6 Tips for Finding the Right Toy for Your Dog

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the dog toys available. But with a little research, you can find toys that best suit your dog.

Leroy loves his pink dog bone toy. By: Jennifer Costello
Leroy loves his pink dog bone toy. By: Jennifer Costello

Buying a special toy for a dog isn’t as easy as it sounds.

With hundreds of options and dogs that play with toys in different ways, how are we supposed to know what toy is best for our particular dog?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few simple tips.

1. No Dog Toy Is Indestructible

The sooner we get that out of the way, the better. Some dog toys can be more durable than others — I’m looking at you, Kong.

But be honest with yourself and your dog — if there’s a will, there’s a way. So look for toys that are graded on a destructible scale.

Most of the toys are graded from 1 to 10, 10 being the toughest. A brand called Tuffy Toys has a Mega line of products that are said to be a 10.

Read the labels and find out why they are tough. Double-stitched? Stitched on the inside rather than on the outside? What type of material are they made out of?

2. Check for a Guarantee

Some toys come with a guarantee for a short period of time, such as 30 days. If your dog destroys it, you can take it back and exchange it for another toy. Obviously, you don’t want to get the same toy.

A few products may even come with a lifetime guarantee.

3. Know Your Dog

If your dog isn’t rough with toys, then chances are most toys will work great. However, if you have a dog that goes to town on toys and has a tendency to de-stuff anything, don’t get a stuffed toy. It’s common sense. And don’t get a plush toy with a squeaker.

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4. Supervise

No dog should be left unsupervised with a dog toy. So many people buy a toy, give it to their dog, then walk away for hours and later get upset when they come back and find the dog has killed the toy.

A dog toy is not a dog sitter. It’s a toy to be played with.

Remember this:

  • Tug toys are made to be tugged on.
  • Balls are made to be thrown.
  • Squeaky toys are made to be squeaked and tossed around.

None are not made to be chewed on by a bored dog for hours. There are other, safer ways to keep your dog occupied when you can’t be there.

Sherman likes his toys, too.
Sherman likes his toys, too.

5. Buy Appropriately

If you have a small dog, get a toy that is made for small dogs. A big toy can be intimidating for a small dog, and you just wasted your money.

The same logic goes for large dogs. Small toys given to large dogs can easily be swallowed and lead to choking or intestinal blockage, so make sure the toys you are buying are sized correctly for your dog.

6. You Get What You Pay For

You’ve heard that expression, right?

You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a dog toy, so you buy the cheapest one you can find — and it’s dead within seconds. A $2 dog toy is $2 for a reason. It’s made cheaply, so don’t expect it to last long.

Jennifer Costello

View posts by Jennifer Costello
Jennifer Costello is a pet blogger and veterinary technician. She shares all about her life with her family and dogs, Sherman and Leroy on her blog, My Brown Newfies. When not on adventures with the dogs, Jen is spending time with her husband, two children and guinea pig. Jen’s passions include photography, pet health and all things dog.

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