Do you know the study at the University of Arizona showed us that dogs are too close to 2-year human children regarding social intelligence or cooperative communication skills? One way of seeing this is to consider the needs of both of them, of which toys is the one. In other words, dogs need toys as much as toddlers.

And the purpose remains the same, too – to keep them busy.

So today, we’re going to go deeper to cherry-pick those toys that not only keep your canine friend busy but will also brush up his cognitive skills.

So, fasten your seat belts and skim through the bottom content.

Pet accessories still life concept with colorful objects

Benefits/ Importance of Toys for Dogs 

Before we even start lining up toys, let’s first get to know why it is important for dogs to have toys and why we shouldn’t consider it frittering money.

Here’s why our dogs need toys:

  1. To Counter Stress out

Playing with toys makes our dog relax and calm. Since dogs originally lived in packs, living in a confined place distressed them. So, toys are the solution to this problem; dogs reduce their stress and see them as a reward that lasts for a long. Additionally, toys give them a feeling of liberty and control over their environment.

  1. Saves Your Household Items

Imagine you’ve picked out shoes from your rack, and just before wearing you notice a chunk of it has been chewed up. That will make you broke. So, rewarding your dog with toys can save your footwear, sofas, linen, and whatnot from damage. 

  1. Uses their energy

Toys act like puzzles for dogs, for they discharge their energy more efficiently. In other words, playing with toys can tire dogs faster than walking for 20 minutes. So, if you want to save your house from a mess, get your little furry boy toys.

  1. Natural Instinct To Chew

It’s an innate behavior of dogs to chew everything that seems to be a soft target for them. You simply can’t make him do away with this. So, they all need toys to fulfill this natural desire in them. This means trying to trade in their unwanted chews with toy bites by offering them big rewards, and slowly, they will become used to it. 

Important Tip: If your dog ever runs away while chewing with any of your belongings, don’t simply chase; call them to offer a reward because the dogs would otherwise take this as fun, and you won’t be able to catch him after all.

Types of Toys

Interactive toys 

Here’s a list of a few of the popular interactive toys for dogs.

Woggle Wag Giggle Ball

This toy makes a sound while the dog moves it in any way. 

Treat-dispensing Toy

It dispenses treats when the dog shakes it in any way. So he keeps busy playing with it to get more and more treats.

Flopping Fish Plush Toy

This chargeable plush toy shakes, making the dog bite it to stop.

Squeaky Treat Dispensing Toy

This toy makes streak sounds when the middle button is pressed, and the mini containers in it covered by sliding lids make the dog busy and mentally active.

Puzzle Toys

Most toys have dual abilities of being interactive as well as puzzle. So, don’t overthink if you find any such below that also looks interactive.

Sliding-lid Treat-dispenser puzzle toy

It makes the dog think and slide the lids to find his favorite treat, which you will do before offering the toy.

Cube-shaped puzzle treat-dispenser

This toy can be called a kind of bigger version of a cube. But it’s the combination of combined drawers that the dog would guess and open to get his treat.

Chew Toys 

The chew toys fulfill the dog’s instinctive chewing and serve the important purpose of stimulating the dog’s gums and keeping the teeth clean. Further, it reduces a dog’s nervousness and makes him mentally strong to handle stressful situations.

This cactus-imitated toy is a highly chewable dog toy that makes sounds when pressed, the same way toddlers’ slippers have.

If your dog is an aggressive chewer, it’s one of his best chewable toys. The harder the chew, the more squeaky the sound.

This is the simplest, most popular chewable toy that cleans the teeth and massages his gums.

Automatic Ball Launchers and Fetch Toys

Ball launchers are a great exercise for dogs, which dogs need daily. The ease is the automatic thrower feature requiring less of your muscles and exercise. In other words, these toys need your involvement without sweating.

Automatic Ball Thrower

It’s rechargeable, portable, and involves your little involvement. You may use it for both indoors and outdoors. All it requires is to put the ball in it and press the button. Multiple options in the machine allow you to throw nearer or farther.

Dog Ball Launcher

Fetch It Manual Dog Ball Launcher & Thrower - Mounteen in 2023 | Dog ball, Dog  ball launcher, Ball launcher

It’s like a flexible, strained plastic arm with a ball holder on the bottom. The leverage and flexibility allow you to throw far. The rod and the ball come in different sizes, so you may choose what’s best for your dog. The squeakiness in the ball makes it easy for the dog to track it.

As discussed, always be careful in choosing the right-size ball for the dog, for the smaller than his mouth has a great risk of choking, and of course, the bigger one will be difficult for him to grab.

Plush and Squeaky Toys

Dogs like plushies so much, irrespective of their age and size, for they provide comfort to them. So you may find them snuggling, biting, and sleeping with their plush toys.

Animal-shaped plush toy

These toys provide them with chewing satisfaction, which is their innate behavior. If the dog is aggressive, it may not be a good choice for him. 

Squeaky Toy

These toys make a squeaky sound when the dog chews them, making it fun and mentally stimulating for him.

Smart/ Learning Toys

By default, all puzzle toys are smart for dogs, too, for they increase their learning capability and affect their obeying habits. So, bring one smart toy, and your dog will be busy and turn intelligent gradually.

Smart Cylinder Triangular Toy

Top Picks/Staff Favorite Toys 

Toys are of hundreds of types for dogs. But what should one really look for, ideally? Let’s see what experts say on this.

An all-time famous dog behaviorist and trainer, Cesar Millan, used to appear in a famous dog show, Dog Whisperer, on National Geographic TV.

How to correct a dog | Cesar's Way

As per Cesar, dog parents express their extreme love for their dog, which is good for his heart, but he needs something to stimulate his body and mind.

So he recommends the following toys:

  • Ropes
  • Tug toys
  • Chew toys
  • Rubber toys
  • Balls
  • Stuffed toys
  • And if you can’t get anything, plastic bottle

The Bottom Line

Each dog has its own likeness or dislikeness about the toys. But on our part, we must ensure we provide them with the right toys to keep their mental and physical stimulation in run. Chew toys are even helpful for dogs to clean their teeth and serve as gum stimulation. In short, to prevent your dog from separation anxiety, aggression, and stress, provide them with toys, and try to involve yourself sometimes.

What toys mentioned above do you already have? Can you share your little friend’s experience with that toy with us in the comments section below?

How can I keep my dog entertained while I’m at work?

Just leave some toys for his entertainment, like filling his food with a Kong toy, some chew toys to fulfill his chewing needs, and a puzzle toy for his mental stimulation.

Are there toys suitable for aggressive chewers?

Vets recommend that pure rubber toys can make the best dog toys for aggressive chewers as compared to bones and hard toys. Similarly, silicone toys are good too. But caution needs to be taken concerning the size of the toy, for too little one holds the risk of swallowing.

How do I introduce a new toy to my dog?

One of the ways can be to place that toy on the floor and let your dog do his ‘audit.’ This means once he is done sniffing and licking it, try moving the toy away and see how it responds. If he shows less interest, reward him for playing with the toy, and here you go.

What are the safety considerations when choosing a dog toy?

First, ensure you buy him a right-sized toy made from a good material. Avoid buying toys with holes in them, which risk becoming squeaky.

Can toys help reduce separation anxiety in dogs?

Yes, toys can be a great therapy to reduce separation anxiety in dogs, as your dog can spend quality time while you’re out or he’s becoming too clingy. You may opt for treat-giving toys – that’s an excellent choice.

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