8 Reasons Why Dogs Need Toys - Doggy Bag Treat

It is easy to think of dog toys as a fun diversion for your pet. However, toys are an essential part of a dog’s life. So, why do dogs need toys? Dog toys play a crucial role in socialization and development. Here are the reasons you should ensure your pup has a wide selection of toys.

Encourage Exercise

Regular exercise is essential to your dog’s physical health. Weight gain can negatively affect your dog’s health in many ways. The exact amount and type of exercise will vary on your dog’s breed, age, and health. 

Some dogs need more than four hours of exercise daily, while others struggle with more than half an hour each day. However, toys make exercise simple and fun regardless of your dog's disposition. 

Many dogs love playing fetch with tennis balls or specialty toys. Other dogs enjoy interactive toys that engage their mind and body. Besides providing your dog with exercise, playing with your dog can help you get exercise. 

Reduces Anxiety

While many people do not think of a dog’s stress level, pups often experience stress and anxiety. You can recognize anxiety in your dog if they are restless, constantly panting, hypervigilant, compulsive, destroying your belongings, or experiencing changes in behaviors. 

Playing with toys keeps your dog focused and engaged, giving them little time to feel anxious. Having toys also helps dogs feel more in control of their environment, which makes them less anxious. Some toys also provide dogs with familiar smells when in unfamiliar surroundings. 

Anxious dogs may enjoy mentally engaging toys, such as puzzle games or food-based items. Toys can benefit your dog if they experience anxiety when they are away from you. Ensure your dog has a few favorite toys available when you leave the house.  

Redirect From Bad Behaviors

Most dogs do not destroy your belongings or chew your shoes because they are bad dogs. For the most part, canines only get into that kind of trouble when they are bored and understimulated. So, toys are a logical way to reduce your dog’s destruction level. 

You can use toys to keep your dog away from your loafers and train them to engage in their environment positively. If you see your dog about to dig excessively, chew things they should not, or run around at top speed, you can use a toy to redirect them before they get in too much trouble. Over time your dog will learn to look for food instead of looking for trouble.

Provides Bonding Opportunities

Your dog is not the only one who benefits from playing with toys. When you play with your pup, you enjoy an opportunity for the two of you to bond. You will also both get some good mental and physical stimulation.  

Having a good relationship with your pup means they are more likely to listen to you when you train them. Playing together also offers the opportunity to practice commands with your dog. You will trust each other more and have happy memories together the more you play with your dog. 

You can use any toys to play with your dog. However, some of the best options include a tug-o-war-friendly toy, such as a rope toy, or a fetch toy, such as a tennis ball or frisbee. The ideal toy for bonding should be something both of you can play with.  

Mentally Stimulates

While physical stimulation is essential, you must also consider your dog's mental health. Mental stimulation is one of the vital benefits offered by dog toys. Without enough to occupy their minds, dogs can get bored, destructive, depressed, or anxious. 

Instead of focusing on their boredom, toys let dogs let their minds run wild. The correct toy can help your dog figure out the solution to a problem or understand how something fits together. Often a toy that takes a while to play with yields the best results. 

Puzzle toys are an excellent option for mental stimulation. However, many dogs will also get mental stimulation from a good chew toy. Playing a game like fetch with their human will also help a dog expand their intellectual abilities. Training your dog with toys keeps them well-behaved and engages their mind. 

Engages Instincts

While most dogs are far from their wild origins, they have many instincts that drive their actions. The anxiety mentioned above can result from your dog not having an outlet for those instincts. So, engaging your dog’s instincts is a great way to help them feel more fulfilled and less likely to cause trouble. 

Toys are a great way to help your dog develop their instincts. Many dogs have instincts that tell them to retrieve, hunt, dig, and guard. Some toys exist to engage all these instincts in a variety of ways. Some good options include treat balls, throwing toys, and interactive toys. 

Dogs with retrieving instincts love to play fetch, while dogs who love finding things may enjoy plush toys with hidden toys inside or puzzle mats.   

Cleans Teeth

Besides encouraging good exercise, toys can benefit your dog’s physical form in other ways. Many toys encourage chewing, which can reduce the amount of plaque and oral bacteria on your dog’s teeth. Proper dental care can affect your dog’s health, including its cardiac health. 

While chew toys can be ideal dental aids, they can also provide many of the other benefits on this list. Some dental treats are primarily dental aids, while others can be puzzle toys or useful in fetch. 

Some common teeth-cleaning toys may be made of rubber, rope, special tooth-friendly materials, or textured sticks. If your dog is a big chewer, ensure the toys you get can hold up to their enthusiasm for chewing and that the toys are made of materials safe for your dog.  

Comforts Lonely Pups

Many dogs get lonely when their humans leave them at home. While nothing can replace spending time with their beloved human, a few good toys can help your dog occupy themselves to feel less lonely. As a result of having engaging toys, your pooch will be in a better mood and have better mental and physical health.  

Heartbeat toys are common toys for puppies left home alone. Older dogs may like puzzle toys and chew toys to occupy them during the day. Lickable toys are a great way to provide your dog with stimulation. Always be sure to only leave your dog alone with toys safe for unsupervised play. 

What Types of Toys Are Best For Dogs?

There are a few different types of toys dogs may enjoy playing with for fun. It is good to have various options to diversify your pup’s activities. The right combination will vary based on your dog and its qualities.

Some common toy types in a dog toys store include rope toys, fetchable toys, food-based toys, puzzle toys, stuffed toys, and chew toys. Fetch and rope toys are great if you want to play along with your dog. Puzzle toys and food-based toys engage your dog’s mind and chew toys and soft toys provide your dog with comfort and health benefits. 

Always be sure you only get your dog toys that are safe to play with and appropriate for their size. If you give your dog an edible toy, keep an eye on its behavior and waste to ensure the food does not damage its health. 

How Can I Engage a Dog In Toys?

Every dog is different. So, one dog may enjoy one variety of toys that another dog ignores. You should bring your pup to your local dog toys store to find a toy your dog will be interested in. See what they gravitate towards and try those options in many contexts. 

If you want to get your dog interested in a toy they seem to not care about, you can try a few tricks to engage them. If your dog has something they enjoy chewing, try replacing that item with the toy in question. 

You can also put something tasty on the toy to make it appeal to your pup. Many toys contain compartments you can fill with treats. Since dogs are social creatures, a great way to show your dog a toy is fun is to play with them and show excitement over the toy. 

Final Thoughts

Toys are more than just fun objects for dogs to play with. They help pups enrich their minds and bodies. Finding the toy that will mesh perfectly with your dog can sometimes take a while, but the right toy can change your dog’s life. Luckily, there are plenty of online dog supplies stores where you can find options for your dogs.  

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