Best Dog Toys – #1 Selection of Toys For Dogs
Choosing the right toys for cats and dogs
Our pets spend most of their lives in the game, so it should be not only fascinating but also safe. Toys for animals are subject to strict control, mandatory certification, guaranteeing their quality. Choose the one that does not contain toxic components and does not harm the health of the animal – not an easy task. We have compiled the most comprehensive review of pet toys.
What toys are in general and what will suit my pet? Toys are not only a way to have fun, but also an important assistant in the process of learning and training. In addition, toys help to cope with behavioral problems – for example, if an animal needs to cope with aggression, or it experiences a period of adaptation in new owners.
If you are a dog owner
The toy market for dogs is quite large and is divided into five main categories:
- For gnawing (various rubber toys and toys with squeakers);
- For gums and teeth (bones, sticks, rings of dried veins, balls, massaging the gums);
- For training (balls, dumbbells, rings, ropes, jute sticks);
- Interactive games (pullers, intellectual toys with a delicacy, frisbee);
- Stuffed toys.
So which one to choose? It is important to take into account the characteristics of your pet: its age, size, and style of play. Try to remember: does your dog like to carry various items behind him, chew or crush them? The answer to this question depends on how hard or soft the products should be for it. As the pet grows, its toys will also change. Puppies will suit those that carry away and accustom to sleep separately from the mother, – squeaky and stuffed toys.
For small and medium dogs
For puppies that are teething, you need to purchase some strong rubber bones. They will relieve tooth itch and, perhaps, save a pair of favorite sneakers. For older dogs, it is better to choose toys with a softer surface, so as not to injure the gums and teeth. When buying a toy owner must take into account the dimensions of the animal. The basic rule here is that it should fit in the size of the dog’s mouth, but not fully fit in it.
For smaller breeds, you should choose small balls on a rope or rubber with spikes, strong mini-ropes, as well as dumbbells of medium hardness, mini pullers, puzzles, and various soft toys. Particular attention should be paid to toys for the mouth, “on the teeth” small dogs will fall on various products made of fleece and cotton. But, before a new item for the game gets into fluffy paws, make sure that all its elements and individual accessories are well fixed. Pompons, bows, toy nose and eyes, loosely closed batteries are dangerous – these items are easy to swallow, and they can get stuck in the throat.
For large dogs
Such dogs are distinguished by impressive physical strength and strong grip, so preference should be given to durable toys that do not crumble from the strong pressure of the jaws. These are various silicone and rubber balls, dumbbells, rings, and rugby. Stuffed toys are suitable for calm pets who are not inclined to tear the products apart and pull the filler out of them. For active dogs suitable ropes and rope toys, frisbees, pullers. If your pet is rather passive, try to interest him in toys with dainty or interactive bowls that seem to have been created for true gourmets and sybarites.
Toys primarily develop intelligence and serve as a tool for mental relief: for example, in dogs, gnawing items satisfy a hunting need, and also perform a calming and anti-stress function. Balls and other toys for stalking and capturing help satisfy the prey’s pursuit instinct, give the animal an appropriate movement load. They also form a positive contact with the owner. Educational games for dogs contribute to the implementation of the search and food-producing instincts, play anti-stress and soothing functions, contribute to the development of the processes of inhibition, attentiveness, and concentration and, of course, perfectly cope with their main function, very well developing intelligence in the dog.
If you are a cat owner
Do not worry if your cat spends a lot of time alone – with the right toys he will find something to entertain himself with. Comes to the aid of balls, balls, interactive toys (tracks, puzzles, bowls, in which the delicacy is hidden), toys with a filler, and even entire gaming centers. But for the game with the owner suitable “teasers” and “fishing rods”, laser pointers, mice on the remote control. Of all the variety of types and species, a suitable toy will be the one that matches the age of the animal. The overall intensity and duration of the games change when your kitten becomes an adult.
Some grow into active hunters, others into lazy contemplators. These features of the character must be considered to select the most interesting toy for your pet. But even if the toy seems ideal at first glance, do not rush to buy it – first make sure that it is large enough so that your pet cannot swallow it, and is made of a material that does not form chips and does not damage the pet’s teeth. In addition, conduct your own analysis of the toy: it should not have sharp corners, hard rubber bands, threads, ribbons, foil, Christmas serpentine, and any other parts that a pet could chew or swallow.
Kittens are extremely inquisitive and can carry away a game without a host. Of particular interest to them are objects that they can hunt. This includes various balls and balls, “teasers” and even your own tail. But there are also pitfalls here: balls should be chosen without large holes, in which the claw of a miniature foot can get stuck, “teasers” – with soft rubber bands (a hard one can strike a pet strongly during the game) and plastic chopsticks. Also, a useful acquisition will be various laser pointers, puzzles of the first complexity, sound toys, interactive tunnels. Firstly, they hone hunting skills and discipline, secondly, they develop intellectual abilities, and thirdly, they allow the pet to quickly get used to the new place.
For adult cats
If your pet is active enough, then it will also suit “teasers” and “fishing rods”, balls with bells, various tracks, game centers, and fur toys, resembling real prey. For more lazy cats, it is worth choosing puzzles of medium and high complexity and toys with a delicacy hidden inside. They will serve as a good motivation for physical training and the search for innovative solutions.
For older cats
Aged animals are less mobile and playful. To bring back the enthusiasm, review your pet’s toys and offer him alternative versions of your favorite games. Perhaps, in his youth, he happily ran for strong balls, but now he prefers quieter entertainment and soft materials. Toys with feathers, catnip, labyrinths, and puzzles, as well as sound toys will stir passive pets. But listen to the sound being made – it should be quiet enough not to frighten the cat. According to experts, when choosing the right toy, several factors should be considered:
- First, it must be safe. Some cats love to bite off pieces of foam balls and swallow them, others swallow their noses and eyes in fur mice. All this can lead to intestinal blockage and the need for surgery.
- Secondly, it is important to consider what kind of toys a particular pet loves. It is also necessary to remember that the toys were smaller than the animals themselves – if you buy a mouse the size of a cat, it is very unlikely that the cat will play with it.
How can I find out that the toy is not dangerous for my pet?
Safe toys are made from non-toxic materials and do not have a repulsive odor. The toxins contained in the toy are dangerous for the animal: they provoke cancer and also negatively affect the brain and neurological functions. The American organization Consumer affairs, checking the quality of the goods, investigated the toys for animals in the store WalMart.
In most of the toys imported from China, high content of heavy metals has been found – such as cadmium, chromium, and lead. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for a buyer without special expertise to identify their presence, but a few simple tips will help to secure the pet as much as possible:
- Look for products made from or close to natural materials. For example, the brands Kong, Godog, Nina Ottosson Zoo Active, West Paw Design position themselves as ecological and safe;
- Pay attention to the labeling: the label must state that the product does not contain phthalates and phenol;
- Test the smell and color – the toy should not be “poisonous” in color and have harsh chemical fragrances.
What materials should I take toys from?
Cats and dogs play differently, and accordingly, the materials from which the toys are made are different. Dogs love to gnaw and chew items, so products made of natural rubber and molded rubber are suitable for them. Various dried treats, toys made of felt and organic cotton are also a good natural alternative to synthetic raw materials. Cats are hunters by nature and in the game, they sharpen the skills of attack, attack, and catch of potential prey. To avoid injury in the process of “hunting” will help soft materials – they are not chipped, about which the animal can get hurt. Artificial velvet, leather, silicone, food-grade plastic, feathers, felt, sisal and fabric textures will be safe for the game.
How to care for toys?
Even the strongest and high-quality toys eventually fail and become deformed: cracks and tears appear, from which the filler begins to fall out. During the game, the pet may accidentally swallow the worn parts of the product, so it is important from time to time to replace old toys with new ones. A soft toy should be washed every two weeks if the animal does not part with it. This will help avoid the accumulation of dirt, bacteria and dust mites. Wash better at low speed and low temperature.
You can put a toy into the machine even with a squeaking element – sometimes after washing, the “squeaker” will not work, but then, when the water dries out, the toy will again start making sounds. There is also a “cold” method of cleaning: put the product in a bag and send it for 8-10 hours in the freezer. At low temperatures, microbes must die. The trick with soda also works: put the toy in a bag, pour half a glass of soda and shake it for 3-5 minutes. Then the remaining soda should shake off with a brush.
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