FOR YOUR PETS
BY LOUISA M. MARVIN
DOG TOY options are nearly endless, which
means choosing toys for your dog can be
overwhelming. It may take a little trial and
error before you find that perfect plaything.
So how do you choose toys that are right for
your dog and that she will actually like?
To begin, ask yourself, “How does my
dog like to play?” Maybe Buddy likes to
chew. Reese loves to chase and retrieve.
Ruby likes to cuddle stuffed animals, while
Charlotte loves treats but is otherwise uninterested in interactive toys. No matter your
dog’s interests, there is a toy just for him.
First: your dog’s age
There are a few issues
to take into consideration when choosing
dog supplies. The first is how old your pet
is. Age has a large impact on the types of
toys your dog can enjoy. For example, a
puppy may be prone to chewing more than
an older dog, so a highly durable chew toy
would be an appropriate choice. In contrast,
an older dog’s ability to chew and chase
chew toys may be diminished from his
Finding the right size
You wouldn’t buy an oversize chew toy
for a teacup poodle. Likewise, a toy that’s
too small for a larger dog could be a potential choking hazard. Find toys that are the
right size for your pet to maximize her
safety and enjoyment.
Indoors or outdoors?
Another factor in choosing a toy is
whether your dog will be playing inside or
outside. Issues such as durability and use
depend on environment, so you do not want
to buy your dog a toy football if he spends
most of his time in the living room, for
example. If you spend time with your dog
both indoors and out, you’ll want to get a
wide variety of entertaining toys, whether
you’re playing fetch at the park or enjoying
an evening in.
The right toy for the right time
Interactive dog toys are the best, since
playtime promotes owner-pet bonding.
Look for dog balls you and your pooch can
play fetch with or a tug toy for playing tug
of war. Make the most of playtime with a
training and exercise set that will keep your
dog in shape.
If your dog is home alone during the
day, try boredom breakers. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when they are
home alone, and a durable boredom
breaker toy that you can stuff with
goodies will help to keep them
occupied and distracted. Make
sure it’s durable enough to be
safe for unsupervised play (see
“Supervised and unsupervised play”).
Play styles can differ
Not all dogs play the same
way. Is your pup a chewer? A
All of the above? Toys are available
for all different play styles. Research
online or talk with your vet to see which
toy will suit your dog the best.
Supervised and unsupervised play
Unsupervised play can lead to that great
plush toy that you just bought being ripped
up, unstuffed or, worse, swallowed.
Remember the differences between
chew toys and interactive toys during playtime, and keep these toys separate. If your
dog begins to rip up a toy that is only for
fetch, take it away and give her a chew toy.
Correcting behaviors and getting your pet
to focus on the right toy at the right time
will help you curb destructive behavior as
well as protect your dog toy investments. C
Louisa M. Marvin is the marketing director
for Costco supplier Jolly Pets ( jollypets.com).
How to pick the right
toy for your dog
Costco carries a variety of dog and cat
toys seasonally in the warehouse, as well
as toys, dental chews and more year-round on Costco.com.
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here to watch dogs at play with
their toys. (See page 8 for details.)