Dog Playing with Orange Balls

It’s the most wonderful time of year, which means time to do some holiday shopping for friends and family. For doggie parents, it’s also time to get your pup something special. Whether you’re braving the crowded malls or perusing online in your robe and slippers, here are some tips for getting your dog the perfect gift this year.

Get Toys That Are Built to Last

Dogs, no matter the breed, can be pretty rough with their toys. They’ll chew, tear, claw and drag it around the house in the name of fun. When buying toys for them, be sure to find ones that are made with dog-friendly rubber or safe, sturdy fabric.

There are some dog toys that are made with rope or rawhide that might be the perfect shape for your pup. However, anything too hard could damage their teeth when chewed. Look for products with labels that say either dog-safe or dog-friendly before making the purchase. Among the most popular companies that make long-lasting, dog-safe toys are Kong or Nylabone.

Squeaky Toys May Be Dangerous

Some of the most popular dog toys squeak when played with. Before you purchase a squeak toy, make sure it’s not too easy to squeak. If it squeaks too easily, your dog may get bored of it quickly. As well, this is a sound that you could start hearing a lot if it becomes one of your dog’s favorite toys. You may not want it hear it repeatedly in the middle of the night when your pup decides to have a nighttime play session.

The source of the squeak in these types of toys are usually a little plastic pouch that makes the noise when bit. If your dog successfully rips open the toy, they may try to eat the pouch, so you may want to only allow them to play with it when you are there supervising.

Watch Out for Choking Hazards

Be vigilant for any part of the toy that can easily be ripped off and swallowed. Buttons, strings and ribbons are sometimes part of toys that can become lodged in your pup’s throat if they attempt to chew it. Removing any of these small attachments should not effect your dog’s enjoyment of the toy and will make it much safer for them.

The size of the toy can also create a problem for your dog depending on their relative size.  A toy should be big enough that they can get their mouth on it in order to pick it up. However, it shouldn’t be too small that it could become a choking hazard. A Chihuahua will need something smaller than a standard soccer ball while a full-grown Bull Mastiff may need something bigger than a typical tennis ball.

Look for Toys That Encourage Exercise

One of the best reasons to get toys for your dog is to help encourage exercise. All dogs, no matter the breed, need exercise to provide them with stimulation and reduce issues like excessive barking and chewing. So toys like dog-safe balls, Frisbees or ropes provide the perfect opportunity to give you one-on-one time with your pup and will keep them healthy and active.

Look for Toys That Encourage Mental Stimulation

Some toys have elements that actually work your dog’s brain. They can be filled with treats but can only be accessed if your dog presses it, rolls it or bites it in a specific way for the treat to come out. This can be a great toy if you are looking to keep them occupied while you are busy around the house or if you leave them alone during the day when you go to work.

Don’t Overthink It

When it comes to toys, dogs aren’t that picky. Once you know their personality, picking out a type of toy for them should be fairly simple. If they have a lot of toys, help keep their interest in all of them by rotating them in and out so they don’t get bored with one specific item. It’ll be like giving them a new gift every month!

If you are looking for some great gift ideas, most Dogtopia locations have a boutique that sells a selection of dog-approved, safe toys that will make the perfect holiday gift for your pup. Visit us to learn more!