Dogs love humans unconditionally and it’s one of the reasons they have won the accolade of ‘Man’s Best Friend’. However, we shouldn’t take our furry pets for granted. Dogs can become depressed, stressed, and sad and it’s our job as owner or ‘master’ to make their brief lives as happy as we can. On top of the usual, cuddles, walks, treats, the big thing that keeps them entertained and what the zoos call ‘enrichment’, is toys. Dogs need toys for a variety of different reasons. They get more benefits then humans do. Dogs don’t play with toys for ‘fun’ or at least not as we know it. In this article I will take you through some great dog toys and why they are beneficial.
Soft Dog Toys
Dogs need comfort as they can be sensitive animals. What’s a good idea is to give them a soft toy when they are a puppy and ensure it survives their lives. Dogs love constants and having something as a constant presence in their lives ensures they remain happy. It’s the equivalent of a child’s blanket. As an example of what I mean, I recently moved from Brighton to Naples and wanted to bring my dog, however I didn’t know how he’d react to the flight and so I requested permission to place his soft toy (in the shape of a cow) in his crate whilst he flew. It meant that he would remain calmer then if he was all alone in unfamiliar surroundings.
Now a big cuddly animal toy is great as it allows your dog to tear it apart. At the end of the day, dogs are descended from wild animals and still have that instinct. Because of this, it’s important to allow your dog to vent some of that pent up aggression. They have to let their animal instinct out. What’s good is if you get an animal with a squeaker as your dog will believe they’ve caught a live animal. It’s healthy for your dog to attack a stuffed toy. It’s the equivalent of a human venting his anger or stress into a punch bag or stress ball.
Give a dog a bone; no really, they love it. Dogs really do love bones. If you give your dog a bone, you won’t see it for hours as it takes it to a corner and crunches away; or it might just bury it… Not only does it keep them nice and quiet for prolonged periods of time, it is also great from a health perspective. Chewing on bones has been proven to strengthen teeth and reduce the risk of teeth based diseases; which cuts back on vet bills!
Mmm… Wet Dog…
My dog currently has more toys then my son and I can personally vouch that it is one happy pooch. He loves the toys, although the Naples heat does sometimes get to him, which is a shame. He deals with it well though as we live near the sea and so we take his tennis ball down there and throw it into the water for him to chase and cool himself down. I strongly advise getting as many toys as you think your dog needs. You can stop off at a local store or it you don’t live near one, like me, you can find a dog shop online. Whilst in Italy, I’ve been using a great little ecommerce site, however there are plenty more on the internet like Chelsea Dogs, so have a look.
All dogs are different and so don’t take my words as law. Some dogs for example don’t like attacking fluffy toys in which case ignore that bit. What’s important is that you get your dog what it wants and what it enjoys.