I love new toys! Since young, mama and papa have been showering with new toys as frequent as a few times a month! Whenever there’s a delivery to our home, I will automatically assume that it’s for me – sniffing the parcel aggressively while wagging my tail. It’s hard not to admit that I am a teeny bit pampered. But I’m sure mama and papa enjoy buying new toys as much as I enjoy playing with them. Shopping for toys may seem like a no-brainer, but if you don’t choose the right toys, they may turn out to be a waste of money or even dangerous to your furkid!
To help new mamas and papas out, I’ll be sharing my recommended toy types for each stage of a furkid’s life right here. Let’s play!
Toys for Puppies
While I was still young and teething, I needed large but soft toys that resemble my littermates. They comforted me and helped me settle down at my new home. Chew toys also prevented me from chewing on cables and the humans’ belongings. The best toys for chewing should be durable and firm, yet able to give in at least a little, so they don’t hurt your pup’s teeth. They should also be of the right size – toys that are too small may become a choking hazard, and toys that are too big will be hard for your dog to manage.
As I got older, mama started giving me more challenging toys, with rope or harder parts. Don’t get toys that disintegrate easily, leaving sharp or indigestible pieces that your pup may ingest. That’s why I love KONG toys! They have a great range of toys for dogs of all ages, and they are very durable too. Mama also likes to buy soft toys from Ikea, as they have so far been pretty resistant from wear and tear. However, be sure to buy toys that do not have dangerous parts like eyes and buttons. Always monitor your dog when it is playing, especially if it is a heavy chewer and known to rip toys apart.
Toys for Adult Dogs
At my age, I get all sort of toys! Mama has gotten me harder toys and balls, frisbees, and also puzzle games to keep me mentally stimulated. Some toys boast the ability to clean your dog’s teeth, but it doesn’t seem to work for me, and mama thinks proper toothbrushing shouldn’t be replaced.
As a westie, my favourite toys are those I can bite and fling around easily – just like how I would kill a rodent in the wild. You can’t go against your instinct! I also love toys that allow me to play tug-of-war with mama, such as the KONG Q-tease (bottom right in the photo above). Of course, toys that dispense treats are awesome too!
Toys for Senior Dogs
I have many friends that are much older than me. They are generally less energetic and they often treat me like an amateur. But it’s okay, I excuse them for their old age. Your furkid may not be a kid anymore during its senior years, but toys and fun are still important for its health and fitness. Regular physical and mental activity will help keep your dog alert and stimulated. Look out for toys that are made with softer materials, preferably those specifically designed for ageing teeth, gums and jaws. Puzzle games are still great, but remember to choose rewards that are suitable for older dogs. Most importantly, know your old pup’s limits, because it sure doesn’t (they are stubborn that way). If it has teeth, back or neck problems, avoid tug-of-war games, and if it has joint conditions, skip toys that it has to run and jump to catch.