Every dog needs a few toys they can play with. Not only does this keep them busy, but it also helps them expend all that energy they’ve got inside. As a dog owner, you’ll find that when your dog is denied the opportunity to use up its energy, it becomes restive and highly irritable. Dog experts believe that not having an outlet for expression and both physical and mental stimulation might lead to negative and even violent behavior. Playtime really is important!
Certain types of toys also help them express their primal instincts, especially outdoor toys. Toys that require running around, fetching, chasing, searching, and so on help your dog express its innate canine instincts and tendencies. They also help stimulate their mind.
Some toys can also be helpful to increase coordination and discipline for your pet. Toys are not just useful for games, they can be instructional and educative for your pet too. Some toys also help your dog develop problem-solving skills.
However, with the numerous stores selling so many different types of dog toys in India, deciding on what toy or toys to buy for your pet might be difficult. This article would run you through the most popular dog toys in India, basic tips on how to use your dog toys and keep them clean, and the best online stores to find dog toys in India.
Types of Dog Toys
There are several types of dog toys; some are indoor toys while some should only be used outdoors. There is no ‘best’ toy for dogs, all of them are useful for certain purposes and not all toys would appeal to your dog. In fact, not all toys should be given to your pet. Some toys are good for outdoor games, while others are can be used to just keep them occupied for longer periods while engaging their minds positively.
Chewing is something that comes naturally to dogs – it’s why they have all those teeth. However, this tendency to chew can be bad for you as it makes them chew on anything at their disposal; clothing, sofas, beds, etc. This is where chew toys come in; they give your pet something safe to focus all that energy on. It’s a win-win situation!
Some chew toys can be plush and come in the form of stuffed animals or shapes while others can be non-plush. If your dog is an aggressive chewer or just enjoys tearing things up, stuffed chew toys might not be safe because it would tear the toy apart and might swallow some of the stuffing; this could lead to choking or gastrointestinal complications. For these sorts of dogs, you might need extra-tough chew toys like this one by Kong.
Rope toys also fall under the category of chew toys. They can be used just for chewing or they could be used to play a tug game. They come in different shapes and lengths and are most times made of firm, durable cotton material. You should be careful with rope toys as the threads can disintegrate after a while and get ingested by your pet.
Squeak toys are essentially non-plush chew toys that make the squeaking sound when pressed in. This sound makes them very intriguing and interesting for most dogs. Usually, squeakies could be made of vinyl, rubber, or plastic. Its strength and durability vary and you should make a choice based on your pet. The thinner the toy, the less durable it would be. However, the thinner squeaky toys made of plastic or vinyl are usually less expensive than the thicker and more durable squeakies.
Here’s a quick tip on deciding what type of squeaky toy to buy: for older dogs and puppies, the thinner squeak toys would do just fine. Their teeth are sensitive and not as strong and would not do so much damage to the toy. For young dogs (not puppies), who are strong, have a lot of energy and enjoy tearing up things with their teeth, the tougher squeaky toys would be a great choice.
These squeakies come in different shapes and sizes; some are shaped like bones while others take the shape of balls or rings.
Some dog owners get irritated by the squeaky noise produced by these toys; if this is you, you should look for the range of squeaky toys known as Silent Squeakers. They are not actually silent, they are just made such that your dog can hear the sound they produce, but when standing at a short distance away, you would hear nothing!
Even if you don’t want to get so many toys for your dog, this is the one dog toy it should have. Balls are an all-time favorite among dogs. As a rule, young dogs who are teething and much older dogs with dental problems should be given soft, plush balls while balls with harder exteriors can be given to older dogs.
There are various kinds of balls so it should be easy to find the one that is best suited to your pet. There are tennis balls, rubber balls, glow-in-the-dark balls and flash-light balls, and even balls that you can use to hold treats. A lot of balls have squeakers which make them even more intriguing to pets.
The most common way of using balls is to play a “Fetch” game with them. Playing Fetch is a great way to teach your dog to listen to your voice and understand commands. Tennis balls are very good for this. If you are bothered about all the saliva that would get on the ball during play, you can get a tool that would help you hold and throw it without getting in contact with all that slobber.
Make sure to get a ball that is large enough that your pet can’t swallow it but small enough to fit comfortably in its mouth.
This article only goes into detail about three of the most common types of dog toys in India. Some other types include Disc and Retrieving toys, Tug toys, Floating toys, Food/Treat Dispensing toys, and Puzzle toys. As you can see, there are so many options to choose from with so many distinctive benefits. Disc toys allow your dog to get a good workout while learning discipline.
Tug toys can be used to create fun, competitive games. Floating toys are a great addition for dogs that enjoy swimming. Food/treat-dispensing toys are a great way to get your dog to build its problem-solving capacity while trying to get the treat out of the toy. Puzzles are known to be mentally stimulating and they can also help teach your dog some discipline and coordination skills.
Some of the most popular brands of dog toys in India include Foodie Puppies, Emily Pets, Kong, Trixie, Pets Empire, Choostix, etc. Remember that brand names do not really matter, what matters is the value it gives you by way of durability and functionality. Ensure to go through product reviews and compare prices across different brands and stores before deciding on a particular brand or product.
Apart from Amazon, there are so many other great stores to get your dog toys online. Some of them are; PupKart, FlipKart, Chew Central, Woofsnwags, and so many others.
Important Things to Remember While Buying or Using Dog Toys
Size of Your Pet-Dog
Always consider the size of your dog before picking a toy. Typically, small dogs should get small-sized toys while large dogs should be given large-sized toys. This would greatly reduce the risk of injury and your dog accidentally swallowing the toy.
Consider the material the toy is made of and if it would be a good fit for your dog. For example, a toy with a rough and hard exterior might cause bruises if your dog has a sensitive muzzle. Aggressive chewers should not be given soft, plush toys except when they are under supervision because they can easily tear the toys apart which increases the risk of your dog mistakenly ingesting some pieces which could lead to either choking or gastrointestinal obstructions.
Outdoor toys such as balls should not be played indoors. This is to avoid domestic accidents and also give your dog enough space to play and express themselves.
As you consider the size of your dog, you should also consider its age while buying toys. Puppies who are teething should not be given tough toys; soft, plush toys would be better on their gums and growing teeth.
Not all toys would appeal to your dog; every dog has preferences. You should be patient and observant to know which toys are more appealing to your dog. If it doesn’t like a dog you’ve already purchased, set it aside for a couple of months; it’s possible that it might like the toy when you reintroduce it after some time.
Once a toy gets damaged, it should be thrown away. Damaged toys are likely to disintegrate into pieces while your dog is playing with it.
For your own safety, you should clean your dog toys more often. Dog toys get everywhere, sand, grass, mud, let’s not even talk about the amount of time it stays in your dog’s mouth. They are literally breeding grounds for tons of bacteria and other microorganisms. Your dog is less susceptible to getting infected by these germs but you might not be so lucky.
Using a natural cleaning agent like Vinegar to sanitize your dog toys often would help to reduce the risk of infection. You should also clean the container where you store the toys more often, they probably have more germs than all the toys put together.
There’s no arguing this fact; dog toys are very important. They are so beneficial that they can not be overlooked in dog care. Several types of dog toys exist and if you can afford to, you can get one of almost every kind. But that isn’t necessary, it’s likely that your dog would only like to play with a couple of them. This is why it’s important to know your dog and the sort of activities it enjoys. Does it love to run around? Or is it content sitting still for a while to work things out? Get on your knees and connect with your pet! You’ll learn a lot and get tips to help you make the right decisions.