What to Look For in Your Dog’s Next Toy

Every dog loves to play with toys, particularly if you, their favorite person, play with them. When you look for another toy to get for your pet, you might see many potentially valuable options, but ones with which you’re not familiar. If you’re not sure what your pup will like, keep a few of these factors in mind as you decide.ย 

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Age

Dogs grow and change throughout their lifespans, and they might prefer different things in their toys at different ages. Like a human baby, puppies learn about the world through their mouths and might enjoy a variety of textures and flavors as they figure it out. They also teeth like babies, so toys that comfort them become popular.

As your canine friend ages, they’ll develop different instincts based on other factors (see below), but when they get to old age, they’ll often lose teeth or develop sensitivities that make it hard to grab onto their toys. Look for something easy to get a hold of and play with gently. 

Breed

Your dog’s interests might vary depending on their breed and temperament. Each breed developed to promote certain traits and stamp out other attributes, affecting how they play and what they like to play with. The most obvious example of this is visible in the breed’s prey drive.

A dog with a high prey drive, like a lab, golden retriever, or terrier, will gravitate toward toys that feel and sound good when they bite down on them. You’ll need a durable dog toy to hold their interest, but once they pick a favorite, they’ll probably hold onto it as long as they can. 

Novelty

Almost anything is interesting when it’s new, from the grocery bag you just set down to a bird that flew into your yard. Dogs will investigate any new toys you bring in, but unless it appeals to them in other ways, they’ll likely lose interest quickly.

That doesn’t mean that you have to consistently spend money on new toys for your puppy, though. You can cycle through toys and keep some in reserves to bring them out at the right moment. If you scrub it down before presenting it again, you may even make it smell new, which will keep their interests. 

Participation

You’ve probably noticed your dog responds to the emotions you display: they’ll get excited if you’re excited or comfort you if you’re upset. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that your dog enjoys the toys that allow you to play with them.

If your dog hasn’t picked a favorite toy, you can encourage them toward something specific by playing with them and using that toy in the process. Whether you play tug of war with a rope or throw a ball to fetch, they’re happy to be playing with you, and they’ll gravitate toward what you play with.

Don’t forget, when you have a dog, you’re responsible for all aspects of their life, so learning what they like can help you to enrich them care for them well. 

Krystal | Sunny Sweet Days
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