You need to understand how to choose the right size dog toys whether you have a large breed or a small dog. The wrong size dog toys could cause injury or lead to choking among other dangers. Keep in mind that if you have a young dog you'll need to adjust the size of his toys as he grows.
The right dog toy will keep your dog entertained for long periods of time. The best thing to do is figure out what he likes. If he likes to fetch, make sure you have lots of balls on hand. If he enjoys a game of tug, you're going to want to purchase strong rope dog toys.
Whether you have the tiniest teacup Chihuahua or the largest Saint Bernard, there are dog toys out there that are the appropriate size for your dog whether big or small.
Remember that price of a dog toy is usually directly related to the quality of the toy that you are buying. A $1 dog toy is not likely to last very long, while a more expensive dog toy will be made with higher quality and more durable materials.
For more information on finding the best dog toy for your pet, check out some of the many articles on Top Dog Tips dedicated to the subject:
- Which Dog Toys Do Veterinarians Recommend?
- Buying Appropriate Dog Toys for Puppies
- 3 Types of Most Unsafe Dog Toys for Puppies
- Durable Dog Toys That Will Outlast Your Dog's Jaws
- 5 Best Dog Toys Made in America
With the above in mind, there are a few things I'd like to walk you through on how to choose the right size dog toys that will be perfect for your dog, and how to avoid potential hazards of inappropriate and unsafe toys for dogs.
MORE TIPS: How-to Advice Videos for Dog Owners
How to Choose the Right Size Dog Toys
Pick the right type toy and encourage your dog to play
Puppies should be exposed to dog toys as early as possible, and there are many puppy-specific dog toys that are most appropriate for young dogs. However, if you've adopted a shelter dog and he doesn't seem too fond of his dog toys, don't give up.
You'll need to purchase multiple puppy toys and try to play with him multiple times each day to get the young dog used to toys. He may just realize how much fun it is to chew, tug and play fetch.
It's crucial to learn how to choose the right size dog toys no matter what breed or age your pooch is. Dog toys that are too large will not be fun to play with. Toys that are too small can also be boring, and they pose a dangerous choking hazard for dogs.
The key is to choose a toy that is small enough for your dog to use, but not so small that it could become lodged in his mouth or throat.
Finding the right type of dog toy is simple. Just provide Fido with a variety of dog toys and let him show you which ones he likes best. Some dogs only like to play with stuffed toys, while others may only care for Frisbee toys and other dogs will have fun playing with all types of dog toys.
Finding the right size toy is a little more difficult, and you need to make sure you're changing the size of your dog's toys as your pet grows. The dog toy needs to be small enough for your pup to carry in his mouth, but not so small that it would move to the back of your dog's mouth and pose a choking hazard.
As I demonstrate in my video guide above, your dog's mouth forms a triangle when open.
You want to select dog toys that are small enough to fit into the front of your dog's mouth (where the triangle is wide), but that are too large to fit into the back of the mouth (where the triangle becomes smaller). Those would be the most appropriate toys for dogs and will pose the least risk.
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Keep an eye on small parts and pieces
While some claim to be, no dog toy is completely indestructible.
You need to be very careful of the dog toys you select when learning how to choose the right size dog toys. Your dog's toy itself may be the right size for the pooch, but the small pieces that can come off of that dog toy will be much too small and pose risks.
Stuffed dog toys often have small eyes or tiny plastic pieces that can easily be ripped off. These pieces could cause your dog to choke or become lodged in his digestive tract. Stuffing, small pieces of cloth and bits of ripped apart toys are equally as dangerous.
He might not destroy the dog toy all at once, but once he starts he won't stop. The toy is doomed and will continue to be pulled apart, and small pieces will keep falling off.
It's better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to keep an eye on your dog's toys and once you see one falling apart – throw it out.
This is when buying more expensive and higher quality dog toys is much better.
I know it is frustrating to have throw out your dog's toys after only having them for a few days, but you don't want to take the risk. If a small piece of the toy becomes lodged in your dog's throat or digestive tract, it could cost thousands of dollars to have it removed, provided that small piece of dog toy doesn't kill your dog in the first place.
If monitoring your dog's toys and throwing them out seems like a hassle to you, it's best to only stick with higher quality dog toys proven to survive dog's teeth for much longer. Items from established companies like KONG dog toys have great reputation for that.
However, no matter what dog toys you use, remember:
Every dog should be supervised when chewing or playing with his toy.
Never leave your dog alone while he's chewing on a dog toy or bone. Even if you're certain that the dog toy is the right size, the small pieces that he may unexpectedly chews off will be small in size and it's highly likely your Fido will be interested in swallowing them.
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