Like humans, dogs need to keep occupied or else they will go haywire (trust me, it’s been a looooong lockdown). Unlike humans, dogs aren’t able to get dressed up in a dress or a suit and a tie, catch the bus and spend 8 hours in front of a computer, making them more susceptible to boredom and frustration, especially if they are left alone all day at home.
There are four important reasons why dogs rely on toys for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
- Toys maintain your dogs weight and keep your dog healthy through exercise and physical activity. Even something as simple as throwing a tennis ball, may prevent obesity and other illnesses
- Dog toys also intellectually stimulate your dog. This is a severely underlooked aspect of a dog’s wellbeing as people are under the impression that just because your pup is dog-mesticated that they equates to being a good boy 247
- Dog toys are tools that can be used to promote bonding between you and your dog. If you’re a dog lover like me, toys can be used to promote bonding between dogs in a multiple dog household
- Finally, as dogs don’t have opposable thumbs, they use their teeth as a tools to pick up toys and objects. Dog toys are a fun way to strengthen your dog’s teeth and reduce the need for dental visits. These toys increase the production of saliva and assist in the diminishing of plaque and calculus in your dog’s mouth, preventing a tooth infection….and a hefty dental bill.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, it’s time to chat about the 10 best dog toys of 2020…
- Flirt Pole: This is my personal favorite and the one that I believe is the best dog toy. I know what you’re thinking, “Tony, how can a toy as simple as a piece of material on a stick be the best for my dog?”, well I’ll tell you why. A flirt pole fulfills 3 out of 4 important reasons I spoke about at the beginning of my article. It keeps your dog active as your dog is compelled to jump and run around in an attempt to catch it, it promotes bonding as your dogs are tapping into their primal instincts and working together to catch whatever is moving infront of them and finally, it encourages intellectual stimulation it keep your pretentious poodle occupied
- Kong Rubber Dog Chew Toy: The Kong Rubber Dog Chew Toy is my second favourite toy. This chew toy requires your dog to use its mouth and teeth, promoting oral health. I have friends who swear by putting dog food in this toy as it cleans their dog’s teeth whilst the dog is eating. I also have friends that use this toy rather than a tennis ball.
- Enrichment Snuffle Mat: Now I’ve never been a fan of working for my food (they know me by my first name at my local McDonald's drive through) but I will make an exception just this once. The enrichment snuffle mat, compels your dog to work for their food, stimulating pleasures, and intellectually stimulating your dog. Did you know that unlike a cat, dogs prefer to work for their food rather than get it handed to them in a bowl?
- Squeaky Treat Ball: On the topic of food, my third favourite dog toy is the squeaky treat ball. This dog toy is made to be a toy and a feeder at the same time. As it is squeaky and makes a noise it further stimulates your dog intellectually. The toy also allows bonding between you and your dog aswell as your dog and other dogs as they attempt to reach the food inside.
- Nerf Dog Tennis Blaster: I know what you’re going to say “Tony, you’re 21 stop playing with nerf guns”, well you know old habits die hard. This dog toy saves your shoulder from a possible dislocation as it can shoot a tennis ball up to 15 meters away. The Nerf Dog Tennis Blaster keeps your dog fit and active - just maybe not use it in the house
- Tower of Tracks Ball Toy: If you have a small dog, then this toy is for you. The tower of tracks keeps your dog occupied for hours and most importantly, promotes oral hygiene and relieves any pain that your dog may have throughout the teething process.
- The Aussie Dog Home Alone Interactive Toy: Now this one is a good one. Although none of us will be going on holidays in the foreseeable future, the thought of having a toy to keep my dogs occupied so I don't come back from work to a literal disaster gives me a sense of inner peace. This toy taps into your dog’s 5 sense; touch, smell, taste, sight and sound
- The Round Slow Feeder: This toy teaches your dog to have the patience of a monk. Teaching your dog not to eat all their food at once might seem impawsible (I can’t help myself - sorry), but not with this toy. The Round Slow Feeder also disciplines your dogs as it teaches them to wait for their food. The Round Slow Feeder can help your dog through bath time.
- The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball: The Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is a fun and interactive toy that makes fun noises when pushed, rolled or shook. The sockets around the ball make it easy for your dog to play fetch with themselves, picking it up with their mouth and throwing it, doing this for hours and hours whilst you sit back and bathe yourself in sunlight and a margarita...kinda like the same feeling you get when you put your kids to sleep for the night.
- 24cm Large Dog Ball: Ahhhh yes the traditional tennis ball (with a twist). This Large Dog Ball is 24cm in diameter and is light so your dog won’t have trouble pushing it along. As it is quite large it encourages exercise and physical as your dog will have to use their entire body to move it along rather than just their mouth.
I read somewhere that dogs are God’s way of apologising for your relatives. When I first read this, I chuckled and scrolled along but I can assure you that the older I get the more I agree with this statement. Our furry friends deserve the best we have to offer them so why not go that one step further when choosing a toy.