Dog Toys: Let Your Dog Pick His Own Toy

Dog Toys: Let Your Dog Pick His Own Toy

By Allen Shaw

I’ve learned from experience that buying your dog a new toy without his input is usually the wrong thing to do. She usually looked at me with a snotty look as if to say, “I am way to cool to play with that.” (My last dog was a German Shepard with a real prima donna complex). So I solved the problem by taking her to the pet store with me.

Most pet stores will let you bring your dog inside with you as long it is on a leash. And please, if you do this, make it a short leash. Inside a pet store are some of the most interesting and fascinating smells your dog will ever encounter. The better control you have over your pooch in a pet store, the better.

There are numerous types of toys for your dog to choose from. Chew toys are likely going to be your first purchase in the early years when your little pooch is always chewing on something. There are rubber bones, squeaky toys, calves hooves, rope toys, balls, Frisbees…and an abundance of every type of toy under the sun. That’s why it’s best to let your dog choose his own toys. With all of those choices, you’re bound to choose the wrong one.

Soft plush toys are not necessarily the best toy in the spectrum for the destructive dog; unless you want to spend endless hours cleaning up the stuffing. But again, if you know your dog, and you know he, or she, is a lover and not a fighter, you may want to consider a plush toy. A huge advantage to this toy is that your dog has a companion when you are gone.

Chew toys come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and materials. Flavored rawhide bones are very popular because they last a long time. But the “flavor” tends to get all over everything. Calves hooves are another popular chew toy and in my own personal experience I have never seen a dog that didn’t like them. But if this is your dog’s chew toy of choice, make sure you save room in the pet budget for doggie breath mints.

Kong is another popular chew toy. The Kong is a rubber, hollow toy that kind of looks like a decapitated snowman. Kong is hollowed out so you can put snacks inside the toy. Most dogs will chew on a Kong for hours trying to get that little piece of liver out of there. And Kong comes in all sizes so all dogs from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane can have one.

Rope toys and balls can be used as chew toys as well. But most of the time, these toys are more for interactive play. Most dogs like to play tug-of-war and fetch. But, again, speaking from experience, don’t use your own teeth to pull on the toy with your dog. That’s a good way to be wearing dentures before your time.

The ever popular noise-making toy, more affectionately known as squeaky toys, is another good toy for the curious dog. Dogs can spend hours trying to find the source of that darn squeak. But be forewarned, when they finally find it, they are liable to swallow it. And until they do, that “darn” squeak is likely to drive you crazy.

But no matter what toy you decide on, make sure you let Fido have say in the choice. Dog toys can get a little expensive at times and you don’t want to spend a fortune on a toy and have you’re lovable pooch be more interested in the box it came in.

Allen Shaw is a successful author who provides information on dogs, dog toys and dog bones.

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