Above all else, the first and most important thing to know and acknowledge when it comes to dog toys is that they are a) not luxuries and b) far from optional. In order for a dog to be both happy and healthy long-term, toys are among the most important everyday essentials you can possibly give him. Why? It’s simple really – not only do toys encourage dogs to be active and help keep their teeth clean, they also prevent boredom and encourage good behaviour.
Quite the opposite to cats which have a tendency to be rather selective, most dogs will be happy to play with pretty much anything you can throw their way. Nevertheless, just because they will play with just about anything doesn’t mean they should – there’s a reason the market is filled with thousands of different dog toys and also why some cost far more than others.
According to the experts at www.digbysdogplanet.co.uk, choosing the right toy is essentially an extremely easy job and one that’s hard to get wrong with a little common sense. It’s largely a case of considering both the uniqueness of your dog in accordance with the product’s specifics and specifications – hardly rocket-science and quite exceptionally rewarding for both of you.
For example, perhaps the most important thing of all to consider when picking up a new toy for your dog is size. While it’s not necessarily the end of the world to pick up a toy that’s rather on the large size, toys that are too small are genuine health hazards. Dogs aren’t exactly great when it comes to preventing things being swallowed by accident or inhaled, so you need to ensure that this is never, ever a possibility.
Made for Dogs
When you see that something like a ball, a stuffed animal or piece of rope that’s made for dogs is a fair bit more expensive than the standard variety, you get the feeling you’re being taken for a ride. And so it’s natural for some to buy the cheaper version – all without realising they could be doing the health and safety of their dog a serious injustice. The reason being that while toys made for dogs are made to be chewed and are thus made to be 100% safe, other toys/products for humans are not. So really, if it wasn’t made for dogs, it shouldn’t be bought for them.
If for one minute you suspect that the toy you’re thinking of buying will or might fall to pieces after a few rough play sessions, it’s not worth taking the risk. It may be safe in its current form, but if and when it begins to degrade and come apart, it immediately becomes a health hazard in more ways than one. Good dog toys come with guarantees of strength and durability – these are always the toys to go for where possible.
If you’re looking to buy a stuffed toy or animal for your dog, be sure to check what the manufacturer has to say about the safety of its stuffing. It’s rather rare these days to find product makers still producing dog toys with unsafe stuffing, but as it does happen from time to time, it’s worth checking up on.
Most toys will do dogs a world of good by encouraging them to exercise and keeping them occupied for days, weeks and even years on end. They can also be great comforters, but the very best kinds of dog toys on the market are those that add one or two genuine health benefits into the equation. For example, there are thousands of dog toys on the market right now that actively clean the dog’s teeth. Others hide treats on the inside and therefore encourage even more exercise, so it’s a good idea to invest in toys that go far beyond simple play and actually benefit your dog’s health and wellbeing.
Last but not least, while it’s not to say that every dog toy carrying the usual ‘Made in China’ standard is a toy to stay away from, there’s something uniquely reassuring about those made in the UK. The reason being that Britain has some of the most specific and demanding standards when it comes to the kinds of products that are allowed to be manufactured and put on sale – far above and beyond those of foreign nations. So while the ‘Made in Britain’ badge may not be a 100% guarantee every time, it’s certainly a good sign that what you’re looking at is a product of quality.