Nobody likes to be bored and the little darling also wants to be kept busy. Puppies are very curious and want to explore their surroundings tirelessly, often also with their teeth. Therefore, it is important that the puppy toy is made of a robust material and cannot be easily destroyed. What else to look out for, what advantages puppy toys offer and how to find the right one for the little dog is explained below:
The advantages of puppy toys:
- trains motor skills
- trains the bite inhibition
- helps with the change of teeth
- supports learning to retrieve
- the puppy learns to occupy itself alone
Buy puppy toys: Which toys are suitable for puppies?
The selection of puppy toys is colourful and versatile. It quickly feels like you're in a toy shop, even in a dog shop. From cute soft toys to funny rubber animals, chewing bones or rubber balls or puppy toys without squeakers or with squeakers, there are many ways to make your little four-legged friend happy with a suitable puppy toy.
However, puppy toys not only serve as occupation, but are also useful for the dog's development. Therefore, there are different types of toys:
Cuddly toy:Soft toys are not only cuddly soft, but can also be comfortably clamped between the teeth and are a loyal companion. Moreover, toys made of fabric are washable. The soft toys are also available with different structures in a patchwork look, which ensures a varied play and chewing experience.
- Chew toys: Bones or animals made of rubber and other elastic but robust materials such as latex or natural rubber are available in different colours, sizes and (animal) shapes such as pig or bear. They can withstand a lot and many respond to biting with a squeaker.
- Throwing and tugging toys: Tug and fetch toys such as rubber balls or ropes keep the little rascal on his toes. Playing together helps to strengthen the bond with the owner. Instead of throwing, the toy can also be hidden and the little darling sent on a search. Despite all the fun, it is important to make sure that the puppy does not exhaust itself. Because young dogs need rest periods and lots of them.
- Intelligence and thinking toys: Thinking toys can be filled with treats. With this, the puppy is called to action and can occupy itself on its own. He learns that a treat awaits him as a reward for every challenge he masters. This motivates!
A puppy toy set consisting of several toys ensures variety and provides an alternative ready to hand should one toy not stand up to the play instinct. In the surprise boxes for dogs, you'll also find a puppy starter set with a good selection of essential equipment, including puppy toys.
Puppy toys to train bite inhibition
Ouch, the little puppy has bitten again! Don't worry, he's not doing it on purpose. The milk teeth may be small, but they are sharp and can really pinch. Between the fourth and seventh month, the teeth start to change. During this time, the puppy feels a special need to bite and gnaw - possibly even on its owner.
The bite inhibition, which signals that the puppy must not bite hard, is not an innate behaviour and must first be trained. In interaction with his parents or his siblings, the puppy learns to assess his biting strength. But if he has already found a new home, even before the learning process has been completed, the bite inhibition must be trained.
When choosing the right puppy toy, it is permissible to use anything that is fun for the dog, corresponds to the dog's breed and size and accommodates the chewing instinct. But there is also something to consider: A puppy's milk teeth are quite sharp. Therefore, the toy should be soft, bite-resistant, robust and, above all, free of harmful substances.
A suitable material is, for example:
- Natural rubber is very elastic and is not easily destroyed.
- Latex is good for changing teeth because it can withstand a lot.
- Soft materials such as polyester or corduroy fabric have a relaxing effect and are gentle on the little teethers.
Puppy toy recommendations
What is fun for adult dogs can quickly become dangerous for a puppy. Here is an overview of which toys are unsuitable for a puppy and which alternative is suitable instead:
- Frisbees: A puppy is in the middle of its growth phase. Therefore, a normal Frisbee is not only quite clunky to handle, but can also stunt growth and damage the soft bone structure and muscles.
Alternative: If you want to add movement to the game, you can practise fetching with a soft polyester chewing bone or alternatively use a tug toy.
- Tennis balls: Dirt and small stones can easily collect in a conventional tennis ball and damage the teeth when biting.
Alternative: Tennis balls specially developed for puppies and dogs, on the other hand, are made of a special felt material and are gentler to chew and bite.
- Stones: Stones by the wayside are easily discovered by the puppy during a walk or in the garden. In a flash, they disappear unnoticed into the mouth. Great care is therefore required, because stones not only damage the small teeth, but can also be swallowed.
Alternative: Attention and distraction are the best means. A rubber toy or a cuddly toy that attracts attention with a squeaker is suitable for this.
- Branches, sticks or real bones can splinter and injure not only the gums but also the gastrointestinal tract.
Alternative: A fake bone made of latex, natural rubber or polyester is also suitable as a throw toy or for chewing and biting. And if you want something with flavour, a self-rewarding toy can be filled with treats. A dog snack from a spray bottle, for example, is easy to dose and fill the dog toy with.
Good to know: In general, the puppy should not be left unsupervised while playing so that it cannot injure itself or swallow parts. The dog toy should also be checked regularly for damage.