As pet parents, we all love spoiling our dogs with new pet toys. We bring them a new one every time we visit a new place, but they get bored of it too quickly. These toys cannot hold their interest for longer than a couple of days, so what does one do to really keep them interested in whatever stuff you bring?
How much is really too much? We understand that giving your dog toys is a great way to encourage play, enhance bonding, and increase mental stimulation. But just like everything else in life is supposed to be balanced, even in this case, moderation is the key.
It is safe to say that most dogs love toys, whether they are to play with or just keep them occupied. As dog owners, you must be aware of how dogs love to squeak, tug, fetch, chew, and cuddle their favourite things—and in some cute, aggressive cases, even their hoomans! Dog toy benefits are immeasurable, but we have made up a list for you to count on your fingers so you can keep checking it.
Just keeping picking up new toys for your pooch is never the right solution, but by seeing the pile of toys already amassed, you may find yourself wondering, "Does my dog have way too many toys?"
Types of toys that dogs should own
There is no magic number as to how many toys your dog should have, but you sure can decide the type of toys your dog owns.
Throw toys like tennis balls and ball-launching toys help create a greater cardiovascular volume for your dog and help them stay healthier by demanding physical activity.
Dog training toys
Training helps your fur buddy thrive, and certain toys can be a legit lure to help you teach your dog to take a cue and reward him for a job well done. Let’s say, for instance, that you can use a ball toy and combine training and exercise by throwing the ball and then calling your dog to catch it. It teaches your dog to pay attention whenever called and, at the same time, gives them time to exercise. And if your dog is not good at hearing your cues yet, you can start with a long leash that helps you guide your dog back to you.
With physical fitness, you have to take care of your mental fitness as well; now that involves training them for better focus. It becomes all the more necessary if your dog isn’t being very active. It then becomes important to engage with toys that promote mental stimulation and focus.
A bushed pup may not be in the mood for hardcore training or an energetic play session, but they can still enjoy and relax with their favourite plush toys; they can be their comfort toys. You can even give them a comforting blanket of yours that smells like you; it will help them ease separation anxiety when you are out of the house. It will be pretty easy to tell what your dog’s favourite toys are; you will often find your dog latching on to them and gravitating towards them.
That way, you will be able to stack up the toys they do not like as much and put them away or donate them to a local animal shelter or rescue, given that the toy is still in good condition. That should answer your question about how many toys a dog should have.
Best toy practices for pet parents
Keep toys clean.
You will find your dog's toys will often get slobbery and dirty quite quickly, and that won’t let them remain pristine and shiny like new. However, you must take care of the toys. Do some wiping down of hard-surface toys weekly, and give soft toys a good washing session at least once or twice a month. This way, you will be able to maintain them well, help keep your home tidy, and cut back on the chances of developing bacteria that cause contagious diseases (it is a potential issue when toys are shared by pets).
Deal with toy boredom.
Dog behavioural experts suggest that with time, dogs tend to get bored with the same repetitive toys to play with. As a pet parent, you have to be able to deal with that, and to conquer it, you must tweak things a little, rotate the toys, and give them to your dog to play with. That way, the anticipation of what’s to come will keep him excited and entertained.
Be mindful of access to certain toys.
Only by supervising your dog’s playtime will you be able to make sure their toys last longer. Delicate soft toys and tug toys should not be left with your dog at any given point. Sometimes, out of excitement, pups can quickly shred them and may end up swallowing those pieces, which will lead to intestinal blockage. Be mindful just as you would be with a kid; dogs know no better.
Mix and match different types of toys.
Dog parents will without a doubt have an assortment of toys for many different objectives; it gives you the opportunity to mix and match rather than getting a new one altogether. Let’s say you keep hard chews for prolonged chewing, a ball of frizbee for exercise, and tug toys or rope when you want to play one-on-one with your pup.
Keep the toys size-appropriate.
Different toys can cater to dogs of different sizes; large dogs require bigger toys, and smaller dogs require smaller toys. Giving your dog toys that aren’t size-appropriate will end up becoming a choking hazard for the dog. Choose the right size so it's easy for your pup to engage with it. Also, don’t forget to read through the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Replace when required.
Toys wear out, and they get dirty as well. As a pet parent, you have to know when it's time to get rid of the toy your dog is playing with. Replace them when they are past their prime; replace them when you notice broken pieces, notice that it's heavily torn or has its squeaker coming out, etc.
Make sure that before getting your hands on new toys, you take stock of the already existing toys that your dog has and see if there are any toys you can put away for later that you can give it when it grows up, etc. However, if you are on the lookout for new toys, look no further than Instachew, where we see how we can improve the lives of your pet. Simplifying pet care for you Get in touch!