It's a request we hear often: "I'm looking for a toy my dog can't destroy."
Unless you're one of the lucky few whose pup treasures his or her favorite plushie, finding toys that last is a never ending challenge. And while there is really no such thing as an indestructible toy, by understanding your dog's toy drive you can make wise toy selections that result in longer-lasting toys.
Let's begin by talking about why we give toys to our dogs. Sure, sometimes they get a little bored and other times we just need them out from under our feet. But that's not the whole story. The toys we provide to our dogs should fulfill their individual need to chew, the level of their prey drive and, in the case of multi-dog households, foster social play. It is important to provide toys that challenge and interest your dog; rather than searching for that elusive indestructible toy. Here are some tips for finding a toy that's right for you & your dog:
2. To squeak or not to squeak. Most dogs L-O-V-E squeaky toys. The squeaker simulates the noise their prey would make in the wild, which is why these types of toys are often the first destroyed. If your dog is one to eviscerate their plush squeaky toys, a stuffing-free toy is one option to continue to satisfy your dog's prey drive by providing the squeaker but avoiding the mess, waste and destruction of a stuffed toy. In addition to stuffing-free toys, we also carry Dura Doggie's squeaky chew toy, the Beba. Of course, you can always provide squeaker-free toys, which will prolong the life of the toy for any dog whose destructive tendencies are provoked by the squeak.
3. Providing an assortment of toys may prolong the life of each toy. If your dog has one toy, one toy is all he/she has available to gnaw, tear apart or squeak to death. Their attention is focused on that toy until death do they part. But with an assortment of toys, your dog's attention can easily be divided between the toys, which will naturally enhance the life of each in turn. Many pet owners who successfully expand the life of their dog's toys also rotate toys.
4. Forget the chew, challenge the brain! Treat dispensing and puzzle toys are a great way to tire out, occupy and challenge your pooch. And many treat dispensers live a double life as great chew toys as well! We find these types of toys invaluable at getting both dogs & us through Portland's rainy season.
5. Has your dog lost interest in a chew toy? Initiating and participating in a play session with the forgotton toy and your dog, dabbing a little peanut butter on it - these are all tried & true ways to get your dog re-interested in an old toy. Even better if the toy is designed to hold treats!
6. For the multi-dog household, tug of war can be fun for you and the dogs. Selecting toys designed for tug play can prolong the life of the toy. We've got a myriad of toys that fit this description and these are the toys we often bring home to our own pack. A Cheerful Pet makes 6 feet of boiled wool tug fun in their Tugzee toy. This is a great tug toy for larger dogs while their Tugzees for Two offers the same fun on a smaller scale for our leetle friends.
No matter your dog's play style, we've got the toy(s) for you. And if you're unsure what toy is best for you, I'd love to discuss what would best suit you and your dog. Come on in!