Dogs are wonderful companions for both everyday life and out-of-the-ordinary adventures. These furry friends are not without their needs though. In addition to the basics of rest, nourishment, hydration, and exercise, canine companions need a healthy daily dose of playtime to keep their minds and bodies strong and active. Here are a few great toys to share with nearly any breed of dog.
Tug toys are great for strengthening the bond between yourself and your dog. In addition, they help dogs burn off energy while providing an opportunity for excellent mental and physical stimulation. A wide variety of tug toys are available, from rope toys to plastic tug toys. Many dogs can’t get enough of this fun game, so when you need to take a break but your furry friends are hungry for more, set them up with a suction cup dog chew toy (a tug toy that is fixed to the floor by a suction cup on one end) to allow them plenty of independent practice playing tug games.
Plush toys are often dog favorites. Many enjoy carrying them around like security blankets, but some would rather tear them to shreds. In either case, they’re still a fun toy for them to tote around (or destroy) and will surely provide hours of fun — but be sure to supervise the process to ensure no pieces are accidentally swallowed.
Many breeds of dogs love a good game of fetch. Good old-fashioned tennis balls are perfect for retrieving, but so are flying discs, boomerangs, squeaky toys, or just about anything else you can give a good toss. Change up the retrieving games with floating toys (a favorite for playing fetch games with good canine swimmers), glow-in-the-dark or light-up toys for use at dusk, or throwing toys with sounds such as whistles or bells.
Toys that make a noise are perfect for dogs that enjoy auditory stimulation. Dogs often treat squeaky toys as “prey”, tossing them around and chewing on them until they satisfactorily “kill” the squeaker and vanquish the prey — though they may still enjoy tossing around their prize long after it’s “dead”. Watch them closely to be sure that they don’t try to eat the squeaker or any other toy pieces.
Puzzle toys give your dog great mental stimulation, usually with a simple puzzle or series of puzzles to be solved that ultimately reveal a treat (or several treats). In addition to teaching your dog new problem-solving skills, these toys can be used regularly for dogs who otherwise rush through mealtime, or they can be used for days that you need to give your bored dog something to do while you’re both cooped up indoors (think rainy days or too-hot summer afternoons).
By providing great toys for dogs during playtime, you can help support their mental and physical growth while enjoying their companionship. With a few great options around for them, you help stave off boredom for the both of you.