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Why Do Dogs Like Toys?

If you are getting ready to bring a new furry friend home, there are number of important supplies you will need to pick up, including dog toys.  Dog toys may seem less essential than shots, dog food, and other obvious necessities, but they are every bit as important.  There are many different types of toys out there, including dog toys for aggressive chewers, dog toys for big dogs, and even dog toys for blind dogs.  Why are toys critically important for your pooch and not just an optional extra?

·    Activity.  Dog toys are a great way for your pooch to stay active, healthy, and fit.  Odds are you will be walking your dog a couple times a day (some dogs need more walking than others), but for the rest of the time, dog toys provide a great physical outlet.

·    Training.  You can also make good use of dog toys while training.  One of the first commands a lot of dog owners teach their new furry friend is how to fetch.  This is a great example of how you can use a toy to help train your dog. 

·    Burn off excess energy.  A restless dog is a mischievous dog.  Dog toys give your pooch a great way to burn off all that excess energy without driving you (or other people around you) crazy.  Dogs can become very bored without something to do.  A toy is often more than enough to keep a canine busy and focused though.  Toys which squeak and react to play are perfect for keeping dogs entertained.  This is especially important if you are out of the house working all day.  You want your pet to be happy and entertained even when you are not around.

·    Chewing and jaw health.  During different stages of their lives, dogs chew for different reasons.  Puppies chew in order to loosen puppy teeth and soothe sore gums.  Dogs that are in training may chew in order to alleviate tension.  Adult dogs chew regularly in order to keep their jaw muscles and gums in prime condition.  Chewing is naturally satisfying to dogs.  If you do not provide chew toys for dogs, they will chew other things around the house like pillows, clothing, shoes, and other items.

·    To simulate hunting.  While your dog is domesticated and obviously fed out of a bowl, dogs still enjoy pursuing their hunting instincts.  Squeaky toys in particular are fun for dogs since they sound like prey squeaking when they bite into them.

·    Comfort.  Just as human children find plush toys comforting, so do many dogs.  Dogs will often have a favorite plush toy that makes them feel safe, and will want you to bring it along when traveling.  Dogs like to cuddle and sleep with their toys while their owners are out of the home.  Dogs also like to play with their owners with the toys.  Toys without squeakies inside them are less likely to be ripped open and more likely to become lifelong companions for your pet.  You can also train your pet to treat toys with respect. 

As you can see, there are a variety of different reasons why dogs love their toys—and also need them.  That also means it is a good idea when you are shopping to purchase a variety of toys for your dog.  Squeaky toys are great for simulating hunting and interactivity, soft plush toys are good for comfort, and tougher toys made out of stronger materials are great for chewing.  Purchasing several different toys for your new dog is wise when you are starting out.  Also purchase some toys you can use in training, and now and again, reward your dog with a new toy just to brighten his day.  Remember to train your dog to not destroy his toys.  That way you won’t have to replace them as often.



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