There are numerous canine toys on the market, but which type is best for your four-legged friend? Follow Pets at Home’s helpful guide to choosing the right dog toy...
Dogs need to keep their minds busy. As naturally active creatures, canines require toys because they're domesticated; if they were to run wild and free, they would get up to the same activities in nature that they would with a dog toy. These items help them stay fit and healthy, while also encouraging development as intelligent and well-adjusted animals.
Chewing toys are the most popular toy bought by dog owners. Hounds simply need to chew, even if people tend to get them to avoid destruction of their belongings via an over-eager pet's teeth. Puppies, for example, do it to lower stress, soothe gums and loosen baby teeth to make way for new ones. Adult dogs, meanwhile, develop jaw muscles and ease boredom through the activity. The development of special compounds and foodstuffs for chewing also help avoid gum disease and tooth problems.
Much like chewing items, comfort toys - while not needed by all breeds of dog - are often a great way to calm down a mutt when restraint is necessary, or you're going on a long trip in the car. Sometimes, this familiar and distinctive toy makes a noise or has a nice texture or colour. Many people use them when separating a litter from their mother.
Meanwhile, activity dog toys help keep your pooch fit and in good shape, as long as they are used in tandem with a diet capable of sustaining its vigorous movements. Like chewing toys, they can strengthen a dog's muscles, effectively reinforcing a good bone structure. The retrieval exercise - "fetch" - is the best-known form of interaction, encouraging loyalty and good behaviour in a pet as they adore the thrill of the chase. Balls, Frisbees and sticks are now made to measure for absolutely any breed.
Finally, reward toys are great for avoiding the chance of your dog feeling like they are living a monotonous, boring life. Treat toys help dogs, particularly puppies, become more obedient and can also circumvent the chance of them developing attention deficit traits.
Be sure to check out the range of toys available but be sure to reflect one thing: your dog's personality. Money should be no object when those you love are being made happy.