So, you’re standing in the local pet store looking at a wall brimming with toys. You might be wondering why the selection is so huge and what dog toys actually do, besides get destroyed by a mouthful of teeth. Well, the fact is that dog toys are much more than just toys. Let’s talk about the various benefits of dog toys right now.
Lets Them Have Fun
Before we start getting into the hardcore benefits of dog toys, both for you and the dog, it’s worth saying that dog toys are fun. It’s why they are called toys, because they’re meant for fun. Simply put, you want your dog to have fun, to be happy and entertained, not unlike with children.
If you get a dog, chances are that they will become a part of the family, and family gets looked after. If for no other reason than that dog toys provide your dog with some much needed fun, dog toys really are great. Who doesn’t want to have a bit of fun and excitement in their lives?
They Give You a Break
Now to get into the real benefits of dog toys, one of the huge advantages they bring to the table is that they can give you, the owner, a break. Yes, having a dog is a lot of fun, they do wacky stuff, they keep us occupied, they protect us, and they comfort us when they see us feeling bad.
However, there’s no denying the fact that there are some big time insecure and attention-seeking dogs out there. These are dogs that cannot spend a single minute on their own. If your dog follows you to the toilet and sits at your heels all day, a dog toy can provide you with some much needed relief, a break.
If you find a dog toy that really captivates Fido, hopefully you can run some errands, do some housework, and maybe read a couple chapters in a book before your pooch comes to you seeking attention. Dogs are great, but even the toughest and most patient of dog owners need a break every now and again.
Keeping Your Pillows in One Piece
Perhaps the biggest benefit that you will get from getting Fido a few nice dog toys is that they will hopefully leave your shoes and furniture alone. Yes, there are plenty of destructive dogs that have a need to sink their teeth into anything that crosses their path.
This could be shoes, pillows, couches, rags, clothing, and anything in between. If you have a dog that loves to destroy anything it manages to wrap its mouth around, a few good chew toys can go a long way in keeping your couch cushions in one piece.
Your dog, if they love breaking things, will most likely also bust apart their chew toys and shred them into a million pieces. However, that said, a shredded chew toy is less costly than a sofa that has had all of its stuffing removed courtesy of Boomer the bulldog.
Dogs that like destroying things often do so when owners leave the home, thus making a chew toy a great distraction for when you aren’t there. It might prevent you from coming home and seeing your belongings in shambles.
They Burn Off Energy
Next, something else that a good dog toy can do for you is to help the dog burn off energy. Of course, dogs come in all shapes, sizes, types, and energy levels too. If you have a dog that barely moves and can’t be bothered to get off their behind, even for a treat, then you can consider yourself lucky.
That said, who are we kidding? While there are some low-energy dogs, the majority of them need a good deal of exercise. If you have a dog and for whatever reason you didn’t take it on its 3 daily walks, come time to binge on some Netflix at the end of the day, the dog’s going to have so much energy that you won’t ever be able to watch anything.
A good dog toy can help your dog burn off some energy, hopefully leaving it exhausted and chill when it comes time for you to relax after a long day of whatever it is that you do.
They Can Be Good for Oral Health
Some dog toys, not all, but some, can actually be quite beneficial for the oral health of your dog. Dogs, just like humans, need to take care of their teeth, with the big difference of course being that whereas we can brush our own teeth, a dog cannot.
Yes, there are special toothbrushes and toothpastes out there made just for dogs, but a good toy can help a lot too. Chewing on the right type of toy, like a rope toy, can help strengthen teeth, clean away plaque and tartar, and more, thus helping to maintain good oral health.
Good Mental Stimulation
The other benefit your dog will get from dog toys is mental stimulation. Just because dogs can’t recite poetry or do calculus doesn’t mean that they don’t have brains that need to be stimulated and kept active.
There is indeed some research which indicates that dogs who play with mentally stimulating toys stay in better mental condition than dogs that don’t play with such toys. Just like humans, dogs start to slow down as they get older, and this includes the brain. That said, mentally stimulating toys are great for dogs of all ages, not just for the senior population.
The bottom line is that dog toys are much more than just toys; they can serve more than one purpose. When it comes to dogs, the right toy can help keep their brain stimulated, it allows for some fun, it keeps them busy, it keeps their teeth looking good, and it keeps your couch and cushions from being turned into ribbons.