labrador retriever puppy playing with toy at room
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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Dogs are in their element when playing. They especially enjoy playing with their owners, other dogs and even independently.  A good dog toy can make them particulalry happy and entertain them for hours.

This guide analyzes the top products currently available on the Canadian market. It will help you understand your pet’s behaviors and figure out the most important aspects of managing your pet in the most effective way.

Key Facts

  • Playing is essential for your pet’s health.  To take care of them, pet owners need to give pets entertainment options, such as toys.
  • Veterinarians recommend that dogs play often. This can be in any safe setting. The types of toys available vary depending on in-door or outdoor use.
  • Playing styles reflect the personality of your pet. Game playing can be a personality builder and also help train your dog.

The best dog toys on the Canadian market

In this section we examine the five most popular dog toys on the Canadian market. We will discuss the main aspects of each product to help you find the best option.

KONG Classic Dog Toy, Durable Natural Rubber

Kongs are classic games that dogs love and are at the top of our list. Kongs are an especially helpful toy for reducing separation anxiety that dogs experience when their owner leaves the house. Separation anxiety usually happens during the first 20 minutes after you leave a dog alone. A simple solution is to help the dog develop a positive association between being left alone and good things, like a treat-stuffed Kong they can engage with when anxiety is at its peak.

Kongs are also great for promoting exercise.  When you throw a Kong toy, the bounce keeps the dog engaged and excited for more. A stuffed Kong is also helpful for a dog left outside to play. Directing their energy toward something positive, like working for the food inside the toy, diminishes bad behaviors.

MultiPet Lambchop, Squeak Toy Mini for Pets

There is a very good chance that your dog will love cuddling with this adorable Lamb Chop. It is a cute toy with its floppy ears, red tongue and furry eye lashes. Note that the toy includes a squeaker for added entertainment.

Lamb Chop is soft to the bite lightweight. It is ideal for both indoor and outdoor play. The toy is also great for a game of toss and fetch with your pet.

Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers | Multiple Types Dog Rope Toys – 10 Pack

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Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers | Multiple Types Dog Rope Toys – 10 Pack

This set of dog toys is a great option when you are not exactly sure what your dog will like. It includes10 different kinds of dog toys, to meet the dogs chew needs and ease anxiety and boredom. The materials are high quality and safe – Made with 100% natural cotton fiber and 100% natural rubber.

The toys are robust – including three-needle sewing and knots to prevent destruction.  By chewing rope toys, owners can help their pets keep teeth nice and clean. The manufacturer offers a100% satisfaction guarantee as well as a life time warranty.

Allstar Innovations Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

Wobble Wag Giggle ball is another solid option for engaging your dog, keeping him running, active and happy. It is an interactive toy that can also keep your pet engaged when they are home alone. It makes giggly noises when pushed around, shaken around, or picked up.

As the ball wobbles, it makes engaging ‘play with me’ sounds. The sounds engage your dog’s natural curiosity and instincts to play. No batteries required.

Hide a Squirrel Fun Hide and Seek Interactive Puzzle Plush Dog Toy by Outward Hound

If your dog loves chasing squirrels in the park they will likely enjoy chasing squirrels at home. This is the toy version of your pet’s favorite pastime. Just stuff the squeaky squirrels in the soft tree trunk, and watch your dog pull them out one by one. To keep the game going, just stuff them in again and again.

The toys are durably designed with an engaging array of shapes, sounds and textures. Chasing after the squirrels  stimulates mental play. You can also remove the squirrels and use them for fetch games indoors and out.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about dog toys

Before buying a pet toy, study how the toy works. Some toys develop concentration, others educate your dog, while yet other toys are activity focused.

woman playing ball with a Parson Russell Terrier

There are toys to develop your dog’s cognitive abilities and others to keep him active and fit. (Source: Christian Mueller: 64626244/ 123rf.com)

Why are dog toys important?

Playing keeps your pet healthy and happy. It also helps your pet develop their intelligence.  Hours of recreation also create stronger bonds with you and your pet.

Veterinarians note that dogs that don’t get exercise enough risk developing bad behaviors. A bored or under-exercised dog can suffer illnesses as well as destroy household objects. Dog toys prevent these issues from happening

Can dog toys help me educate my pet?

Dog toys are a great tool for behaviour training. Playing teaches dogs to follow rules. When playing, be strict with your dog. Let them have fun, but within clear boundries.  Your dog must maintain good behavior to develop good habits.

Two dogs playing together with a toy in a green meadow.

Toys are one of the best gifts you can give your dog.
(Source: Ralf Bitzer: 29866418/ 123rf.com)

What are the benefits of dog toys?

Playing is a basic everyday need. It benefits both owner and pet through relationship building and mutual exercise. Here’s a complete list of benefits of a dog toy:

Benefits Reasons
Your pet’s physical health A dog should be active. Playing allows them to improve cardiovascular health, helps them to lose weight and increases their flexibility
Dog mental health Experts warn that a bored dog can destroy objects in your house. Toys are the best way to keep them active and distracted. Toys are also tools that help develop the brain
Makes your dog more social It’s very important that dogs know how to respect other animals and people other than their owners. Playing with a toy with other dogs is something that facilitates interaction and will help build your dogs interpersonal skills
Physical health for you Sometimes we forget about the importance of exercising or playing sport. Playing with your dog will force you to stay active and enjoy that time outside
You can get to know your dog better Your dog’s behaviour during playtime can give you an idea of your pet’s character and mood. You can know what they like/don’t like, what makes them angry or what type of mood they are in.
Improve the bond with your pet Your dog probably loves you very much, most dogs do. When you spend some special time together, the bond between you and your dog will get even closer.

What are the different functions of dog toys?

Toys will engage your dogs with hours of entertainment. Playing is also a great way to educate your dog. The following chart, highlights the different functions of toys:

If your dog has this behavior Buy them this type of toy
Bites your furniture, their bed or stuffed animals There are balls, ropes or bones made of materials that are very resistant to bites and that will make dogs that want to constantly bite, very happy. They are specially created to keep your dog from biting and ruining household items
They don’t want to eat their food The balls that contain food are good allies for any eating problems your dog has. Dogs that avoid their food will see their food as part of the game and will improve their eating habits
They are very affectionate There are soft and adorable stuffed animals that will keep your pet company when you have to leave home
They are very intelligent Toys are not only made for exercising but they also serve to fulfil your pet’s desire to learn. There are interactive games for different levels that are ideal for your dog to play and discover where their food is hidden. These help to develop the brain and sense of smell
They eat too fast There are two types of toys for those dogs that can’t stop eating. There are chewable bones with great flavours that help them slowly eat between meals. The other option is the already mentioned balls that are used for giving food to your dog in portions

Why is my dog chasing balls and other similar toys?

A moving object often inspires your pet to run and catch it. Dogs need to learn the difference between a toy and a child to make sure they treat both the same way.  Playing with toys while setting boundaries for your pet can help them, over time, figure out these differences.

 golden retriever young dog portrait with toy bone

Dog toys are especially useful for puppies.
(Source: Sapic: 9703012/ 123rf.com)

How can I encourage my dog to use his toys if he doesn’t like to play?

There are several reasons why your dog might not enjoy playing.  Not all dogs play equally, this can vary with breed as well as differences in personality and upbringing history. Also, as your pet ages their abilities and desires can change, shifting their play habits.

If your dog needs encouragement to play, give them more loving attention. Take them out of the house where the they can meet other dogs. Toys can also help stimulate your dog to play.

Are there toys for older dogs too?

As dogs get older, playing gets harder. Nevertheless, it is important to keep older dogs active. There are toys designed for older dogs to stay engaged and maintain health. Keeping your dog active while they age is important for their physical and emotional health.

playful spotted havanese puppy dog is running with a red ball in his mouth in a spring garden

If your pet bites objects from your house, biting toys will help distract them and reduce this problem. (Source: mdorottya: 57894358/ 123rf.com)

What is a “Kong” when we talk about dog toys and what is it used for?

The Kong is a food dispenser that educates your pet. It has a hole that is filled with food and the animal must figure out how to access the food.

Kongs come in different models, each with varying levels of difficulty. If your dog isn’t engaging with a Kong, it might be too hard for them. With a Kong, in the beginning the food comes out easily, however, it gets progressively more difficult and your dog needs to learn to figure out new ways to access the food inside.

Are there puzzles in the dog toy market?

There are puzzles that let your dog play independently. Puzzles are great for your dog because they stimulate their minds by giving your dog problems to solve.  Even better are toys where they receive a reward for success.  Behavioral problems among dogs are caused by emotional problems.  Problem solving challenges for dogs help remedy these issues.

outdoor portrait of a Parson Russell Terrier lying on the grass

Dog toys can teach your pet to socialize with others. (Source: Christian Mueller: 64343577/ 123rf.com)

What toys are suitable for dogs who like to bite?

Dogs may bite when they play or out of anxiety. There are several toys created with durable materials to resist your pet’s teeth and keep focussed on biting toys rather than household objects.  If your pet loves to eat, there are also flavored toys which they will really enjoy for hours. There are also biting balls, as well as frisbees for dogs with big teeth.

Shopping Criteria

When choosing a toy for your dog, analyze its personality and habits. To help you make with this decision, we present several different aspects to keep in mind:

Forms

There are many forms of dog toys, each with different sizes and functions. They are useful in varying situations depending on your dog. The following section discussed the most common forms of products available .

  • Ropes: With these toys, dogs can pull one end while you pull the other, they are great for bonding.
  • Bones: They satisfy pets who tend to overeat.
  • Ball: They are best for energetic pets who enjoy running.
  • Plush: They are made to resist bites and also great for attention seeking dogs.
  • Kong: They work like a puzzle and serve food when the pet figures them out.
  • Frisbees: They let your dog run while they carrying them in their mouth.
  • Puzzles: They help develop your dogs mental abilities.

Types according to use

There is a range of toys to choose from. Choose well so that your dog likes his toy. According to their use, we have the following advice:

If you want the toy for Buy your dog Playing at home A stuffed animal or a rubber bone to bite Playing outside A ball or a frisbee Your dog to play alone A stuffed animal gives your dog company while alone. A Kong bounces and allows your dog to entertain themselves when you’re not around. Interactive toys to develop intelligence and smell will also keep your pet entertained whilst they are alone Playing together Balls to throw or ropes to play tug-a-war

Burn energy inside the house;Rubber biting toys will tire your pet in the little space that a house usually offers.

Materials

It is important that a dog toy is able to withstand wear and tear. If the toy breaks, your pet may swallow its pieces. Many toys are designed for biting, so they must be resistant. The most common materials are:

  • Soft plastic: They can break more easily and fall into the mouth of a big dog.  If the toy breaks, throw it away before your dog eats it.
  • Hard plastic: More resistant to your dog’s bites.
  • Rubber:  a flexible and resistant material. If it’s 100% rubber then it won’t be toxic.
  • Fabric and rope: Fabric animals are less resistant and can break over time. To avoid materials that could harm your pet, manufacturers often fill the insides of the toy with a strong rope.
  • Vinyl: It is uncommon for a well-made vinyl toy to break.
  • Latex: Also soft like plastic, but even more resistant.

Size

A dog toy should be chosen based on the age, strength and size of the animal. If it is too small, your dog may swallow it. At the same time, if the toy is much bigger than they are, they won’t enjoy it.

Color

Take into account the color of the toy. Blue and yellow are the easiest colors for a dog to distinguish, meanwhile green, red or pink are more difficult.

User opinions

Before purchasing a dog toy, check out user ratings on social networks or Amazon. Read opinions left by pet owners who are similar to your. The reviews of others can be helpful.

Summary

Playing is a key part of a dogs routine. To maintain their physical and cognitive health, dogs need safe products that are suited to their needs.

There are toys to develop your dog’s cognitive abilities and others to keep him active. A dog that spends several hours a day playing is likely to be healthy.

Did you enjoy reading the article? Feel free leave a comment with your feedback or share this article with your friends on your social networks. Thank you very much!

(Source of featured image: Lurii-Sokolov: 34369428/ 123rf.com)

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