owner and other dogs, and keeps them out of trouble. Keeping your dog active with a variety of toys is important and should be one of your highest priorities as a dog owner.
Today we’re going over all sorts of toys and how they help your pup stay in shape and on top of things!
Why Playtime is Important
Playtime for dogs is an important part of a full, healthy life for them. While it may seem to just be fun and games, playtime is an enriching experience for our canine companions and should be done often. It’s good for their overall health and well-being, after all.
Playtime Provides Exercise
Keeping your dog active means keeping them in shape and healthy. Playing with your dog promotes good physical exercise, first and foremost. When you play with your pup, you should really do all you can to really tire them out. They need that kind of activity in their day-to-day life, the same way that they would have received it if they weren’t domesticated.
Playtime Encourages Mental Stimulation
Many toys are designed to make your pup work towards a goal, often a delicious treat of some kind. These toys provide brain games for your dog and promote mental stimulation. This helps prevent them from becoming bored and getting themselves into trouble, too.
Playtime Makes For Good Behavior
Playing with your pup can be a good opportunity to fit in some training, too! When playing with your dog, there are a number of skills that can be taught to your canine companion that lend themselves to better manners.
Teaching your dog to wait when playing fetch is a good skill, as well as curbing their bite to make them more gentle when playing tug of war.
Different Types of Toys
Different types of dog toys promote different types of play, and as such, provide different types of behavior and responses from your pup. Generally speaking, toys can be categorized in three different ways; interactive toys, distraction toys, and comfort toys!
Each category has a few toys that fit into it, all with their intended uses.
Interactive toys consist of toys that require you to play with your dog or that require another dog to play with your dog. They promote bonding between you and your four-legged friend and are some of the most active toys on our list.
Fetch toys consist of anything that you throw and your dog retrieves for you. The primary use of fetch toys is to encourage physical stimulation, as well as teach your dog some basic commands. These commands consist of things like dropping an item, as well as waiting to retrieve it. Fetch toys can really tire your pup out and make for a great play session with your four-legged friend!
Playing tug of war is a classic game played between people and dogs and encourages bonding between you and your pup. While many people frown upon tug of war, stating that it can lead to unwanted behavior, there are ways of curbing this behavior.
Commands can be taught to make tug of war a fun game and consist of teaching your pup when it’s okay to start tugging and when it’s time to stop. It’s also recommended that when it comes to rope toys made for tug of war, you keep the toy put away when not in use. It may also help to only have one dedicated to tugging specifically.
We don’t always have the time to play with our pups for a long period of time, and sometimes they’ll want to play while we’re away at work or out running errands. These toys are often mentally stimulating and meant for solo play.
Chew toys are a great way to keep your pup entertained during the day! These toys are designed to be a challenge for your dog, something to keep them occupied. They’re normally tough, but not so tough that they’ll damage your dog’s teeth.
Toys that house food are a fun mental stimulation that rewards your dog for figuring out how to retrieve their treats! Often these toys have holes on each side and are stuffed with your canine companion’s favorite snacks or something delicious like peanut butter.
A toy filled with treats is a great way to keep your dog out of trouble when you’re not able to keep a close eye on them.
These toys are often bedtime toys that bring your dog some sort of comfort. These can also be used in times when your pup is feeling nervous or upset.
Contrary to popular belief, soft, stuffed toys should not be used as tug of war toys. These toys are meant to provide a soothing sensation to your pup.
Preferably, a stuffed toy should be small enough to be carried by your pup. If your dog does like to get a little rough with it, it needs to be big enough to prevent accidental swallowing.
Blankets are a comfort toy that are best used when going to bed. Your dog will like cuddling up with them at the end of the day, and when you give a blanket to your pup, it should signal that they’re winding down for the day.
Some Standout Toys
When it comes to toys, your pup deserves the best. We’ve hand-selected a few that your dog will be sure to love and will definitely keep them active.
Wild One Twist Toss
The Wild One Twist Toss is a fantastic hybrid toy, being both interactive through its ability to be played fetch with, as well as it being a food toy.
The toy can be stuffed with your pup’s favorite treat and then tossed, providing both the physical and mental stimulation your canine companion needs.
Wild One Bolt Bite
The Wild One Bolt Bite is the chew toy of your dog’s dreams! It’s made of natural rubber and is big enough for your pup to put their paws on it while they really go at it. It’s got a reinforced center, so it’ll last a good long time.
The Bolt Bite is also big enough to be considered a good tug of war toy too. When it gets dirty, you can pop it into the dishwasher (top rack) and clean it, too!
Time for Playtime
Playing with your pup is an absolute must. It’s fantastic for bonding with them, and comes with a multitude of other benefits, as well! It keeps them active, keeps them mentally stimulated, and can be used to help train your pooch, too.
Whether you’re using interactive toys, distraction toys, or comfort toys, playtime is a must. If you can’t decide on just one new toy for your four-legged friend, consider picking up Wild One’s toy kit to give your dog all the options they need!
5 Reasons Why Play Is Important For Dogs | Puppy Leaks
5 Types of Dog Toys | American Kennel Club
Dog Toys And How To Use Them | SPCA of Texas