Choosing Toys for Your Dog

Playtime and enrichment are essential to keeping your dog happy and healthy by burning anxious energy, building muscles and stamina, and improving their motor and social skills.  The right toys make all the difference.  Here are a few tips and tricks for choosing the right toys for your canine companion.

Hard Toys

Toys such as Nylabone® and Kong® are good examples of hard rubber toys.  The durable rubber is perfect for chewing and tugging so you don’t have to worry about your furry pal ingesting pieces of the toy.  These toys often have interesting textures and nubs for your dog to explore.  Kong® and similarly shaped toys are handy for very active dogs.  They are designed to hold treats that will keep your dog entertained for hours.

Soft Toys

Some dogs prefer soft stuffed toys.  However, these types of toys aren’t right for all dogs.  Carolyn Law, Adoptions Manager at Wayside, warns “watching closely for any shredding, tearing, or ingesting of toy parts is vital.”  When introducing your dog to soft toys be sure to keep watch and remove the toy if your dog starts to tear it.  

Many dogs like to carry around their “stuffy” as a companion.  If your dog is this type, make sure their stuffed toy is small enough to grip with their mouths, but not small enough to ingest.  If you are crafty you can also repurpose old towels or cloth into toys.  Your dog may especially enjoy a toy made of an old shirt that smells like you.

DIY Toys

You can save money and reuse household materials by crafting toys for canine enrichment activities. Our team created these handy and fun DIY dog toy tutorials to build your own Dog Pull Puzzle, Dog Treat Search, and Dog Treat Dispenser toys.  For full tutorial instructions and other pins check out our Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/waysidewaifs/.

What to Avoid

  • Cooked natural bones – these can splinter and damage your dog’s digestive tract
  • Ribbons, strings, long fibers – these can get caught in your dog’s teeth
  • Anything with small or sharp parts, like springs or batteries
  • Large pieces of rawhide can cause intestinal obstructions

Whiskers & Wags Retail Store, located in the Wayside Waifs Adoption Center, has a large selection of toys, treats, and other enrichment goods for your furry friends.  Your Whiskers & Wags purchase support Wayside Waifs and provides life-saving medical care, food and safe shelter to 6,000 homeless pets.

As always, when in doubt, reach out to your veterinarian.


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