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From squeaky toys to frisbees, rope toys to tennis balls, plush toys to food dispensers - the world of dog toys is expansive. With so many options, buying a toy for your dog seems like it should be easy. I mean, how can you go wrong? Well there are actually some complexities. Here are five common mistakes that dog owners make when buying toys or managing playtime for their pups:
There's a reason that some dog toys come in different sizes with recommendations for your pup. This is because Chihuahuas can't chew or hold the same size toys in their mouths as Great Danes can. If a toy is too big for your dog, it may strain their jaw, but the most likely scenario is that your dog won't use it much. On the other hand, toys that are too small for dogs can be dangerous as they could be swallowed. Proper sized toys are both more enjoyable and safer for your pup.
While some dogs love every kind of toy, other dogs prefer certain types. Like humans, dogs are unique individuals who have preferences. And that includes for toys. Some dogs love squeaky toys that entertain them while others love rope toys for tug-of-war. Some are all about fetch, while others are all about food. If a dog doesn't enjoy a toy, he or she will use it less so it's best to figure out which toys your dog loves and go for those ones.
Toys are meant to entertain your dog. But they can also serve other purposes. For example, food dispensing toys are great for dogs who eat too quickly as they'll force your dog to eat more slowly. Or high energy dogs can use some brain games to help them exert energy through mental stimulation and relieve boredom. Multi-purpose toys are great way to entertain your dog and accomplish something else, whether it's physical or mental.
Rotating your dog's toys is important in keeping your dog interested. Your pup may get bored with his or her toys, even if he or she loves them. Rotating toys is also budget friendly, as it keeps your dog interested without spending more money on new toys. No matter how long you've had a toy, bringing it out after a few weeks or months will make your dog feel like it's brand new. Bonus perk: rotating will help make toys last longer.
Dogs are usually not gentle with their toys and that's okay. But that means toys will eventually become worn out, ripped, or broken, which indicates that it's time to throw them out. This is because they can be harmful to your pup, as he or she can swallow pieces and parts or get hurt in other ways. So when a toy looks like it's better days are behind it, go ahead and replace it.