The Importance of Play

We all know that our dogs love to play with toys, but did you know it also benefits your dogs health?

Helps to build independence – Being pack animals, dogs are not built to spend extended periods of time alone. But with work and general life commitments, it’s not always possible to be with them all the time. Toys keep your pooch entertained while you’re not there, so they learn that they can have fun while you’re not there. They’ll also be more likely to give you your space when you’re trying to get things done at home.

It helps learning – Enrichment toys can enhance your pup’s ability to learn, helping them develop new skills. It also promotes their natural behaviour such as foraging, exploring and playing.

Helps them to relax – A relaxed dog is a happy dog. Playing with toys is a rewarding experience for them which counteracts the effects of stress. They also give your pup more control of their environment, which also helps to keep their stress levels at bay. And the more toys they have to choose from, the more relaxed they’ll feel.

It wears them out – Playing with toys is the equivalent of us doing a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. The mental stimulation provided by toys will tire your dog our quicker than a 30min walk, leaving them with less energy to get themselves into trouble!

Who’s a good boyyyy?? – Toys are fantastic at preventing problem behaviours such as excessive barking and inappropriate chewing. Quality chew toys will help stop puppies looking for alternative things to chew (like your fave pair of shoes!)

They’ll love you more! – Since you’re the one who gives them the toys, your pooch will associate you with the fun and excitement of play. This helps to build a positive relationship between you and your dog. What’s not to love about that!

And It’s fun! – Simply put, dogs just LOVE toys! They’re fun and a new toy can make their lives extra exciting!

If your dog loves to chew up stuffed toys, he should never be left alone with that type of toy. Ingesting even a small piece of material can cause serious health problems or choking.

Ensuring your Pets Safety:
When choosing toys for your dog, you should always consider what would be safe for your dog. Chew toys should always be size-appropriate for your particular dog. Any strings, buttons or loose fabric should be cut off the chew toy. There are some toys that should only be given to your dog when supervised; Eg: rope toys and stuffed toys. Rope and stuffed toys can fray or become unstuffed and cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed. Any toy with a squeaker should be closely supervised, as most dogs find it necessary to destroy the squeaker, which in turn may then be consumed.

All chew toys have a certain element of risk involved. Extra strong chewers can tear apart just about anything, even so called indestructible rubber. Some toys can cause chipped teeth, while others can cause gastrointestinal problems. But with forethought and supervision, you can make your dogs toys as safe as possible.

– Avoid balls with single air holes, which can create a deadly suction trap; sticks and stones; heavily dyed toys; toys treated with fire retardants or stain guard; soft plastics.

– Choose toys to fit your dog’s size and avoid those he can work to the back of his mouth.

– Select toys that match your dog’s play style.

– Keep a variety of toy types on hand; rotate to spark your dog’s interest.

– Toys made of natural rubber tend to be among the safest

– Don’t use toys as a substitute