Dog toys are one of the best ways to reward a pet and let them know they are loved. Shopping for them is usually fun for the owner as well because of the creativity many manufacturers put into designing these items. Not only are toys enjoyable, they are also useful for encouraging exercise and can help to control behavioral issues. No dog is too old to get some benefit from the right toy.
Starting off an excited puppy with a toy will give them something to use their sharp puppy teeth on, rather than destroying shoes or furniture! Many teething toys are available that can help their sore gums get some relief. The best dog toys are designed to encourage interactive play rather than just being something to chew on. These usually hold treats like pet kibble or peanut butter and force the dogs to figure out how to get the food freed from the toy. This allows them a little treat, but makes them burn a few calories to get it.
Toys are even useful for pet owners who are worried about how to calm down a dog. A soft toy that has the scent of their owner helps to ease separation anxiety. These are useful for when the owner goes to bed, leaves for work, or is required to board their pet for a period of time. The toy becomes a security item, the same way a small child will carry a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
All small to medium dog toys should be carefully inspected before giving them to a pet. Loose parts or easily destroyed items are potential choking hazards. Other items are safer when used with human supervision. This includes tug ropes, because individual strands of the rope could be pulled out and swallowed. Another example are toys with squeakers inside. Some dogs only want to rip open the toy to access the noisemaker. If they are successful with this mission, the toy and its squeaker should be discarded.
The number of dog toys available continues to grow, and new pet owners will quickly become familiar with the items their pet enjoys the most. All dogs should be exposed to new items occasionally to help them develop new skills. Most toys are affordable enough to make it easy for every pet to have a collection that will continuously keep them busy.
If you are looking for an interactive dog toy for small to medium dogs, make sure to checkout the Small and Medium sized Tether Tugs, as well as the popular indoor Tether Tug dog toy for dogs under 30lbs!