Dogs love to play, both with their owners and by themselves. Playtime is an important opportunity for your small or toy breed dog to get a little exercise, mental stimulation and bonding time with you! Making sure your dog has the right kind of toys is essential for your dog's enjoyment and safety.
Any toy you give to your dog must be of the appropriate shape, size and condition:
- Toys that are too small could be swallowed by your dog, posing both a choking hazard as well as a danger to their stomach and bowel
- Similarly, string, ribbons or elastic bands may be interesting to your dog but don't make good toys
- Any sort of toy with bits that can be chewed off (like plastic eyes on a stuffed animal) should be avoided
- A good rule to keep in mind with any toy is that once it begins to fall apart or disintegrate, it needs to be replaced
Toys with squeakers inside can be a lot of fun for some dogs. Watch out to make sure that the squeaker is well secured inside the toy. Most little dogs are content to just chew on the toy and make it squeak but some dogs will feel they have to dig the squeaker out of the toy.
Many small dogs like a soft stuffed toy. They'll baby it, carry it around, pounce on it, sit on it and suck on it. Something that is machine washable is ideal. The best "stuffed animals" will be the kind you can get from your pet specialty store or veterinarian.
You'll get the most life out of your toys by not putting them all out at once. Put out only a small selection of your dog's toys and switch them every couple of weeks. This way the toys stay novel to your dog.