You try to be the best doggie parent you can be. There are so many dog toys on the market, it’s hard to know if you have enough toys. The floor of your house would be covered and your wallet empty if you tried to buy them all. So how do you know when it’s time to buy more dog toys?
Some signs your dog may need new dog toys include:
- Your dog has lost interest in his current toys
- Your dog’s existing toys are becoming worn
- Your dog is becoming destructive with furniture or things in your house
- Your dog plays with each particular toy for a shorter period of time, while the overall length of play time has not reduced (Note: Shorter overall playtime may be caused by your dog feeling unwell. If that is the case, you should check with your vet.)
Once you’ve determined that you need to refresh your dog’s stash of toys, how do you know what type of toys they need and how many to buy?
First, it’s important to know that there is no magic number of toys that your dog should have. Buying 100 dog toys doesn’t make you a better pet owner than buying 10 dog toys. Instead of having a mountain of toys, you should have a wide variety of high quality toys that can stimulate your dog in different ways.
For pet owners who can afford it, the newer ‘smart dog toys’ provide the most engagement. Experts in pet technology suggest that the best interactive dog toys can provide mental stimulation, reduce separation anxiety when you leave the house and stop your dog from getting bored and destroying your things.
For pet owners on tighter budgets, you can fashion homemade dog toys from braided cloth or stop by a tennis court in a park to find some old discarded tennis balls.
So how can you make sure that you have a good variety of toys to engage your precious pooch? Think about your pup’s collection of toys and ask yourself these questions:
- Do my dog’s toys have different textures or are they all made from a similar material?
- Are all my dog’s toys the same color or size?
- Does my dog have a toy that with a good shape so that he can carry it around in his mouth?
- Does my dog have a toy that he can take into his bed for cuddle time?
- Does my dog have a toy that can self-propel or are they all inanimate objects?
- Does my dog have a toy that he can chew?
- Do any of my dog’s toys make squeak or make noise?
- Does my dog have good toys to take outside to the park as well as toys that are good inside the house?
- Do the toys stimulate my dog’s mind as well as his body?
- Are my dog’s toys safe for him to play with when I am not home?
Whatever your strategy for buying toys, the most important thing is to give your dog a variety of different toys to stimulate their minds and keep them from getting bored. Build you dog’s collection of dog toys by prioritizing quality and variety over quantity.
Finally, when you do buy new toys, consider spacing them out instead of giving your dog all the new toys on a single day. Giving a new toy once a week will allow your dog to fully enjoy each toy as a fresh moment of happiness and stimulation.