Dog Toys- making the right choice
Playing with your dog has huge benefits, not only in keeping your dog happy, fit and healthy but also as an aid to training and to strengthen the relationship between you and your dog. Using toys as an aid to play is a brilliant idea because toys help to satisfy many of the natural behaviours of dogs, and provide them with physical and mental stimulation.
There are a wide range of toys available, and choosing the right one can sometimes seem a bit of a challenge! Different toys are suitable for different situations, and here is a guide that will hopefully help you pick the right toys for your dog and for you.
Toys for teeth
Dogs love to chew, and providing them with chew toys not only prevents them from chewing things in the house (eg furniture and skirting boards!) but it also creates an opportunity for you to improve their dental health. When a dog chews these toys, the abrasive action created acts to clean tartar from the teeth. This, along with regular tooth brushing, can help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. There are many chew toys that can be used for this purpose, and these include:
Gummí chew bones
Dental Kongs and sticks
Pressubein with fluoride
Rawhide chews and pigs ears
‘Bite me’ toys
Toys for training
Training a puppy or a dog often involves controlling it’s natural behaviours which may otherwise be unwanted or undesirable in the home environment. Behaviours such as scavenging and chewing are very common in dogs, and providing a dog with stimulation to redirect this behaviour can be done very well with toys. This stimulation is important to prevent boredom, and focus your dog’s attention on less destructive activities! Toys that help with stimulation and training include:
Kongs, designed to be filled with food to satisfy scavenging behaviours
Rubber bones and balls
Toys for exercise
Exercising your dog in the park or out in the countryside with toys is a great way of satisfying some of the strong behavioural habits of dogs, particularly chasing, fetching and retrieving. There are many toys available for this purpose, and using toys prevents your dog from retrieving things that he shouldn’t! Sticks can be dangerous if used as toys, since dogs can injure themselves with these. Think about using these examples as an alternative:
Bolti á bandí
It is always important to have safety in mind when choosing a toy for your dog. Make sure the toy is not so small that it can be swallowed by your dog, and satisfy yourself that it cannot either be chewed or break into small pieces which could then be swallowed. Check toys regularly for damage and replace if necessary. Here at Gæludýr.is we stock a wide range of toys which are designed to be hard-wearing and safe, and our staff can give you help and advice on the right toy to choose for your dog. Let the fun begin!