The holidays are upon us and we all want to spoil our fur babies with toys and goodies. Of all the things pet owners have to think about when caring for their dog, choosing the right toys probably does not seem important. After all, it’s just a toy, right? Can’t dogs play with anything? Actually, choosing the right toy does matter! From the size of the toy, to your dog’s activity level, many factors go into choosing the perfect toy for your pup:

1. Size: The size of your dog’s toy should match the size of your dog. Obviously, larger dogs need larger toys to avoid choking hazards. Balls should be able to fit in your dog’s mouth, but not too small as they can be a choking hazard. Anything that can easily be swallowed and become lodged in your dog’s throat should be avoided. Remove any ribbons, strings, or other small parts that can be ingested.




2. Safety: You would think that any toy that is designed for a dog would be safe, but that is not always the case. Some companies sell toys with sharp edges that can harm your dog’s eyes or can be easily ingested. Make sure the toys you give your dog are safe. 




3. Durability: Smaller dogs tend to be more gentle with soft toys due to their smaller teeth and jaws. Make sure the durability of the toy matches how rough your dog is with their toys. Some dogs rip apart toys and take the stuffing and squeaker out, which can pose danger. If you know your dog does this, then squeaky plush toys should only be played with under your supervision. Plus, a stuffing free toy is always a great option.




4. Avoid rawhide: Although rawhide is frequently marketed for dogs, they pose a huge threat. Rawhide can break off when chewed and become lodged in your dog’s throat, esophagus, or digestive tract. Even if it is swallowed, it can cause digestive irritation. 




5. Treat toys and puzzles: To keep your dog mentally stimulated, purchase a treat toy. It will keep your dog busy trying to access the treat, all while fighting boredom and promoting mental stimulation, keeping your dog sharp.




6. What does your dog like to play?: If your dog is high energy, then rubber toys are fun for carrying around and bouncing. If your dog likes fetch, then a rope toy is a good choice. It all depends on your dog’s favorite activities.



Make sure to choose the right toy for your dog in order to keep them happy, stimulated, playful, and safe!